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“Punta Cana Mikes Dominican Adventure”

Punta Cana Mike's Private Dominican Adventure
Ranked #5 of 238 Tours in Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Owner description: Let me personally introduce you to the ways of the local culture that exists here on the east end of the island. From the barrios, cities and countryside, you will experience firsthand in an informal and personal manner, what makes the region what it is. Small group size ensures that you will not just be another number on the tour. Encounters are with real people going about their lives as they do every day. All tours are conducted in comfortable air conditioned vehicles and narrated in native English.I look forward to showing you the Dominican Republic I have come to know!
Useful Information: Activities for young children, Activities for older children, Food available for purchase, Bathroom facilities
Reviewed 10 April 2012

The Punta Cana Mike tour was exactly what we wanted and was a GREAT day. David was our guide and we really enjoyed his stories and information. We were picked up at our resort at 8:30am and our first stop was the Dominican school Centro Educarivo Shalom- Dios De Paz – Hoyo de Friusa, Bavaro DR that has 200 children attending with a split session each day. We did take school supplies and sweets. When we arrived the children that were waiting for the afternoon classes to start surrounded our van and had open arms to greet us to the school. I did pass out the candy but gave all the school supplies to the founder Magdalena, who was so grateful for all the donations she receives. Then we went to Mund Autentico- Don Lucas where we got to watch them make the Don Lucas cigars, then went into the show room where we could buy cigars. Also there in the store I bought some beautiful Larimar jewelry that was stunning, tee shirts and tote bags. Our next stop was the Car Wash where they not only wash cars they have the coldest beers (Thanks David) and a good game of Domino s, what a blast!!!! From there we went to Higuley and went shopping at their Walmart where we bought rum, coffee, vanilla, domino's, cookies, sun tan lotion, tee shirts and a pair of sandals, the prices were great. Then a stop at the Haitians store to buy wood carvings, almost everything was $10 and such beautiful work. Next we stopped at the Open Farm Market where the villagers brought their produce to sale; it was a site to see. I did buy fresh cinnamon & coco beans. Our last stop was at Macao Beach one of David’s favorite places to hang out on Sunday’s, it was beautiful. We arrived back at our resort around 2:30pm, which I paid David at that time. This was a GREAT tour and I would encourage everyone to do it, save all your shopping for this tour and bring an extra suitcase to get it all home. Thanks David for an awesome day trip, we will never forget it!!!!

2  Thank NorthWhiteGreat1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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837 - 841 of 1,032 reviews

Reviewed 9 April 2012

We went on the whole day tour with David on April 2nd and what a day it was. David knows his stuff and it shows that he enjoys his job. We did stop at the school but it was close due to Holy week, but some children came to see us just the same. While there, PC Mike arrived and it was nice seeing him again. The whole ride is so comfortable and you get to see so much. We are planning on going back to Punta Cana next year and will do the same tour again. Again thanks so much David and see you next year.

2  Thank pathfinder2001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 7 April 2012

This excursion was to have been the highlight of my trip. It was also the day of my birthday and had been looking forward to it for quite a while. I had done shopping for the schoolchildren as I had read many reviews prior to arriving in Punta Cana and knew that school supplies would be appreciated. David arrived at our resort about 15 minutes after the scheduled time. No real complaint there as the e-mail had stated to allow up to 30 minutes past scheduled pick-up time in case of traffic. According to the couple who had been picked up prior to us, there was a problem with the vehicle and they had to get a different one before picking us up. Our next stop was to pick up a family of three and then we were going to be on our way. When leaving the resort as with all the others you must wait for the "bar" to be raised at the security gate. Well before you know it, we had a few men at the drivers window, speaking to him and David. The conversation turned into yelling, our vehicle was blocked at the gate by others, and we were told to get out of the van. At that time we were told that the tour was over. Meanwhile since we don't understand much Spanish at all and David not explaining anything, it was an uncomfortable situation to be in. We were made to get into another vehicle that was certainly not large enough for the size of our group. It turns out that there is some sort of sanction/cartel/monopoly, etc... on the taxi cabs and things like this happen all the time. David did not want to continue the tour with "cab" that we had to get into as he didn't know the driver or his reputation. So we turned around to drop of the family of three and then we were dropped off. David said we should contact Mike to re-schedule the tour. I hope the other couple made it back to their resort alright. Re-scheduling the tour was not an option as this was 48 hrs before our departure from Punta Cana, along with the fact that the tour is usually booked weeks in advance. I found the whole experience to be unprofessional. I do think that David was very pleasant up until the point where the problem started and was looking forward to spending the day with him. If you are running a business and know that these problems exist in your community/city and could happen, one would think that having alternate plans, vehicles that you own, permission from hotels already in place to enter/exit property would be a good idea. Personally I think it would be better for business and reputations. It certainly doesn't say much for any of the parties involved. Again, very sad that I was not able to experience the tour and see part of the country outside of the resort. Especially when I believe it could have been avoided. I did not hear from Mike and doubt I will at this point.

11  Thank Nadasguys
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
vienemo, Owner at Punta Cana Mike's Private Dominican Adventure, responded to this reviewResponded 8 April 2012

Thank you for your review. As you know, I have in advance of this review, sent you an email with a brief explanation of what had occurred. I apologize for this "unique" occurrence.

Regards,
Mike

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2012

I was so looking forward to this tour and as our date was the second last day of our trip, we did not book any other excursions thinking this was all we needed. David arrived at our hotel just a few minutes late, but was very apologetic, and we really didn't expect him to arrive on the dot! He said he was having trouble with the cab, but he hoped the day would improve. Well 30 seconds after we left, my husband realized he'd left his sunglasses in the hotel lobby. We turned around, and no staff admitted to my husband that they saw them, but David was able to find them with the bell hop. Off we went to change cabs. David was giving us some valuable insight into the country and I couldn't wait to hear more. We picked up the next couple and were off to pick up the last one. After we picked up the family of 3 we headed out of the hotel complex only to be blocked in by cabs. There was some yelling and David was calm and just said there was some confusion. More talking and then he told us to get out of the cab, the tour was over. We were all very confused, but we crammed into a new cab to return the last family to their resort. David explained that apparently there was a taxi cartel and the cab they were using was not allowed to pick up guests from this hotel. He said if we tried to continue on, the cabs would follow us, so that was the end of it. David was good and explained that he was more concerned about our safety and returned us all to our hotels. Of course everyone was disappointed. In the hour we were with David, I learned quite a bit, so it's too bad we didn't learn more. He said we'd probably hear from Mike because he'd be concerned about us. We didn't though, but I know he's very busy and it was Holy Week. Unfortunately, it was too late for us to book anything else, so we didn't get to see much of the country beyond our hotel. I guess another reason to go back. I was disappointed that this cab cartel would represent their country in this manner to tourists who just wanted to see their country and give back. It's unfortunate as well that neither Mike nor David knew that our cab wouldn't be allowed into this hotel chain.

5  Thank taxgurl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 April 2012

I won't go into all the details as plenty of other reviewers have done a good job describing the excursion. Mike does a great job & it was one of the two best excursions I've been on. Highlights for us, a 1512 church, the carwash, the school, the bario & the market.

Glad we went!

2  Thank intrepid411
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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