My family loves visiting the Dominican Republic. It’s a short flight from NYC (just under 4 hours) and the island has a little bit of everything! Our past visits we’ve always stayed beach side and taken in the sand, water and sun the gorgeous Caribbean offers. This trip our daughter was a little older, 5 now, so we got a little more adventurous and ended up having our best trip yet.
We stayed at the Nickelodeon Resort which is an all-inclusive brand new luxury resort set on the ocean, it’s pretty incredible. To read about our experience click here: Nickelodeon Resort Punta Cana. This trip we wanted to spend some time in the Dominican countryside and get a taste of the local flavor, so we picked an excursion at La Hacienda Park. After booking our package which is a full day for $99/person they arranged for their air conditioned bus to pick us up from our lobby and take us to their adventure park. We picked up some guests of neighboring resorts and we headed out on a drive about 40 minutes into the countryside of the Dominican Republic. It was very cool getting a feel for the local life as we drove by small villages, farms and gorgeous rolling mountains.
Once we arrived at La Hacienda Park we quickly checked in (most everyone spoke a little English) and were arranged into small groups of people with a leader for each group. I can’t put into words how much fun we had this day. Our group began with driving a Polaris buggy (like a ATV/Jeep) along dirt roads. It had rained hard the night before so the dirt roads were muddy, perfect for mud bogging. With my boyfriend at the wheel we were flying over mud pits and getting completely covered in mud! Half way through this adventure we stopped at the Anamuya River’s natural pools and took a cool dip (wear a swimsuit under your clothes so you can swim). Then we switched drivers and finished the awesome, filthy drive.
This was definitely my favorite activity of the day, but we followed it up with close seconds including a safari ride to a classic farm where we each milked a cow, horseback riding through the countryside, a chair lift ride above the trees then zip lining your way down through the forest with five landing platforms and at the final one you take a bungee down 20 feet to the ground. Holy adrenaline rush of a day! All of this was only $99/person.
Our five year old daughter had a blast participating in everything. Due to her size experienced staff members accompanied her on the chair lift, tandem zip lining and horseback riding. My boyfriend and I were free to experience everything without any worries. Included in this experience is a delicious buffet of authentic Dominican food which we enjoyed while listening to live music. Once all groups finished and bought photos we all rode the bus back to our resorts.
check out a video of our day:
- Bring a change of clothes.
- Wear a bathing suit under your clothes when you go on the Polaris Buggies.
- Bring insect repellent.
- Bring cash for tips.
- The photos they took turned out awesome so bring money in case you decide to purchase a dvd.
- Free lockers are provided.