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Dominican Republic offers a wide variety of day trips, excursions, tours and attractions. Going all the way from, horses, waterfalls, fishing, diving, jeeps, motor vehicles and tons of other things to do and amazing places to visit.
Get out from your resort for whale watching in Samana, check out Santo Domingo city, or check out the national park on Saona Island.
Excursions: Go to the plaza and bargain for your excursions by choosing several. Listen to their offers, and then BARGAIN to see if you can improve upon it . No matter what they say they are making money off of you and the next guy probably has a better price so get to a price that you are comfortable with without exploiting them, and be satisfied.
A three hour buggy trip will cost about 55$ per buggy, and if you do this excursion, you have to be comfortable with the real scenery it is not the resort, you will see poverty and local way of life. It's sad and wonderful all at once. You will be filthy dirty in the end and you must bring goggles!
You can also take the city tour. A guide will pick you up when you request it and you will see Puerto Plata town, the rum factory, amber museum, take a cable car to the mountain top, the fort, a plantation, the Market, Central Park, the baseball stadium, local homes and all of the things like traffic and the real way of life.
You can stop at a cigar place and roll your own cigars. Buy rum in the factory and souvenirs in the market such as paintings, things made from cow horns, statues which were made in Haiti, cd's, amazing hand designed photo albums, t-shirts, beach bags with shells etc. And bargain Bargin BARGAIN! Chances are they will not let you walk out, but be fair. And be prepared to be harassed everyone wants you to buy theirs and it never ends. The locals can overwhelm you with their requests for pesos and purchases. So when you spend an entire day in the town you will have more then you can take of this behavior. It can be exhausting.
You can also visit Ocean World Dolphin Swim and as they say it is an experience of a lifetime. The charge of $145 includes a lunch (but no drink) and transportation to and from the hotel in a bus and access to all the shows and the snorkel reef, beach and pool. The sea lion show is fun - these animals are intelligent and they are great. They also have shows with birds, dolphins and sharks. And the dolphin swim is terrific. You can purchase the pictures after for about 10$ each but you can also carry your camera. The gift shop has great stuff at affordable prices.
There are also good excursions for a Safari which also goes to the waterfalls, a Catamaran ride and a visit to Paradise Island.