I have been laboriously planning a nine-day trip to the Dominican Republic. My boyfriend and I booked it on a whim when we got a really cheap deal on a three-day stay at an all-inclusive in La Romana. Although I need some warmth and relaxation, I didn't want to go all the way to another country and stay in a resort the whole time, so we're flying into Santo Domino six days before our resort reservation in order to have time to explore that country's beauty and experience its vibrant culture. We love music, dancing, history, hiking, snorkeling, and outdoor adventures -- so I was really excited to plan a trip that encompassed all those things.
My plan was to spend 2-3 days in hostels in Santo Domingo, then rent a cheap car, go white-water rafting in Jarabacoa, volunteer at an orphange in Puerto Plata, check out Sosua or Caberete, then do a day at Los Haitises Parque Nacional before returning to Santo Domingo to drop off the car before taking a shuttle to the resort the next day.
I was totally in love with this plan and SO excited about this trip, but then I read on these forums that it's not a good idea to rent a car.
But if we don't rent a car, getting between all these places is going to be much less pleasant and much more stressful/crowded/hot. We'll definitely have to cut down on the amount of places we visit -- especially the nature activities that aren't in a major city.
I'm so disappointed! I really liked the itinerary I came up with and the flexibility it gave us. Other background: My boyfriend Dan is a good, experienced driver who has lived in Cuba. His Spanish is pretty good, mine is okay.
What do you guys think? Should we still rent a car? We're both fully insured in the US and have credit cards that offer some coverage. If not, should I scrap our plan or is it still achievable with local transit?
Thanks so much!!