Villa Playamor
Fully staffed with luxury
accomodations for 16

Tours






An exclusive service provided for our guests by our tour representative,
 Gus Vasquez, is the ability to review some of the tours that are available on the northern shore of the Dominican Republic right from the comfort of your villa. Most are the same that are offered by the packaged tour operators at Playa Dorada, which is about 6 miles away.  On some of the most popular packaged public tours, guests enjoyed the destinations, but disliked the transportation arrangements and some of the limitations of traveling with a group of up to 60 people of diverse nationalities, requiring the use of several languages.   Gus works with reliable, small operators to create private, customized tours to these destinations. This means you have the option of traveling with a small group, going directly to the destinations, and having an English-speaking guide. (Other languages also available.) In some cases, you'll be able to enjoy additional attractions and explore sights off the beaten path. You will travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned van on most of these tours.  For these private customized tours, you may pay slightly more.  This is our family’s favorite way to go!

Tour prices may change slightly, the prices listed are the most recent that we know. Please check with the tour operator before booking for the current price.






                               JEEP SAFARI TOURS

 

*******Spencer Family Favorite

Discover the natural beauty of the Dominican countryside on a jeep adventure. If you like to get away from the crowds and travel in an open jeep, this is for you. You'll pass through charming, colorful country villages in the low-lying mountains. Lots of stops are made along the way for picture taking to capture the panoramic vistas, and to visit sites of interest. Your tour will stop at a Dominican farm to see how the fruits of the rain forest are harvested. You will stop at a village of soapstone carvers where you can buy carvings from the artists and you will stop at a large artisan's mart where you can buy a variety of Dominican crafts. Your purchases will be safely kept by your driver while you enjoy the waterfall portion of the tour.

Stop in a small village for a hearty Dominican lunch with beer, rum and soda included and then continue on your way. Upon arrival at your destination, you'll take a 15-minute walk across a shallow river and wade through several streams in the forest, to arrive at a magnificent waterfall and natural pool.

Swim in the refreshing, pure water that comes directly from the mountain. Those who are more adventurous will climb to the top of the waterfall with the assistance of their guides, and enjoy a cascading ride down the natural slides.  This is awesome! Others will just enjoy the swim.

Wear a bathing suit under casual, comfortable clothing. Aquatic shoes or tennis shoes help in crossing the river and wading through streams to the waterfall. Do not use clogs or flip- flops. You can rent water shoes at the river crossing if you don't have any appropriate shoes to wear. It is required that you wear a life vest and a helmet for safety while going up the river.  If you have time for only one tour, this is the one to take!!!

PRICE:   $45  US.   Pick-up  from your villa at: 9:15 a.m., return approx. 3:45 p.m.. Leaves everyday. Children under 11 half price. You will want to take some extra money to tip your local guide at the waterfall (a couple dollars is sufficient). They will help you get up and down safely. As you travel through many of the rural villages, the local children will run out to meet your jeep calling "mente, mente" "candy, candy". If you would like to take a bag of hard candy to toss to them, it is acceptable.

NOTE; They do not take very young children, pregnant women past 7 months, or people with serious back problems. Gus and the tour operators issue strong warnings that the Jeep safari is a very vigorous tour. It is fun, but better suited to the healthy. Do not select this tour if you have any health problems.

  

                             CATAMARAN TOUR

"What a fantastic day!"

There is an awesome "Cat" that you board at Playa Dorada. You'll sail to Sosua on a 53 ft. Catamaran that has a bar, shaded lounge, and large sun deck. Holds 55 to 60 people. A light lunch, beer, refreshments and snorkeling equipment are included. Enjoy the water sports and see the exotic fish found in Sosua.

PRICE:   $78 US.   Pick-up is at Cofresi Cove mini-market in Cofresi at 8:00 a.m. for a sailing departure at 8:30 a.m. sharp from Playa Dorada. Returns around 4:30 p.m.. Sails Monday, Thursday, and Saturday only. Children under 12 are half price and babies are free. Nice outing for families.  (100% penalty if cancellations are not made within 24 hours of departure.)

