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Punta Cana Travel Story

We stayed at the Punta Cana Occidental resort - beautiful place, great pool, wonderful staff and comfortable rooms - we went in August and despite what you may think, it's the nicest weather then! Went snorkeling with the biggest sharks - nurse sharks - and manta rays, which were also bigger than any I'd seen before. I didn't do too well with snorkeling - water kept going up my nose. We went to Chavon, a "recreation" of old Dominica, laid out by a couple of guys from Hollywood - and it looks like it. We went to Manati Park, which we had been to before - maybe 5 or 6 years ago. I had my picture taken with a BIG snake, a cockatoo who whistled at me and a parrot. We also stopped at a cigar museum and I got a free hand-rolled cigar. The food was terrific - lots of different choices. I ate a lot of avocados! Had mashed bananas the morning we left - amazingly, they taste like potatoes! I'm going to have to find the recipe for it!

I stayed in the Occidental Resort Flamenco hotel in Punta Cana. All Inclusive! That means free food and drinks all the time. The Flamenco was a great hotel staffed by the kindest people I've ever met in my life. It was very much a family type of hotel so I don't recommend it to twenty-something groups looking to be rowdy. The pool was okay, if you're into that. I have a pool in my backyard- in Jersey, and I didn't fly out of the country to swallow chorine water. I went for the beach and I was not the least bit disappointed. It was gorgeous. White sand and clear blue water just like in the movies depicting paradise. I miss it. I went snorkeling which was not part of the "all inclusive" package so I had to pay about 20 American dollars. The food can be considered good if you are a gringo. I'm not so I wasn't impressed, but I still considered it above decent. The resort has an after hours club called "Club Mangu" which was a lot of fun and super duper air conditioned. I drove to Punta Cana with my family from Santo Domingo. When we finally arrived in Punta Cana it took us nearly an hour to find the Flamenco because it is the furthest hotel from town. I guess some tourist are into that. We weren't. My brother-in-law is British and really wanted to check out the city, but we were only at the hotel for the weekend and couldn't bring ourselves to make the long trek into town. By the way, the city is very tourist friendly and we saw tons of people sporting resort wristbands as we drove through en route to the Flamenco. I came for the beach and had a blast! I highly recommend to families with small children because the hotel definitely has a kid friendly vibe to it.

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