From US$596.00 per group (up to 4)
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This tour provides the option of a Private Catamaran or a Private Speed Boat. I booked directly with a VIATOR agent over the phone advising that I wanted the Private Cat. I was hosting a group of 14 and told them what a lovely time they would have slowly sailing out to Saona Island, laying out on board, getting sun, etc.
The day before the excursion, I contacted VIATOR's local contractor via the information VIATOR provided. I advised we were the group for the PRIVATE CATAMARAN and inquired about pick-up time from hotel. The contractor confirmed pick up.
One we arrived at the harbor, we were instructed to board a small speed boat. I asked the captain if this boat would tender us out to the catamaran and he replied yes. So with group tightly crammed into this little boat, we idled out of the harbor toward about 20 beautiful Catamarans moored just outside the harbor. However, once outside the harbor, he hit the gas and we sped right by them all. Ok, no worries, I thought....perhaps our Catamaran was moored a little further away. However, after about 5 minutes and with no Catamarans in sight, it became clear there was a problem. I tried to ask the Captain about it but he was not multilingual as promised by VIATOR and could not grasp the issue. He did seem to learn I wanted a Catamaran and said the speed boat was this private boat that we were on and essentially this was what we were getting.
So, we are out in the middle of the ocean....crammed into a speed boat that has been pounding us against the water. Not what I booked.
So, when we get back to resort, I contact VIATOR's local contractor who tells me that to put us on a Catamaran, we would have to share with others and that a private Catamaran would cost 10K. I sent VIATOR's contractor a screen shot of the advertised tour, showing the PRIVATE CATAMARAN for 1,500. They never responded.
SO, I call VIATOR and explain the problem . I believed VIATOR would want to make this right. NO. I was wrong. Even though I booked with VIATOR and even though I paid VIATOR and even though I had no control over VIATOR's local contractor, VIATOR tells me this is between me and it's local controol in the Dominican Republic and that I must take it up with them.
I was blown away by this response. Never ever use this company to book. They will not stand behind you if their local contractor screws up your vacation.
What can I say? Magical?? This horseback riding trip was AMAZING. No Ring Robot Horses! They are sleek and beautiful, well mannered, easy to ride and eager to be on the trail! The stable was amazingly clean - no spider webs! The tack is well kept and the guides are experts! We had 4 people in our riding party, and 2 guides!!! The guides took us through the countryside to Macao Beach for our gallop in the surf. I got teary eyed it was so wonderful. Wear long pants and water shoes as well as a light t-shirt. Bring water. We opted for string bags to carry stuff in. You will also get your picture taken, and the guides take pictures from your phone. This was a wonderful experience of a life time. We highly recommend it if you are physically able to horseback ride.
It was great, trip to the island on a catamaran music, dancing and of course rum!!! On the way back on a speed boat. While on the island we were served a delicious lunch, then s.unbathing on the most beutiful beach.
Yes, we saw whales, but we DID NOT get the tour that was described online. The tour I booked was for a horseback ride up to Limon waterfall, lunch on a countryside ranch, and THEN whale watching. There was no breakfast, but instead a stop at a gas station in Miches where we had the option to buy a snack. which we didn't because I thought we were getting breakfast provided Once we got on the boat, we spent the next 3 hours on VERY rough water, hungry and half the boat was throwing up. That being said, I realize, the staff had no control over the rain and rough waters. They did work hard to find the whales we found. But, it was a VERY hard excursion to say the least. After we saw the whales, they took us to an island for lunch and a couple hours of free time. No horseback ride, no waterfall, and no country ranch. Not even close. When I asked the guide about this, he said they NEVER book that excursion together- it's one or the other. The whale excursion is 165 a person, and I paid 190. So, obviously, I now have to contact customer service with Viator. To say I was disappointed was an understatement. But, I did see whales, which is why I gave it 2 stars and not 1. After booking this excursion, I was contacted by an Expedia concierge, we booked the vacation through Expedia where he explained to us that we should booked all excursions through him. I'm now regretting booking through Viator and not with him, or at least doing more research to find the best route to book through. Hoping this helps others!
So many things to do in one day. It was the employees Jonathan that made it so interesting. Going to the market and meeting a family was humbling. I have told everyone I have met it was the best thing we did all week!
This is not a review regarding the actual excursion because I never got picked up . I called them the day before and they told me my pick up was at 1:30 then they called me and told me that they can’t pick me up because they don’t have enough people for the excursion
the picture is nothing like the excursion you are taken out to an open water enclose where someone holds the animals so you can touch them no real free swimming with these animals. you are not aloud to take you cameras with you
I've been on several zip lines and this is the best I've been on.