 

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WHITE WATER RAFTING

An exciting adventure, one of our most popular tours! The white water rapids are of moderate difficulty (mostly Class III, with some Class IV). The trip is well organized with high standards of safety. All equipment, including body suits, socks, shoes, life vests and helmets are included. The scenery alone is worth the trip.

Hint: Good idea to wear a bathing suit under your clothes, and bring a dry change of clothes for the trip home. You may get dunked in the river!

 

You will be taken via air-conditioned vehicle to Jarabacoa, the mountainous interior of the country, famous for Pico Duarte, which at nearly 10,000 feet is the highest mountain in the Caribbean. The area is known as the "Dominican Alps", for its spectacular mountain range, towering pine trees nestled amongst the equally towering palm trees. It is a land of unusual and unspoiled beauty.

AVAILABLE EITHER WITH LARGE PACKAGED TOUR OPERATOR OR WITH YOUR OWN SMALL PRIVATE TOUR.

Private tour: $100 US per person with a minimum of 4 people. Air-conditioned van picks you up at Cofresi Cove mini-market at 8 a.m. and returns about 7 p.m.  Available any day. Includes breakfast and lunch at mountain ranch.

Packaged public tour: $85 per person. Huge air conditioned bus picks you up at Columbus Plaza, near entrance of Cofresi, at 8:00 a.m. and returns as late as 8:30 to 9:00 p.m.  This bus stops at 15 to 20 hotels along its route to pick up and drop off people so that you will spend about 2 hours longer traveling at the end of the day. The drop off leaves you nearly 1/2 mile from your villa at night. Lunch is included. Check the days that are available and additional details with Gus.



               JARABACOA MOUNTAIN TOUR

The highlight of this trip is a tour of the beautiful mountainous interior of the country, a region of abundant pine forests, mountain streams, where rice paddies and orange groves make way for vast farms of strawberries, snow peas and many other locally grown fruits and vegetables.

Your trip begins with a visit to a first-class cigar factory in Santiago where you will enjoy refreshments and see how the world- renowned Dominican cigars are made. You will continue to the mountainous region of Jarabacoa where you will travel through typical small, colorful, Dominican communities. You'll enjoy the views, take lots of pictures, and perhaps decide to swim in the water of a crystal-clear waterfall you will visit.

On the way back, you will visit a large ceramic factory where you will see the famous Dominican dolls and other local pottery being made. The large and very colorful gift shop here has reasonably priced local hand made items such as hammocks, outdoor ceramic lights, and many wonderful art and trinkets to bring back.

 

Customized, private tour: $50 US per person, with minimum of 4 people. Available every day. Comfortable air conditioned van picks you up at Cofresi Cove mini market at 8:00 a.m. and returns between 3:00 and 4:00 p.m.  Private tour includes more sights, and you will have more flexibility about making special stops to takes photos or explore. You'll go to the top of a mountain on the north coast where you will see more spectacular vistas. You will have your choice of refreshments and very modestly priced, delicious local food at your expense.

Packaged Public tour: $40 US per person. Trip goes only on Tuesday and Friday.

Large air-conditioned bus picks up at Columbus Plaza before 8:00 a.m. and drops off
between
7:00 and 8:00 p.m.  On the return, this bus (which holds up to 60 people) stops at
15 to 20 hotels along the north coast and Cofresi is the last drop off. Lunch is included in
tour price.             

 


             GRI GRI LAGOON AND PLAYA GRANDE TOUR

The drive to Rio San Juan, about 1 1/2 hours from Cofresi, is through scenic farmland and sugar cane fields, coconut groves, rice paddies and banana fields. Within the city of Rio San Juan is a Mangrove lagoon called Gri Gri. There you will ride in a wide outboard motor boat and be taken through the lagoon. You will see large eerie trees with huge roots, rare birds, and unusual tropical vegetation but no crocodiles or snakes.

Once the boat reaches the ocean, it heads for a very small cave, where the water is about 45 feet deep and a spectacular color. Inside the cave you will see coral reefs, brilliantly colored tropical fish and other fascinating forms of marine life. The boat then returns to Rio San Juan where you will be taken to Playa Grande, where you'll be able to swim on one of the prettiest beaches in the Caribbean. (We love it)

Private, customized tour with additional sights; $50 US per person. Goes any day. Picks up at Cofresi Cove mini market at 8:00 a.m. and returns around 6:00 p.m.  Minimum of 4 people required. Lunch extra.

