Rui Mambo Pool
Bahia Maimon Bay
Bahia Maimon Bay
Shanty Town Bahia Maimon Bay
Horse Riding Bahia Maimon
Cable Car Puerto Plata
Rum Factory Puerto Plata
Palace Santo Domingo
Julie Santo Domingo
Julie Watching Some Carveing
We stayed at the ClubHotel Riu Mambo, Puerto Plata, it is
located on beautiful Bahia Maimon Bay, and the Riu Mambo offers
a breathtaking view of the ocean and the Puerto Plata Mountains.
This is an excellent hotel that has 463 rooms, We requested
a room in block 3 as it is close to the restaurants and pools,
by email before we went, and also told them we were celebrating
our 30th wedding anniversary, and when we arrived we had been
given a room in that block, we were very pleased, it had a
mini-bar, there are lots of dining options and great entertainment
which includes several sports activities, live music, Riu
theme shows. This is great as you can share with the Riu Mambo’s
two sister hotels (Bachata and the Merengue) in the Resort.
It was on a 2 week All-Inclusive basis in one of Caribbean’s
truly most romantic settings.
Our Room was a good size with two 3/4 beds pushed together.
Large wardrobe with lots of hangers, and air conditioned and
enough drawer space and a quite large safety deposit box you
get the key from the reception desk when you check in and
don’t forget to take it back at the end of your stay. The
housekeepers were very good, they came every day, each day
when we got back to our room there were different towel sculptures
that they made and had left with little flowers beautifully
arranged on them. Each day we left the maid 2 dollars, also
on a couple of occasions $10. On some days Julie also left
sweets, necklaces and hair bands and various toiletries. Our
in room bar was stocked with three bottles of rum and a bottle
of gin; we don’t like rum or gin so we asked if we could have
brandy, which replaced straight away, and always remembered.
We had welcome letter left in our room on the day we arrived
letting us know about the welcome meeting. One day we had
lovely surprise when we arrived back from a day trip, we had
been left a letter inviting us to a special romantic evening
meal for people celebrating anniversaries, which was a truly
fantastic, 5 course mouth-watering meal, at which we were
made to feel really special.
The hotel had a largish pool and a small children’s pool,
but as I said before you can also use the other two hotels
(Bachata and the Merengue) pools, it was kept extremely clean,
there were always staff sweeping around the pool and using
a nets to pull leaves out of the water that had fallen in.
the bar was right by the pool, the staff were all very friendly,
they even taught us a little Spanish, and were good fun. The
animation team were exceptional keeping everyone entertained,
dancing, playing games, volleyball, water aerobics and such.
There were also many other activities around the basketball/tennis
The beach was lovely, golden sand, there were lots of little
crabs running around it was fun just to watch them pop their
heads out of holes that they had made and then dart across
the beach, the beach and area was kept well groomed, by the
beach attendants who worked hard all day cleaning; there were
lots of sun loungers and plenty of shade. Just to the right
of the beach there was a Shanty town shops where you could
buy trinkets, cigars, clothes, have your hair braided. The
sea was absolutely beautiful turquoise green and very warm.
The animation team also did water aerobics in the sea. The
water sports are also good, free paddle boats, kayaks, wind
surfing, snorkelling gear, however the actual water sports.
You have to book if you want to do those. You can walk right
along the beach past the other 2 hotels were you could just
join in and play games if you wanted, further on up the hill
there was a little white columned folly, bandstand. beyond
that there is another small bay with water sports, e.g. boats
peddleo’s and such, and Julie’s favourite pastime horse riding,
which we did on 2 occasions, the horses were very easy to
ride and as I haven’t really rode much, was very surprised
to be able to control one, that was great fun, I even got
into cantering through the sea and then on a trek through
the woods to a little village were we met some of the locals,
and if you want you can have your photo taken with snakes,
birds and lizards, there was a small shop were you could buy
the locals arts and carvings. Between the Bachata and the
Merengue there is a street called Caribbean street, where
once a week there’s a street party, with dancing, games, and
of course plenty of free alcohol, that was good fun,.
There are a total of three restaurants, which you can book
each one once per week Mexican, Steak house and Italian restaurants,
and a buffet restaurants, The main buffet, Los Almendros had
two theme nights, Mexican and Dominican. The Mangu pool bar
had a more relaxed buffet for lunches. It had hotdogs and
hamburgers, pizza, and many other choices, every day for lunch.
The food was OK, however after a while it became somewhat
repetitious. The Mangu became the a-la-carte at night, you
can also eat at any of the hotels but you are expected to
eat at your own hotel for your evening meal. The restaurant
staff, always had smiles on their faces, and where very friendly.
They work very long hours. If you saw them at breakfast, they
were still there at dinner.
There were entertainment shows on each night the evening
shows we saw were the magic show, the African dance show,
a traditional dance show, and some other dance shows, Michael
Jackson show was good, We enjoyed the magician The audience
participation every night was always very funny. On the whole
the evening entertainments were all good and as always the
staff worked really hard.
We did 5 trips out
• Santo Domingo City Tour,
• Monster Trucks Safari,
• Whale watching in Samaná Bay, Bacardi island
• Puerto Plata rum factory and cable car. Amber museum
• Horse riding
Santo Domingo, City Tour.
