Exploring the Dominican Republic

Exploring the Dominican Republic

Sandwiched between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean, the Dominican Republic accounts for the eastern two-thirds of the Island of Hispaniola and is a neighbor to Haiti. Today, according to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the Dominican Republic is the most visited Caribbean destination with good reasons why. This beautiful Caribbean country offers breathtaking landscapes, numerous unique flora and fauna, and adventure for all types of travelers.

The country is quite unique with its variety of landscapes worth exploring. In addition to the all-inclusive resorts along the beautiful beaches of Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic proudly boasts 29 national parks, five mountain ranges, numerous rivers, desert-like dunes, lagoons, and cenotes. And there is no shortage of activities from which to choose.

Here are six activities to consider for your next vacation to the Dominican Republic.

Whale Watching – From January to March, near the area of Samana, you can take a boat excursion to watch for migrating humpback whales. Round out your trip to the Marine Mammal Sanctuary area with a visit to the Museo de las Ballenas located in Santa Barbara de Samana to learn more about the whales and their migration patterns.

Golf – With over 25 beautiful courses from which to choose, golf is a top activity of choice for visitors. Try one of the Pete Dye courses like the top-ranked Teeth of the Dog in La Romana with almost half of its holes along the coral formations of the coast of the Caribbean Sea. Maybe you want to try to golf your way through mangroves at the Bavaro Resort Lake Course. The Corales Golf Club gained popularity after it was the first course in the Dominican Republic to host a PGA tour event.

Scuba Diving – Divers will enjoy a vacation in the summer months between June and September with waters that are calm and good visibility. And they will also enjoy mild temperatures that average between 75º and 84º Fahrenheit. Enjoy colorful marine life, explore shipwrecks, and even try wall dives along coral reefs near Saona and Catalina islands.

Water Sports – For those that like sports above the water, there are a variety of options. You can try your hand at windsurfing or kitesurfing with steady winds to help as you learn the techniques. Many resorts will also offer paddleboarding, kayaks or banana boats.

Damajagua Falls – For the nature lover, consider an adventure to one of the many waterfalls in Puerto Plata like Damajagua Falls otherwise known as the 27 waterfalls. Discovered in the 1990s, the area has grown to be a fun off-the-beaten-path experience. Spend the day jumping and sliding off the falls and relaxing in the natural pools.

Santo Domingo – Explore the history of the capital city through its beautiful architecture and see where the “new world” be- gan with its discovery by Christopher Columbus. See why it is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as you visit the first customs house, cathedrals and museums or just wander down the first paved roads. It is a must-see for even the most discerning traveler.

Tell us! Are you an all-inclusive goer who sticks to the beach, pools, and water activities? Or would you venture to some of these unique off-property sites? No matter the type of travel experience you’re looking for, we can help build a trip perfect for you!

Save Up to $700 on a 2-Night Stay When Combined with Select Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Voyages

Save Up to $700 on a 2-Night Stay When Combined with Select Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser Voyages

You can save up to $700 on a 2-night stay at a select Disney Resort hotel when you book a select Star Wars: Galactic Starcruiser voyage from February 5 through October 2, 2023 – valid for Resort hotel stays immediately before or after your voyage.

With this special offer, you can extend your adventure—and pair the magic of a Disney Resort hotel stay with a legendary experience that’s truly out of this galaxy.

Magicband+ Bounty Hunter Game – Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios

Magicband+ Bounty Hunter Game – Galaxy’s Edge in Hollywood Studios

One of the BIGGEST questions I receive from clients wanting to take their family to Walt Disney World is, “Are my teens too old for Disney?” As a Mom of two teenage boys myself, I would say, “No, but the trip isn’t going to look like it did when they were little. It can be SO much more fun! They enjoy roller coasters and my oldest LOVES Animal Kingdom” 

The Rogers family, who have a teenage son and a pre-teen son, just returned home from an 8-day Walt Disney World vacation. They had a great vacation and their sons had so much fun playing the new Bounty Hunter game in Hollywood Studios. 

Walt Disney World’s new Magicband+ has the functionality of the previous version Magicband (unlock your resort room door, park tickets, make purchases, etc), as well as it lights up during nighttime firework shows and makes the 50th Anniversary statues talk. But, the BEST feature of the new bands is the Bounty Hunter game in Hollywood Studios’ Galaxy’s Edge. Max, The Rogers’ 14 year old son, sent me the following game description and review. 

This is where the bounty hunter wall is located. You start the experience at the screen on the left by scanning your Magicband+. This is where you go to get each new bounty. The large door on the right is where you turn in your bounty (scan your Magicband+) and receive your credits

Getting started/instructions

Example of bounty and how many credits it’s worth

Returning to the door to turn in your bounty

Face comes up and talks, and you receive your credits

There are square control panels all over Galaxy’s Edge, usually by doors. You scan your Magicband+ at these to see if your bounty is in there. Your Magicband+ is red when you are far away from your bounty and flashes green when you are getting closer to them. When you find the correct door panel, your Magicband+ turns purple. 

Max’s Review:

“For the bounty hunter wall, I find it very interesting because you have to get 20 bounties. If you can get the hang of finding the right way around right after taking the bounty, it’s pretty easy to find where it is. There aren’t a lot of places where it juts off, so it makes it easier to navigate.

One thing that I really like about the bounty hunter wall is that it doesn’t always stay the same. It randomizes the bounties where you and another person are not hunting for the same bounty person. Something I found difficult is that there are a ton of the panels, but it makes it fun to search around and find the right one.

