2 days in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
Day 1 :
> Took Jet Blue from SJC 10PM -> JFK 630AM next day
Day 2 :
> 4 hours layover in JFK, Explored possibilities of leaving airport to Manhattan, but dropped the idea based on the comments from fellow TA. Spent time walking the airport, getting breakfast, charging phones, etc. If anyone has a better plan to spend the 4 hours around JFK, it would be interesting.
> 11AM from JFK -> 245PM to Santo Domingo. Immigration at SDQ took about an hour and half. Starting sometime in April, the 10$ tourist card fee is included in the airfare. So didnt have to pay at the immigration desk.
> Got out of the Immigration and Customs, and found 3 ATM machines on the right side. Used my ATM card and withdrew some DOP (sounds funny - how much DOP can I get for 100 US$ ... lol)
> Walked into the Claro mobile store next to the ATMs and gave them the passport to buy a SIM card. I was charged $20 for a SIM card, 1GM of data and 200 DOP worth talk time (used only to make 1 call to the airlines). I had a spare GSM phone which used with AT&T and it worked fine. I had installed Uber on that phone before I started.
> Went up one floor, to departures, and requested a ride to the hotel which was on 'Av. George Washington'. Uber car came in 4 mins. It took about 45 minutes on a Saturday afternoon to get from airport to the hotel. Tipped the driver US$3 and he seemed happy.
> I used Uber for all my rides around the town and I should say it did work out very well. Twice in the 2 days, Uber driver accepted and did not show up for 15 mins, and I was charged DOP 70 for cancelling the ride. I requested again and a different driver showed up in less than 4 minutes. These were the only two instances with Uber, so didnt bother much.
Day 3 :
> Did a walking tour (self directed using google maps) from
-> El Altar de la Patria, or The Altar of the Homeland & Parque Independencia
-> Walked along Calle El Conde - interesting stores :-)
-> Columbus Park - find some shade and sit down... a good pass time
-> Cathedral of Santa María la Menor
-> Fortaleza Ozama - walk all the way up
-> Kah Kow Experience (Did not go to the tour, just ate a lot of chocolate... a bit expensive though)
> From there, took Uber to Faro O Colon - very impressed with the stucture and the exibits. There werent many people and I feel DR tourism could do more to attract people to this place.
> Came back to Columbus park and had lunch with some chilled beer, at a outdoor restaurant watching people... rest of the day.... good experience
Day 3 :
> Took the Coach from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana - DOP 400... 200+ KM ... nice bus... expressway was good with some good views.
> Got down at Friusa and took a cab to Punta Cana ... that was not a pleasant experience... Missed Uber a lot. Spent DOP 2,000 for 18 KM by taxi