Extra features: After the visit to the ocean cave, your van takes you to a semi private, unspoiled and peaceful beach on a lovely cove fringed with palm and shade trees. You can purchase very low priced, delicious fresh cooked fish and other foods and icy drinks from local Dominicans and enjoy a picnic on the beach. Swim and snorkel in the aquamarine, crystal clear waters, or lounge on beach chairs that can be rented.

After this peaceful respite, your driver will take you to visit Playa Grande, one of the Caribbean's most beautiful beaches. Here you'll enjoy surfing, and the spectacular scenery before your driver takes you directly back to Cofresi, with stops only when, and for as long as, you request.

Packaged public tour: $35 US per person. Large air conditioned bus picks you up at Columbus Plaza near Cofresi entrance, at 8:00 a.m., and drops off after 7:00 p.m.  On the return the bus drops off the 60 passengers at 15-25 hotels along the north coast, with Cofresi the last stop. Price includes lunch. Goes on Tuesday and Sunday.




 

OCEAN WORLD MARINE PARK

 

******* Our whole family, from 15 months to 81 years old, had a blast, don’t miss this!!!! The Dolphin Swim and the Sea Lion Encounter were both outstanding!

Visit the Caribbean's largest and newest Marine aquatic park located right in Playa Cofresi. Enjoy the memorable experience of encounters with or swimming with dolphins and sea lions. Or just sit back and watch the incredible performances of these mammals.

Take time out for refreshments or a leisurely lunch in a restaurant perched on coral reefs overlooking the ocean. Browse through shops filled with colorful, unique arts, crafts and clothing to bring back as souvenirs or for special gifts.  Harletta loved the shops!

Reservations are essential for participations in Swims or Encounters. Observers pay an admission fee and are permitted only, at this time, when accompanying a participating guest. Please check their website for the current prices.  Prices include 12% tax.

Dolphin swim: Adults and ages 13-17, $145 US; Children 6-12, $120 US; Children under 6 not allowed.

Dolphin Encounter: Adults and ages 13-17, $120 US; Ages 4-12, $80 US; ages 1-3 free, with paying parent in same session.

Sea Lion Encounter: Adults and ages 10-17, $85 US; Ages 1-9 not allowed.

Admission only: Ages 13 and up, $55 US; ages 4-12, $40;  ages 1-3, free with paying adult.

Includes:          Round trip bus transfers

                        Snorkeling in Tropical Reef Aquarium
                               (equipment included)

                        Swimming in Tiger Grotto
                                (separated from tigers by glass)

                        Sea Lion Shows (twice per day)

                        Rainforest and Bird Exhibits

                        Observation of all Dolphin and Sea Lion
                                interactive programs

                        Use of Dolphin Beach (beach chairs included)

 

For admission a verbal request from your tour representative, Gus, will hold a reservation.  Send all requests for tickets to us and we will make sure that Gus is aware of your plans.

General information; Ocean World operates rain or shine and will not refund due to weather conditions unless Ocean World cancels the tour. In order for guests to receive a refund, cancellations need a minimum of 24 hours notice.

Due to limited spaces, if cancellation is made less than 24 hours notice or guest is a no-show, there will be a full 100% penalty (exceptions will be made for medical emergencies with a doctor's note).  Guests must arrive at the park no later than 30 minutes prior to the scheduled program.

Participants should come with swim wear underneath their clothes, change of clothes with towel for after program activity, sun block and extra money or credit cards for photos/videos/gifts.  Also recommend hat and sunglasses.

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                             Isabel de Torres

Pick a clear day when there are no clouds visible on the mountain top behind the villa. This is the day to visit Isabel de Torres, the 779 meter high mountain overlooking Puerto Plata and the Amber Coast.  The Teleferico (cable car) that makes runs up and down the mountain cost $8 round trip. The view from the top is unbelievable! There is a manicured park at the top. Not a true botanical garden, but still very beautiful. There is also the DR's beautiful version of the famous statue "Christ the Redeemer" on the mountain top. The restaurant and gift shops are somewhat pricey but this is definitely worth the ride to see the stunning vistas of the coast stretched out before you. This can be added to a tour around Puerto Plata to see the fort, the square and visit the Amber Museum. The cost will vary depending on what you would like to see. You can also just take a taxi to the Teleferico, about 5 minutes drive, and hire one of the guides that you will find at the cable car station.

