Thanks for the great advice on the money!! That makes great sense!! I'll keep that in mind. That's invaluable advice! Thank you so much!
I agree that I prefer to stick to the tourist areas! I'm not the type to be venturing off. It's just that now I am not sure if everyone going is going to be at my resort so I'm fearful that I won't be able to arrange anything resonable for us to all do together. Initially, the plan was to have everyone at the same resort so we could do all the free (inclusive) stuff together but if everyone is at different places i don't know what I'll be able to plan or do. I'm so stressed about it.
Originally Posted by richarsd
You can use US dollars or Dominican Pesos...you can usually convert your money at resort lobbies. Although US money is widely accepted, they prefer their own pesos for tips simply because they're not as traceable...meaning if you tip someone in US money, it's kinda obvious they got it through tips because only tourists use it. Most of the resorts will cut into the servers and maids tips and take a large percentage of it. If you give them pesos, they can just claim it as their own money and pocket it all (which is the intention is it not when you give someone a tip?). Also, they have to convert US dollars at the bank and the bank also takes a cut so again they lose even more. So if you want to tip in US money that's ok, just keep in mind that when you give them $1, they might get 25 cents. If you're shopping or whatnot, then using either currency doesn't make much difference.
As for things to do, there's tons!! I've been to Punta Cana twice and love it! The resorts always have lots going on if you're not the type to just spent 7 days on the beach. There's lots of companies that offer excursions to Saona Island on a catamaran, the jeep safari with bavaro Runners, historic tours of Santo Domingo, etc. Not sure what vacation carrier you've booked with (ex: Apple vacations, etc.) but they always have big info binders in the resort lobbies that list all of the extra excursions you can do or you can just arrnage it yourself...someone at the front desk could probably help. There's also some restaurants and shopping areas just beyond the resort compund...don't be too worried about going to explore them in the daytime as long as you stick to the main street. Higuey is the nearest town but it's like a 30 minute bus ride away from most resorts...I've never been there and have heard it's a bit sketchy so I think it's better to stick to the tourist areas.