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Bahia Principe Archives - Air Canada Vacations

23 Oct

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Things to Do in Puerto Plata

October 23, 2018 | By |

Get ready for care-free floats in the pool with cocktails in hand, snorkelling off idyllic islands, and adrenaline-inducing exploration! The northern province of Puerto Plata in the Dominican Republic has become an increasingly popular vacation destination, because of its gorgeous beaches and laidback lifestyle. There are beach resorts all along the coastline where you can enjoy luxurious amenities and find the relaxation you deserve.

But don’t be fooled, there’s also a multitude of different experiences waiting for you in this lush Dominican paradise, including historic sites and immersive cultural opportunities. Consider a longer stay so you’ll have time to complete your growing list of things to do in Puerto Plata.

The balance of activities available to us was a nice surprise. As a result, we’ve compiled our recommendations into the top 5 things to do in Puerto Plata.

The Vacation Couple in Puerto Plata

Visit Paradise Island

On the border of the province, just off the coast of Punta Rucia, you’ll find one of the smallest islands in the world, Cayo Arena, aptly nicknamed Paradise Island.  You can spend the afternoon lounging, eating, drinking, swimming or snorkelling around this 2,000 square foot slice of paradise.

Visiting Cayo Arena is part of an all-day excursion available through Air Canada Vacations. Our tour included a VIP boat ride with unlimited drinks, coffee, and fresh fruit, as well as a delicious buffet lunch with lobster. Our day started with great music, friendly staff, and a floating champagne bar.

Once we arrived at the main attraction, Cayo Arena, we all found an area to ourselves. The sand was so soft that in certain places, it actually felt like walking in Jell-O! While we snorkelled, the fish were out in abundance and unabashedly swam by us in their natural habitat. No visit to Puerto Plata would be complete without a visit to Cayo Arena, an idyllic slice of paradise!

Jump Off Waterfalls

The Damajagua Waterfalls are a series of 27 cascading waterfalls in the Dominican jungle made by Mother Nature and the Damajagua River. You’ll strap on your life jacket and helmet before climbing up to the 7th waterfall to begin your adventure of climbing, sliding, or jumping off into the water below. For the faint of heart, there’s the option of taking stairs down, but we recommend taking the more exciting route and JUMPING!

You’ll only cover a quarter of the waterfalls in this 2-3 hour tour, so it won’t take up your entire day.  We recommend going early and enjoying your buffet lunch before carrying on with your day under the Dominican sunshine.  To balance our day, we visited a nearby beach before going back to our resort to indulge in all-inclusive luxuries.  This brings us to our next point, one of the most essential things to do in Puerto Plata…

Relax At an All-Inclusive Resort

The coast of Puerto Plata is filled with views of lush vegetation, rolling mountains and a gorgeous ocean with tons of marine life to explore. Staying at a beach resort ensures you’ll take advantage of all of Puerto Plata’s natural surroundings. We stayed at the Grand Bahia Principe San Juan, a short 10-minute drive from Rio San Juan.

This resort is part of the Spotlight Collection, which elevates your vacation with exclusive added values. I’m talking more à la carte dinners, in-room amenities, and 4,000 bonus Aeroplan® Miles per couple!

The Rooms

With 845 rooms across their grand property, this beautiful pastel community in the jungle feels open and airy.  Besides our beautiful balcony, the mini bar was a feature that we really loved as it had a variety of pop, juices, water, and beer that we could grab at any time.  Our room was located at the centre of the property, which made getting to the beach, pool, lobby, and most restaurants an absolute breeze.

The Food

Although Shadi and I love a sit-down meal at an à la carte restaurant (which we’ll get to soon), our true passion is buffets. And the main restaurant, La Brisa International Buffet, did not disappoint us! We were pleased morning, noon, and night at the selection of fresh foods served. Also, they had an ice cream bar, need we say more?

What to Do

With a swim-up bar and ample room to float around, the main lake-style pool is where the party’s at! We also enjoyed the quieter times at the other pools, as they gave us privacy and had direct access to the beach.

We had over 1.5 km of private beach at our fingertips, surrounded by thick, bright, and beautiful flora. You could wade in the water or take a stroll on the sand, and sunsets were truly magical here.

