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Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

Wisconsin
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Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

My husband and I have been invited to join a group of friends traveling to the Iberostar Bavaro in mid December 2008. My questions and concerns are:

1. Have heard from many friend/relatives that they all got sick while there. Stomach/lower intestine problems. Any thoughts/knowledge?

2. Is the water safe to drink?

3. Is the Dominican safe for tourists? When we have traveled to other Caribbean spots the safety ranges from "don't leave your resort" - Jamaica, to feeling very safe _Playa del Carmen.

4. How big a hassle is customs/airport.

5. Is there a problem with bugs (on the beach, in your rooms, restaurants, etc).

6. Any day trips you could recommend?

Thank you in advance for any help you could give us. We would like to make the trip, but since literally all of my friends ended up sick there, we're a little hesitant to commit.

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1. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

1) that can happen anywhere..but yes , you do have to be very careful w/ food here. Chose a "better" resort and you shouldn't have any probs. Iberostar Bavaro falls into that category!

2) Not usually from the "tap" but they provide bottled water, and also a gallon of water in the room etc. We have been to PC 5 times and can't wait to go back!

3)Yes, it is. Not nearly as much to do as PDC etc...however, you will want to do it w/ a group or a guide. You won't want to rent a car and do it yourself. At least I wouldn't recommend it...driving rules are muchhhhhhh different there.

4) not a hassle at all...it's a pretty darn small airport.

5)not in my 5 trips.....

6)Saona Island, Santa Domingo, the Outback Safari...many good ones to choose from. Go while it's still very natural, and all about the beach in Punta Cana...go before it's all commercialized and over run...which tends to happen in these beach resort cities it seems over time. We love the Domincian and it's people, beaches , music, tall palm trees etc...aaahhhhhh!!!!

Winnipeg, Canada
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2. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

- i haven't been to IB itself but many times to the D.R. and to tell you a lot of it has to do with eating too much of a new food, drinking too much or too much of the wrong drink ( many tropical ones have natural laxitives in them, eg coconut milk). too much sun, etc sometimes it's just a case of wrong timing and you catch a virus on the plane and it has nothing to do with the resort but people think it's the resort food. SOmetimes yes it can be from the food but i wouldn't ever not travel b/c of it or worring about it.

- the water is safe to drink at the resorts, most provide bottled water in the room for you as the room water is not as filtered. This you can brush you teeth with or drink, anything else on the resort, a la carte rest, bars, etc it's all safe and filtered even ice cubes!

- it is safe for tourists, just use common sense like anywhere, there isn't much to do in p.c. so no towns like PDC.

- i have never had a issue in the airport at all, aslong as you have all your papers filled, all id ready, etc it's a breeze.

- every place can have issues with bugs but not many. The resorts spray ( fog) each night to combat any mozzies for the evenings. I did experience on the beach on year the terrible no seeums and got some big itchy welts.

- i reccoment the outback safari and the bavaro runners fotr adventrous trips. there are great snorkeling ones too if you are into that.

HTH

Wisconsin
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3. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

Thank you. Anyone else?

York, Pennsylvania
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4. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

Mine answers will pretty much mirror those above but here goes:

1. Have heard from many friend/relatives that they all got sick while there. Stomach/lower intestine problems. Any thoughts/knowledge?

Never been sick on any of our trips to PC. Overindulged on a few occasions but nothing a little asprin and alka selzer didn't cure. Not to mention a wee bit of the hair of the dog (so to speak!).

2. Is the water safe to drink?

Not from the tap. Bottled water will be provided in abundance.

3. Is the Dominican safe for tourists? When we have traveled to other Caribbean spots the safety ranges from "don't leave your resort" - Jamaica, to feeling very safe _Playa del Carmen.

Never felt unsafe. Use normal precautions you would in any other destination. Don't leave your common sense at home.

4. How big a hassle is customs/airport.

None at all. One of my favorite aiprorts in the world.

5. Is there a problem with bugs (on the beach, in your rooms, restaurants, etc).

It is the tropics. Yes there are bugs. Various types. As well as lizards/gecko's and numerous other variety of life. Never was an issue for us.

