Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
I loved this excursion!! I only had 5 days (3 full days) in Puerto Plata, so I didn't really have much time to do much and I wanted to get the most out of the resort I was staying at, but this sounded very interesting. Our tour guide (Lidio...?) was really informative and funny! There were 8 of us on the trip (6 were German, so our tour was in German and English, which was good for brushing up on my very dusty German).
I really liked the horse back riding. Everyone else had a Dominican kid on the back of their horse to help control the horse, but there wasn't one for me, so I got to ride solo, but I think I did pretty well. It was so interesting to travel through that area. The waterfall was pretty, but wasn't that special (I've seen better), but the scenery and the bridges were pretty. The meal we had at the ranch was very tasty and fresh. The cigar shop was informative and smelled really nice. I liked the ceramic factory too. Side note: stock up on souvenirs at the ceramic store because everything was very nicely priced (they even had magnets, shot glasses, and other typical souvenirs in addition to the neat pottery).
I highly recommend this tour. It was a great deal for the price. We did so much! The driver was very erratic and fast (like most other drivers down there), but it added to the experience!
The air boat ride was fun. I was surprised how fast it went and how smooth the ride was. We saw plenty of gators laying in the sun and swimming around. We did have to wait in line for the boat for about 40 minutes (the first 3 groups went out and we had to wait for the boats to come back for the next groups to be herded on). The driver was very informative about the area. Afterward we went to the show which was pretty much the same info we got from the boat ride, but the guy was funny. We didn't have time left to go to the "zoo" or whatever it was behind the show area or try any food. There's a little gift shop too that's somewhat reasonably priced.
All in all I liked this tour, but I knocked off a star for the hotel pickup. I received a phone call that the pick up would be between 8:30 and 8:40 and to be downstairs at 8:15 just in case. At 8 that morning I got a phone call from the concierge that the bus was waiting for us. We were planned to be down there 15 minutes later so we weren't even ready. We got down there at about 8:15 and the bus had already left. Luckily the concierge was able to call the company (Admiral Tours) and find out where we could meet the bus. So we had to take a $15 cab ride to the mall to catch them. The bus driver wasn't the nicest person and just showed me his paper with 8:00am written by our hotel. Miscommunication, I guess...
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