Take advantage of both the snorkelling and paddle boarding, as both are complimentary with your stay. Or you can go that extra mile and indulge in spa services with facilities that are adorned with Dominican touches. Who doesn’t love having a relaxing massage on the beach while listening to the soothing sounds of the sea?

Go on a City Tour

With a full-day tour of the city, you’ll be able to learn while visiting influential places. Here are our top things to do in Puerto Plata, city edition.

Mount Isabel de Torres

Chris the Redeemer statue

Riding the teleferico was an event on its own. It’s the only cable car in the Caribbean and allows for panoramic views of the city and coastline from 800m above sea level.

As we headed up Mount Isabel de Torres, the breathtaking views slowly presented themselves and the anticipation began to build. Once we reached the top, the large Christ the Redeemer statue was waiting for us with open arms.

During your time up here, we recommend wandering through the Botanical Gardens and taking in the surroundings. This colourful garden covers nearly 7 acres and features 600 varieties of tropical plants.

Brugal Rum Distillery

One of the most memorable experiences we had in Puerto Plata is touring the family-owned Brugal Rum Distillery. The Brugal family is the largest producer of traditionally made rum in the Dominican.

We toured the distillery with Jassil Brugal, a 5th generation brewmaster. Her passion for the process was apparent as she spoke to us. It was fascinating to learn about the aging process and see each step along the way. The tour ended with a rum tasting and a new appreciation for premium rums and the legacy of the distillery.

Central Park

Found in the centre of Puerto Plata city, Parque Central welcomes you with its surrounding palms and colourful pastel architecture. The main square is a beautiful place where locals relax and spend time with friends and family. You’ll find a café, and restaurant around the square, as well as bakeries, street art, souvenir shops, museums and the Atlantic Ocean just a couple of blocks away. Wandering these gorgeous streets should be at the top of your list of things to do in Puerto Plata.

Go Beach Hopping

Puerto Plata beachesWith over 100 km of beautiful beaches to choose from, it’s easy to find a spot to enjoy. We visited as many beaches as we possibly could which resulted in time at Playa Sosua, Cabarete, Playa Dorada, and the stunning beach at the Grand Bahia Principe San Juan.

Each beach seemed to have its own distinct personality, with Kite beach in Cabarete being one of the most memorable. We wandered along the shore admiring all the kiteboarders slicing through the water. One surfer stood out from the rest, and locals shared that he was a world champion kitesurfer. Watching him cut through the waves and do flips in the air is an experience we’ll never forget!

Why You Should Visit Puerto Plata

There are many more things to do in Puerto Plata, but these are our absolute favourites. It’s truly an experience like no other, with such a rich diversity of activities for you to choose from.  With so many different options for food, activities, and accommodations, you can craft the perfect combination for you.

Air Canada Vacations offers flights from Toronto to Puerto Plata weekly during the summer months and four times per week during the winter months. Plus, you’ll be receiving 1 checked bag per person plus all transfers from the airport to your hotel in your package price.

This blog post was written by The Vacation Couple, ambassadors for Air Canada Vacations. See what the Vacation Couple has been up to.

 

25 May

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Where to stay in Samaná

May 25, 2018 | By |

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts: Experience Happiness
With four resorts in dreamlike locations throughout Samaná, in the north of the Dominican Republic, Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts offers travellers a mix of modern amenities, romance, relaxation, all-inclusive fun, and special rooms for families, on great beachfront locations. Travellers looking for an intimate atmosphere and tranquil setting can enjoy one adults-only Luxury Bahia Principe hotel, with 24-hour room service and unlimited à la carte dining.

Samaná – Your Paradise
Explore charming villages, adventure into tropical forests, unwind on alcove beaches, and feel the European vibes in Samaná, one of the most beautiful regions in the Dominican Republic. The turquoise waters blend into sandy shorelines, the beaches are unspoiled, and the natural wonders will leave you awe-struck. Samaná really is the ultimate dream destination.

Grand Bahia Principe Samaná Roulette

When you book a Roulette vacation, you’ll stay at either Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa or Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo… but you won’t know which one until you land in Samaná! Both resorts are located directly on a beach and welcome families, wedding parties, and honeymooners. Perfect for travellers who enjoy the element of surprise, a Roulette vacation is a win-win for everyone! Offered exclusively with Air Canada Vacations.

Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa

Lose yourself in the most spectacular views of Samaná and disconnect in this gorgeous natural landscape. There’s never a dull moment at this resort with endless entertainment and loads of activities, including  paddle surfing, kayaking, diving lessons in the pool, and so much more! Take a complimentary shuttle  to the Bahia Principe Village for some local shopping.

Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo

Discover pure Caribbean paradise and crystalline waters at one of the island’s most spectacular beaches. Steps away from Las Terrenas, a little fishing town with leisure activities and a lively social scene, this resort has a children’s waterpark, kids and teens clubs, an exclusive chilling out area, and entertainment programs for all! Family Suites are located close to the fun-filled action and offer family-centric services and amenities (including welcome gifts for the kids)!

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

Experience tropical luxury at the only resort on Cayo Levantado Island. Now welcoming guests of all ages, this resort offers daytime activities, nightly entertainment, 24-hour room service, free WiFi, evening turndown service, VIP amenities, and a butler service option. Embark on a secluded getaway where you’ll be surrounded by the island’s natural splendour.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado

Luxury Bahia Principe Samaná

This adults-only boutique resort is perfect for those looking to go on a dream vacation filled with romance and relaxation. A couple’s intimate escape is elevated with butler service, premium amenities, and the unique  WE Wellness Experience that offers exclusive personalized wellness plans, relaxing body treatments, and more.  Let yourself unwind into a resort experience you’ll never want to end.

Book your trip to Samaná

24 Apr

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The Best of Bahia Principe in Mexico and Jamaica

April 24, 2017 | By |

Riviera Maya is home to exceptional beaches and fascinating Mayan ruins, perfect for outdoors adventures on land and in water. The area also features great shopping, delicious Mexican cuisine and a vibrant nightlife.

The resorts

Picture-perfect Runaway Bay is on Jamaica’s northern coast and is considered to be one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful spots. The area offers amazing beaches, warm, clear waters and a charming atmosphere.

The resorts

24 Apr

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The Best of Bahia Principe in the Dominican Republic

April 24, 2017 | By |

Punta Cana boasts long white-sand beaches, excellent water sports and diving, and a warm, lively atmosphere. In Samana, discover serene beaches, spectacular views and awe-inspiring natural beauty—the perfect spot for relaxing in the sun and exploring charming villages. La Romana is a golf lover’s dream, and offers easy access to cultural hotspots like Santo Domingo and Boca Chica. Eco-adventures abound in Puerto Plata, with beautiful beaches and great cycling, hiking and jungle excursions.

The resorts:

Punta Cana

Our pick:

Luxury Bahia Principe Fantasia Don Pablo Collection
This brand-new fantasy-themed resort offers fun for the whole family with a waterpark, kids’ club and teens’ club featuring fitness facilities and a spa. Guests will love the vast selection of dining options and great activities for everyone, including magical, relaxing environment for couples, parents and single travellers.

Samana

Our pick:

Luxury Bahia Principe Samana Don Pablo Collection
With complimentary WiFi, delectable gourmet cuisine, and luxurious service and amenities, the boutique-style Luxury Bahia Principe Samana Don Pablo Collection is a dream come true. What’s more, the resort’s We Wellness program offers an exclusive personalized wellness plan, with relaxing body treatments and more.

La Romana

Our pick:

Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville Don Pablo Collection
Luxurious and cosmopolitan, this beachfront resort is a paradise for guests ages 18 and over, with complimentary WiFi and the Don Pablo Collection’s incredible services, amenities and special personalized touches. What’s more, receive a 50% golf discount at the Playa Nueva Romana Golf Club facing the hotel.

Puerto Plata

Grand Bahia Principe San Juan
Get an authentic Dominican Republic experience with Grand Bahia Principe San Juan. This beachfront resort is ideal for a family getaway, with lots of land and water sports, great entertainment and complimentary WiFi in the lobby.

24 Apr

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Experience Happiness at Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts

April 24, 2017 | By |

Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts promises that special blend of modern amenities, romance and relaxation, and the locations of your dreams. Bahia Principe properties offer special family rooms and all-inclusive fun. The Luxury Don Pablo Collection features luxurious getaways, complete with 24-hour room service and unlimited à la carte dinners. Relax and enjoy from the moment you arrive.

Find your perfect luxury vacation now with Air Canada Vacations.