Monday, April 27, 2015

Dominican Republic Overview


Hello from the comfort of my home here in Minneapolis! Nick and I have returned home from our fabulous vacation to the Dominican Republic, and boy was it ever a whirlwind! When we left two weeks ago, we had planned on spending the entire two weeks in Punta Cana at two different resorts. Of course, our plans ended up changing- while we were sitting in the airport in Minneapolis waiting to board- and we ended up deciding we would be spending a few days in Santo Domingo with one of Nick's friends. Of course, this slight change in plans meant we were busier than ever this trip! Today, I'll give you a quick overview of the highlights from this trip. Without further ado, here we go!

Accommodations 
Presidential Suite at Chic Punta Cana
During our stay in the Dominican Republic, we spent time at IFA Villas Bavaro Resort & Spa, Barcelo Dominican Beach, The Holiday Inn Santo Domingo, and Chic by Royalton Punta Cana. By far, our favorite place to stay was at Chic. Upon our arrival and subsequent check-in, Nick and I were upgraded to a Presidential Suite. The Presidential Suite includes a huge bedroom with king-size bed, full bathroom with dual waterfall showers and tub, a separate living area, and two balconies. Beyond our room, the food, service, people, entertainment, and drinks at Chic were excellent, and deserve a post of their own. Stay tuned for full reviews of each of the resorts in coming weeks!

Activities
Scuba Diving with Passion Paradise Adventures
The first activity that Nick and I set off to do (and our favorite!) was scuba diving with Passion Paradise Adventures. I had been scuba diving before, but it was a long time ago and I hardly remembered it. Nick had never been scuba diving, only snorkeling, so it was a brand new experience for him to see things from underwater instead of on top of it! Beyond the thrill of experiencing scuba diving, whether for the first time or again, our time with Passion Paradise Adventures was made so special because of the amazing staff. A huge shout-out to them for providing such a great experience- each of the staff's passion really shows through, and it is clear they love what they are doing!

Zorbing at Bavaro Adventure Park
We spent another day at Bavaro Adventure Park. Bavaro Adventure Park has tons of different activities for individuals and families to enjoy, including everything from a flight simulator and climbing garden to Segway tours and zip lining. Nick and I were able to partake in many of these activities, and the highlight for each of us was definitely zorbing- rolling down a hill in a huge ball! 

Carlito, the male of the pack- and definitely a diva!
Runners Adventures hosted us for two days, and we were able to go zip-lining on the longest zip line in the Caribbean and play around with adorable squirrel monkeys for the day! While Nick loved his first opportunity to go zip lining, I had a blast with the monkeys- it was so hard not to cuddle these adorable little guys up. If I could, I definitely would have taken them home with me! Carlito, the male picture above, was just coming out of breeding season and so had bulked up a little bit. He was quite the diva, giving us about 30 different poses and angles to view him at over a span of two minutes- so entertaining to watch him put on his show!

flying high on the way to Santo Domingo!
As I mentioned above, Nick and I went to visit one of his friend's in Santo Domingo. Because his friend is a pilot, he had arranged to pick us up from the airport in Punta Cana- in his plane- and take us to Santo Domingo in style! After this great ride, we got to meet his gorgeous wife and children, spending the day with them. We dined at a traditional Dominican restaurant and an Italian place for dinner, and the food was absolutely incredible! To Cesar, Catherine, and your family- thank you so much for the incredible hospitality and showing us around your home! 
Miscellaneous 
met some amazing friends while on vacation!
One of Nick and I's favorite things to do while vacationing is meeting new people. We were definitely able to meet tons of great people, and had make new friends. A huge thank you goes to this group of people that we met at Chic, who warmly welcomed us into their group and allowed us to join them for dinner, drinks, and fun several nights in a row!

The other highlight of the trip (for me at least!) was getting the opportunity to play with my new camera. While I "got" the camera for my birthday, I wasn't able to actually use it and play with it until two days before our vacation. I can't even express how amazed I am at the quality of the pictures- I am definitely a pleased girl over here!

Enjoying the beach & sun
Of course, the tropical weather was another one of the many bonuses of this trip. While on vacation, we found out that it had snowed back home in Minnesota- so definitely were more than happy to be enjoying the tropical weather!

enjoying our last night!
We had such a terrific trip in the Dominican Republic, and I can't wait to relive each and every moment of it! These past few days since returning home have been a whirlwind- summer training started today for Nick, while I started a new class. Of course, it is impossible to detail each and every highlight of this trip in one short blog post- so stay tuned over the next few weeks for more information, reviews, and general information about Punta Cana and the Dominican Republic!

12 comments:

  1. You look like you belong in tropical paradise!! Loved this post! Punta Cana sounds like a place with lots of exciting things to do, it's so cool that you went scuba diving!! Can't wait to see more pictures :)

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    1. Thanks, Ana! I definitely loved the time there. Scuba diving was so awesome! I'll definitely be having tons of pictures coming up on here soon!

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  2. It looks like you guys had an amazing trip! Can't wait to hear more about it. The activities you did look like so much fun!!

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    1. Sara, it was definitely a great trip! I'll be posting all about it soon. Was able to get so many great pictures with my new camera, I just have to share!

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  3. What kind is the new camera? Pictures look great! My husband and I were talking about possibly planning a trip to the DR this summer! Looks like you guys had an amazing time!

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    1. Thanks Alec- I'm absolutely loving the camera! I got a Nikon D3200, and it has been amazing! If you and your husband end up going to DR this summer, definitely let me know and I can give you some great recommendations for places to stay/things to do!

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  4. You look so gorgeous in all of your photos! It looks like you had a great time. I'm hoping to scuba dive at some point in my life, and whatever that ball is looks like a blast! Hope it wasn't too chilly on your return to MN!

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    1. Thanks Annessa! It was such a great trip- and so far, weather has been decent to good here in MN. We did miss a day of snow while we were in DR, so I was very happy about that!

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  5. You are such a knock out! What a dream trip. :)

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  6. Hi Samantha,
    We are staying at Chic for our honeymoon in January. I saw where you said you were upgraded to the presidential suite. I wanted to inquire how you were able to do that as we would love the same opportunity! Thank you for any tips you can provide!!

    Dawn

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    1. Hi Dawn, Congrats on your upcoming marriage and honeymoon! Such an exciting time for you. While at Chic, I would definitely just mention that you are on your honeymoon. They provide terrific customer service and I am confident you will have a great time!

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