This was a great cultural day out, exploring Santo Domingo
the capital city, the which is reputed to be the oldest city
in the Americas. Firstly we went to some underground caverns
that had the clearest blue water, which were very interesting
as our guide told us all about the rock formations, next back
on the coach we went to the Christopher Columbus lighthouse
which is called the Faro a Colón it is an impressive structure
in the shape of a cross which was constructed to mark the
500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the
Americas in 1492. It houses his remains in an impressive tomb
and features exhibits. Then on to the coach for a short drive
to visit the house built by Christopher Columbus, there we
saw the tapestries, paintings and got a glimpse into what
it would have been like to live in those times.
We walked through the streets to the centre of the walled
city, were we visited the Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria la
Menor, pronounced the first cathedral in the New World by
Pope Paul III in 1542. Julie wasn’t allowed in as she only
had a knee length skirt on and our rep at the hotel never
mentioned the dress code at which she wasn’t best pleased
the rep apologised when we got back, so if you go wear trousers
or take a sarong type to wrap around you ladies and cover
your shoulders also.
From there we went to the main streets to have a stroll around
at our leisure, through the atmospheric old streets of the
new world “Calle las Damas” and saw e a Dominican market bartering
is fun, we went shopping in the main street, and bought some
cigars, and had a coffee at a small bar, after that we met
our guide and went to see the presidential palace, which is
an impressive building, that concluded our day trio to Santo
Monster Truck Safari.
This was a brilliant day out, on as the name suggests 6 wheeled
all terrain trucks which were bright yellow, were we went
discovering the unspoiled Dominican country side, through
streams and rivers to small colourful villages and explored
local Dominican farms, where we met with the local people,
and watched stone carving demonstrations and learnt about
the local stone, we also watched coffee and chocolate bean
roasting and had a tasting, also visited a small local house,
where we went inside for a look around, from there we went
to restaurant to have fried chicken and rice salad and fruit.
After dinner we went horse riding which was fun although I
had no control over my horse it just did what it wanted, every
time it got a little way back in the group, it set off on
the gallop to get back to the front, I guess it thought it
was the leader of the pack, we also saw the most massivest
white bull you ever did see it was humongous, back on the
truck we went to a beautiful secluded beach were we had coconuts
and drinks, the water was absolutely crystal clear, and Julie
has a refreshing swim, as we sunbathed on the golden sand
I noticed a birds nest, so I went over, and it had 6 little
babies in, very cute we also saw a water snake, from there
on the way back to the hotel we stopped off and watched cigar
rolling at a small house/shop, were I bought some that the
man rolled whilst we were there, it was a great fun day out.
Back at the hotel, when we went in our room we had been left
a letter inviting us to an anniversary evening meal which
was fabulous and I’ve mentioned it above.
Whale watching in Samaná Bay
This trip was a very early morning 4am departure from the
hotel as it was a very long 3 hour drive, although after 2
hrs we stopped for breakfast before continuing to Samana City
port to catch the boat, after only a few minutes that we were
at sea we spotted our first whale spout on the horizon, all
the boats raced towards it, its a unique opportunity to observe
humpback whales in their natural calving and mating grounds,
I heard a humming type noise and then realized it was the
humpback whale song, then we were told about the male humpbacks
solitary courting song, we saw astonishing displays of tail
flipping, and breaching by the whales we also saw a few groups
of whales babies with their parents it was fantastic, one
even jumped right out of the water. We had a marine mammal
specialist narrating and answering questions all the time.
It is an experience of a lifetime, and should not to be missed,
and the main reason we choose to go in January. After the
whale watching we went to Cayo Levantado, which is also known
as the Bounty or Bacardi Island, its a tiny island just off
the Samana Peninsula, it has soft white and powdery sand and
are crystal clear turquoise. We had lunch on the island with
a glass of white wine served at tables set up in the open
air, an awe inspiring day trip.
Puerto Plata, Rum factory, Cable car and Amber museum visit.
First we were picked up by car and taken to the rum factory
which was an enlightening experience, and very noisy with
all the machinery and clattering bottles were at 8-30 in the
morning we were given samples of different types of rum and
had the opportunity to buy their produce, then onto the Amber
museum in Puerto Plata, it was quite interesting but we had
already been to one amber museum, so I had a walk to the local
market to take some photos, from there we went to the cable
car, we waited for about 1-30 mins in a queue to go up, as
we were half way up the cable car jolted to a halt, it was
a bit scary really as we were suspended a couple of hundred
foot in the air and swaying from side to side, one young woman
was so frightened, she was sobbing all the way to the top,
and didn’t go back down in the cable car, but went back down
by road, eventually it set off again, at the top we had fantastic
panoramic views out to the sea it was fabulous, there’s shops
at the top but we didn’t go in any of them.
This was real fun we booked down at the far beach, were we
met our guide and given a horse, this was only my second time
horse ridding, I was given a really good well behaved horse
it did everything I wanted to do I even broke into a canter
through the shallow water of the sea, Julie was well pleased
at last she got to ride a horse and didn’t have to worry about
me LOL, we went for a 4 and a half hour ride it was great
we also went to a small house and met the local people and
had a coke from a chest that was buried in the sand, after
another short ride we went to a shop that was selling handicrafts,
and also had, snakes, spiders and birds for you to have your
photo taken with if you have the inkling to do that then back
to the hotel a lovely peaceful day out and I would do it again.
Hope you enjoyed our Dominican Republic Travelogue as much
as we enjoyed being there.