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Amber Museum, Factory and Gallery

Nestled in downtown Puerto Plata, this is the place to take the ladies to buy hand crafted jewelry made of Dominican amber and larimar. There are actually two "amber museums", make sure that you go to the one that is also the factory and gallery (it is the newer one). For 50 cents US, you will go through a display area that shows you how amber is formed, mined then processed. You will see museum displays of bugs and critters that have been preserved in amber for millions of years (remember Jurassic Park?). You will also see a small Dominican cigar factory, hand rolling cigars. The end of the short tour dumps you into the large jewelry store that sells very high quality amber, gold, silver and larimar jewelry. The prices are posted but are somewhat negotiable, especially if you buy more than one piece( we usually get an extra 15 - 20% knocked off). The prices will run from several dollars to several thousand dollars. This is the place to do some damage to your credit card which is happily accepted.

There are several other gift shops on the street where this museum is located for other purchases. All the shops will sell jewelry but we have been told that amber and larimar are easily faked with plastic, so we buy ours at the museum.

This can be reached by taxi without a tour or added to a tour around Puerto Plata.

(note: When we were last there, we did not find what we were looking for in the form of a blue amber pendant. Our sales lady took us into the back (factory) where a craftsman showed us a number of raw pieces of amber. We picked one and he crafted it into a stunning piece of jewelry while we waited. What a special membrance of the trip!)

For cigar lovers, there is a hand-rolled cigar factory associated with the Gallery where you can watch the production, sample, and if you desire, buy premium cigars which most cigar fanatics rate as being equal to or better than Cuban.

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TWO-HOUR HORSEBACK RIDE

Enjoy sunrise or sunset horseback tours of the beautiful tropical countryside around Playa Cofresi and the peaceful surrounding hills.

Price: $30 US per person for a 2-hour ride every day. Wear long pants, socks, tennis shoes or boots and take sun tan lotion or wear a hat. This tour is available for beginners and advanced riders. A well-trained staff rides with you.

You may choose an all-day Mountain Tour which leaves at 9:00 A.M. and returns at 3:00 P.M.  You will be treated to breath-taking views, a full lunch, and a soda as part of the package.

Price: $65 US per person for the all-day tour






FISHING CHARTER

Gus has found a boat captain who fishes for a living. Therefore, you have better chances of catching fish with someone who knows the best spots and whose livelihood depends upon this knowledge. Sail and trawl in aquamarine Caribbean waters looking for blue marlin, broadbill, swordfish, Allison tuna, barracuda and more fish.

Price: $60 US per person. $375 US to charter entire boat  of up to 7 guests.

Drinks and fruit included. Pick up at Cofresi Cove mini market. Morning departure is at 7:45 a.m., return around 1:00 p.m.. Afternoon departure at 12:45 p.m., return around 6 p.m. Goes any day.






TRIP TO SAMANA PENINSULA

A trip to an unspoiled paradise!  Your air-conditioned bus follows the coastal highway along the north coast beaches, and rice fields, through country villages, and into the endless coconut palm forests in Samana.   Once you arrive at the fisherman's dock in the center of Samana, a motor launch takes you to the sland of Cayo Lavantado.

Since this island is in a protected bay, the beaches are beautiful and the clear blue water is calm. Here you can snorkel, swim or just relax. It is small enough to explore on winding paths through thick, lush forests and hidden beaches. You can purchase delicious locally cooked food and refreshing drinks to enjoy at picnic tables at one of the beaches.

This trip is especially interesting in February and March when the New England whales come here to spawn and you are apt to see them on your boat ride to the island.

