Written by Eric and Beth Pulver.
We’ve just returned from the beautiful Iberostar Bavaro in the Dominican Republic! What a great vacation! It was very relaxing and a great getaway for us. Since it was our first all-inclusive, we weren’t sure what to expect, but we never went hungry or thirsty and were satisfied with almost every meal we ate. The specialty restaurants were not necessarily better than the buffet – the atmosphere was what made it special. The staff successfully works very hard to make the experience a positive one in every part of the resort.
The weather was wonderful for most of the time we were there – May and June are the “rainy season”, so we did get a few overcast days and a couple of lengthy rain showers. There was, however, enough warm, tropical breezes and sunshine to satisfy our souls. The beach at the Iberostar Bavaro was much, much nicer than the beach on either side of the property – this location must have the right combination of wind and undersea coral so as to have gentle waves and a large, soft-sand beach. Beverage stations were very close and there was nothing that we could have asked for that wasn’t available.
We hooked up with the Apple Vacation folks for a couple of excursions away from the resort. One was the “Outback Safari” which was a wonderful, full-day event that we would encourage everyone to do. We were taken to a one-room school where the students were taking their final exams, a home where cattle and chickens were raised and coconut oil was made. At another stop, we were shown how coffee and chocolate are made. At another, we were able to see cigars being hand rolled (Eric really enjoyed the free sample) and we could purchase cigars and rum at “local” prices.
There was a very helpful guide that kept us informed about the island, the history, the people, and the culture of the D.R. Our other excursion was the “Marinarium”. This was a snorkeling trip where we were promised to “swim with sharks and rays” * this promise was fulfilled, but as experienced SCUBA divers, we were disappointed with the way the sharks and rays were caged in 100 ft x 100 ft areas and the tourists were not supervised or educated on how to interact with the wildlife. The rest of the trip was a “booze cruise” which was fun. Overall we were disappointed with this excursion – mostly due to the lack of information that we were given about the aquatic life that is abundant around the island as well as the overcrowded conditions on the boat (and in the water).
Thank you Classic Travel for helping us find this vacation!