Good points - the island and natural pool were amazing and you get to hold starfish.
Bad points - transportation is lousy, the tour guide leaves the bus before the last people on the bus do, it's not easy climbing between the speed boats and the catamaran when heading back from the island
Hotel pickup was prompt and on time, so it was a good start. Just as we exited the resort, our driver pulls over to the side of the road and told us to get out and wait for someone else to pick us up, very weird. We get picked up by someone in a small car with no designation or signage of who he was or who he worked for and needless to say, my wife was very concerned. Outside the safety of the resort, things like this make a person feel very uneasy. We went with the gentleman and we were dropped off at a cafe/gas station and were told to wait for 10 minutes for the bus. 10 minutes turned into almost 45. The bus finally comes and it is tiny and uncomfortable, but at least the AC worked. After driving for about 30 minutes we pulled into a place to use the bathrooms, but it was a place set up to sell tourist trinkets and the like. After 25 minutes there, we were off. We get to our destination and it was not what we expected. The boys that ran the boats seemed very knowledgeable about their jobs, but not welcoming at all. We loaded the boat which was not comfortable at all and very cramped. Once we set off, the loudest rap music started playing. It was not music for the customers on board, and they ranged all ages from 4 years old on up. Music with swearing and sexually explicit lyrics was in very poor taste. But the crew loved it and were jamming and singing along as if no one else were on the boat. The snorkeling portion seemed rushed, with the boys running the boat telling the snorkelers to hurry up, hurry up, let's go'. The natural pool was the best part of the trip, we loved it there, but we were able to contrast our crew and trip to other companies that provide the same trip. There must have been 20-30 other boats and catamarans, all having a blast. We knew for sure, we picked the wrong company for our excursion after that. When we reached the island, one of the boys on the boat went through asking for tips becasue he was leaving our boat to go to another. We tipped him 5, but the people that didn't tip, he visibly got mad at, in a mild form of intimidation. Had I seen that in him, I never would have tipped him. The private island was nice, the food was terrible. All the time we were asked to buy things, way too much pressure. I would have bought more if not pressured, I hate that and I just close up my wallet when they get disrespectful and pushy. The trip back on the catamaran was ok. The music was way too loud and many customers could be seen plugging their ears, it was very noticeable but not the crew, as the music level remained the same. The crew was also very dull, no party atmosphere was set, and them passing out drinks seemed like a burden to them. Once we got back on land and in the bus, more sales grabs started. The customers by this time were tired and just wanted to get the heck away from this tour and back to their resorts. The best part of the trip is that my wife and I were the first to get dropped off at our resort. We've been on countless excursions all over the caribbean and Hawaii, and this was the worst.
We had a great time on both portions of this tour. Our party of 4 was the only group booked for the excursion, so we had the van and guide to ourselves for the drive to La Romana marina and to Altos De Chavon. For the excursion to Catalina we were part of a larger group on a boat managed by Passion Paradise Tours who, by the way, were fantastic - I would definitely book activities directly with them in the future. The snorkeling was a blast, the beach time and lunch were great, and the staff running the tour made it really fun. After returning to the marina, we drove to Altos De Chavon which was beautiful. I only wish we could have spent more time there we had about an hour, which wasn't nearly enough time to visit the restaurants or shops or to explore the museum.
Dropping the review from 5 to 4 stars due to poor communication. Upon booking, I received notification that I would get another confirmation which would advise me of the pick-up time from our hotel. I never received anything, so ended up having to ask our hotel concierge to call the local tour operator to obtain that info. And then when our driver picked us up, he explained nothing to us. After driving 20-30 minutes and making 1-2 stops, we finally end up parked on the side of the highway still with no explanation from our driver. Five minutes pass, and a large van pulls up alongside us - at this point I'm honestly concerned that I have booked my friends and me for a kidnapping instead of a day tour. But then our guide Johnny hops into the front seat and off we go. It was bizarre and awkward. Either the guide should have been with the driver when they came to get us at the hotel, or the driver should have been willing/able to explain the plan to us.
But back to the positives: our guide was friendly and helpful, and we truly enjoyed our day with him. And in the afternoon when we returned from Catalina, we had a different driver who was terrific. Nelson was chatty and fun, and that really made up for our uncomfortable morning experience. We ended the day on a high note and were glad we had booked this tour!