Price: $45 US per person. Warning: this is a long trip. The bus picks up at Columbus Plaza at 5:30 a.m. and returns late at night   The return time depends upon how many stops the bus has to make to drop off people at their hotels. Cofresi is the last stop. Trip goes on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

 

TRIP TO SANTO DOMINGO, THE CAPITAL CITY

This is a wonderful journey to the southwestern part of the country to the Capital, which is the oldest European city in the New World. Once there, you will visit the Colonial sector, see "Calle Las Damas", the oldest street in Santo Domingo, "Fort Ozama", and "Casa de Colon", the house where Diego Columbus, son of Christopher, once lived.

You will visit the Cathedral, the oldest church in the western hemisphere, and the new, controversial lighthouse; a memorial to Columbus that was constructed for the City's 500-year anniversary celebration. You will also travel to a cave known as "Los Tres Ojos". a geological phenomenon of stalagmites and stalactites.

Price: $55 US per person.  Large air conditioned bus picks you up at Columbus Plaza near Cofresi entrance, at 6:40 a.m. and returns late at night.  This is a long trip but worth it for history buffs.  The drive through the interior of the country is also worth it. Goes Thursday only.  Lunch is included.  You may want to discuss the possibility of a private tour with Gus.




VIP SNORKELING AT PUNTA RUSIA

Paradise Island at the National Park of Montecrisiti is known for having the most beautiful coral reefs in the whole Caribbean. You will drive along the scenic coast to Punta Rusia where you will take an 18 foot motorized boat through a mangrove forest to a small island where you are able to do some of the best snorkeling in the whole Caribbean. On the way home you will see sugar cane, rice paddies, tobacco and other crops of interest.

Price: $75 US perperson.  Goes every day. The bus will leave from the Cofreso Cove Mini-Market at 8:15 a.m. and return about 5:30 p.m. This VIP tour includes a full lunch, drinks, the boat ride and all snorkeling equipment.





SCUBA DIVING

"The reefs were almost untouched!"  Eric Spencer, Master Diver

 The north coast of the DR is noted for some of the best diving locations, especially for viewing wide varieties of tropical fish, some shipwrecks and caves.  Gus can give you the best inside information about which tours are the most popular, how they rate, what they cost and then he will book the tour of your choice.  He is also a representative for First Class Divers, an organization located right here in Cofresi that offers a wide variety of tours. Below are a couple of examples:

Freighter Wrecks off Monte Christe:  Six years ago, two freighters from the Bahamas went down at the Bay of Manzanilla in 60-110 feet of water.  The surrounding coral banks are full of soft coral and colorful fish.  You swim around the wrecks and see a green moray eel named “Wilfred” and schools of soldier fish. This is a 2-hour ride to Monte Christe. You leave from Hacienda Resorts promptly at 8 a.m. and return to Playa Cofresi around 6 p.m. Minimum of 4 people needed. Lunch and equipment included.   Price: $150/person

Diving in caves in Cabrera:  The fresh water cave in Cabrera will be one of the highlights of diving in the DR.  Cabrera is about 2 ½ hours by car from Playa Cofresi.  It is a dive site that can be visited by inexperienced divers without risk.  The tunnels have a radius of 30 feet and are approximately 130 feet in length so one can quickly reach the surface at any time during the dive.  The maximum depth is 50 feet.  The dive lasts 45 minutes.  In addition to freshwater fish, you will see thousands of shrimp.  Lunch and equipment are included.  Minimum of 4 people are needed.  Price:  $90/person.

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SCUBA DIVING PADI CERTIFICATION

If you've wanted to try diving, here's your chance to learn right here in Playa Cofresi in First Class Divers school for PADI CERTIFICATION IN SCUBA DIVING. This 3-day course provides video sessions, lessons in the pool, and training in the open water. They provide the highest safety and quality education. You'll enjoy your first diving experience in a relaxed atmosphere. All equipment and transportation is included.

Course price: $375 per person

Note: People who are interested in becoming diving instructors can do training right in Cofresi. Ask Gus for details.

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OTHER TOURS

Nothing gives us greater pleasure than helping guests become better acquainted with this beautiful country, its people and its culture. Gus will be available to help you plan a custom tour to cover sights of particular interest to you and your group, at your convenience. Please feel welcome to ask questions and learn what can be arranged to suit your interest, your budget and your schedule.

Updated:  12/10

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