6. Any day trips you could recommend?

Caribbean Festival/Marinarium. Parasailing.

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5. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

All the questions have been answered so I'll just add to #1: I've been to the Iberostar Bavaro a few times and have never gotten the slightest bit of tummy troubles and I brush my teeth with the tap water (which is not recommended).

Cheers,

Debbie.

Winthrop, Maine
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6. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

Hola: We just booked the Punta Cana Princess for our 9th trip to the DR. As to your questions:

1.) If you eat and drink in moderation you should be OK. Take precautions: bring imodium, pepto, and maybe an antibiotic to be on the safe side to cover any and all cases. Sometimes I start taking a Pepto (or generic) pill a couple of days before my trip and during the trip. In all of our trips I have only been sick once and it was my fault. I ate a hamburger that wasn't fully cooked.

2.) Don't drink the tap water in your room. They give you bottled water in your room fridge. Use it to brush teeth!! The water in the restaurants and food prep water is all purified.

3.) I wouldn't go out alone at night, but during the day you can be a "tourista" walking around the nearby Bavaro area and anywhere up and down the miles long beach.

4.)It depends where you are flying through. We try and fly thru San Juan which is a small airport, and customs is a breeze. Miami is more of a hassle, but overall no problem as long as you follow the rules about what you can carry on the plane, and have your passport, etc.

5.) Bugs. This is the tropics and the tropics do have bugs. But that said, all the resorts spray, and you see the occasional bug here and there. Some people complain about the mosquitos, but in all of my trips I have not been bitten. And up here in Maine I am usually their main course.

6.)Being a "first timer", going on one of the truck safasi's is a good choice. You are on the back of a truck and you go thru the countryside maybe seeing a sugar cane processing, and you usually stop at a "locals" house to see how the Dominican people live. It gives you a good overall fel for the country. The other great trip is the Saona Island trip. But that is a long day, but everyone loves it. You take a bus from your resort and go to bayahibe (1 1/2 hours) hop on a speedboat and/or catamaran and go to Saona with a stop along the way. Spend a few hours on Saona Island and then take a boat back. You go one way by speedboat and the other way by catamaran.

Hope this helps.

Mike & CYndie - The Maineacs

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7. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

1. While we got a little sick in Punta Cana, it was result of overindulging in alcohol and food and then lying in the sun. We know this as it occurred the last two days of gluttony and it wasn't anything that Immodium didn't cure. Not as much in Jamaica but that was because we knew not to overdo it!

2. Tap water - not safe. Bottled water is readily available at the resort.

3. I went to Iberostar Punta Cana a couple years ago and was in Negril, Jamaica last year. Can't comment on PDC. In Negril, we heard the warnings but they were unfounded, same with Punta Cana. There are probably more places to walk to in Jamaica but definitely safe to leave the resort in Punta Cana, either walking on the beach or taking day trips.

4. It's been a couple years but I don't remember it to be that bad - returning home was a longer line but really, there was no rush to get home. :P

I found the line into Negril worse!

5. Depends if you're a bug magnet. We went in November and while there wasn't a ton, if you're like me, just enough to get you bitten despite the bug repellent. That was more being outside. Never an issue in the rooms or restaurants.

6. A lot already mentioned. We personally went on the Outback Safari (enjoyed it!) and on our next trip, thinking snorkelling on Sanoa Island as I've heard excellent things about it.

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8. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

Iberostar is a great resort. Just do everything in moderation and you'll be fine.

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9. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

I vacationed at the Iberostar Bavaro a while ago and nobody in our group got sick at all.

It is a beautiful resort and wouldn't hesitate to go again.

I always put a sock over the tap to remind us not to rinse our toothbrushes with the tap water when brushing our teeth. Bottled water everywhere, and ice water served at restaurants is purified

7 trips to PC, not one bug bite

It is fairly safe to go off the resort

Trips recommended in prior postings are good

No hassles whatsoever at airport

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10. Re: Need help deciding--should we go to Puna Cana - Iberostar Ba

Thanks everyone! Looks like we should go.