The thing I dislike about the bounty hunter wall is that it resets everyday (we did not sync it to the Play Disney app) so it makes it more of a one and done deal. It does take a decent amount of time to complete. For me personally it took around 2 hours to finish all 20 bounties, but overall it’s pretty fun to run around and find the right door.”

Kristy Binns

Kristy Binns

Travel Advisor - Rogers, AR!

Hi! I’m Kristy and I am a Travel Agent with the amazing team at Living With The Magic Vacations. I am a wife and mom of 3 boys and when I’m not helping my kids with homework or cheering for them at a baseball or basketball game, I LOVE to help busy Moms plan vacations for their families and friends that will provide lasting memories for years to come!

Road Trips and Big Ships!

Road Trips and Big Ships!

As travel advisors specializing in family travel, we plan vacations to a variety of destinations every year! This year, more than ever, our clients are dreaming of warm sandy beaches and salty ocean waves! All-Inclusive vacations are our most requested type of vacation right now but many families are struggling with the high cost of airfare. In this article, we’ll share with you a few cruise ports that may be within a day or two drive and eliminate the need for airfare all together!!

New York, NY

It’s the big apple! Can you imagine a more beautiful view than sailing past Lady Liberty herself? With world-famous sights like the Statue Of Liberty, Empire State Building and Central Park, this city offers a unique travel experience like no other. Make sure you take in all our world-class shopping, theatre, dining, concerts and nightlife. Nearby Cape Liberty, NJ also offers sailings for a few different cruise lines!

Cruise Lines Sailing from New York

  • Disney
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Norwegian
  • Princess
  • Carnival

Baltimore, MD

Welcome to Baltimore– a city of diverse culture, amazing sights, and amazing experiences! This city is the perfect destination for travelers looking for something a little more unique and exciting. Visit the Inner Harbor for a beautiful view of the city skyline, or explore the historic architecture of Fells Point. The city is full of delicious food, exciting nightlife, and a whole slate of cultural attractions. Whether it’s for a weekend getaway or a longer stay, Baltimore has something for everyone. Experience the charm that only a city like Baltimore can offer!

Cruise Lines Sailing from Baltimore

  • Royal Caribbean
  • Norwegian
  • Carnival

New Orleans, LA

Welcome to New Orleans!! From its spectacular French Quarter to its welcoming streetcar lines, New Orleans is a traveler’s delight. Take time to stroll along the banks of the mighty Mississippi River, and stop in the picture-perfect Jackson Square for unforgettable sights. With so much to explore, New Orleans will leave you with memories you’ll treasure for a lifetime.

Cruise Lines Sailing from New Orleans

  • Disney
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Norwegian
  • Carnival

Galveston, TX

Head to Galveston for a travel experience you won’t forget! This vibrant beach town is packed with fantastic sights, attractions, and plenty of adventure. Relax at the beach and soak up the sun or enjoy the many shops, restaurants and entertainment of the town. Tour the historic sites, take a hop-on hop-off tour of the Strand historic district, or take in nature with horseback riding on the beach. Galveston is sure to provide you with an unforgettable travel experience.

Cruise Lines Sailing from New Orleans

  • Disney
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Princess
  • Carnival

Miami, FL

Welcome to the beautiful city of Miami, where the sun always shines and the excitement never stops. From incredible travel experiences to breathtaking sights, this vibrant city has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for sun-soaked beaches, thrilling nightlife, world-class dining, shopping, sightseeing, or other attractions, it’s all here in Miami. Enjoy the unique art galleries and colorful culture that make this city unique. With so much to explore, Miami promises an unforgettable experience. So come and explore its beaches, sights, and culture, and see what Miami has in store for you.

Cruise Lines Sailing from New Orleans

  • Disney
  • Royal Caribbean
  • Princess
  • Carnival

Tampa, FL

Tampa is a vibrant city bursting with exciting travel experiences! With a huge range of attractions, from stunning coastal sights to cultural activities and events, Tampa has something for everyone! Whether it’s a romantic getaway for two, a family-friendly adventure, or a solo exploratory journey, you can find so many great ways to experience Tampa. From seafood restaurants to outdoor activities and nightlife, there’s something here for everyone. Explore Tampa and uncover the many wonderful sights and experiences this exciting city has to offer!

Cruise Lines Sailing from New Orleans

  • Royal Caribbean
  • Norwegian
  • Celebrity
  • Carnival
5 things you should pack for your Disney Cruise

5 things you should pack for your Disney Cruise

Cuising with Disney is a different animal than taking a trip to the parks. Here are 5 things you might not think to pack for your Disney Cruise Line vacation.

        1. Battery-Operated Lights – If you’ve never been on a cruise, you might not know that the cabins can be pitch black without the lights on, especially if you are in an inside cabin. You can pack a couple of the battery-powered press-on lights to keep in your bathroom, so if someone has to get up in the middle of the night to go, they can easily find it, without turning on all of the lights and waking the entire cabin.
        2. USB Splitter – Power strips are not allowed on cruise ships. They can overload the circuit and possibly cause a fire, so they are banned. There are plugs in your room but there might not be enough for all of the electronics we have these days. You can bring a USB splitter that turns one USB plug into 2, 3 or 4 more USB outlets. This is a great way to get your phones charged all at once.
        3. Suction Cup Toothbrush Holder– This one sounds weird, I know. Cruise cabin bathrooms aren’t the largest spaces, and they really don’t have a ton of counter space. By bringing a toothbrush holder that suctions your bathroom mirror, you can save a bunch of counter space and keep everything tidier.
        4. Laundry Pods – This might not be something you bring traveling with you normally, but it could come in handy on a cruise. The cruise ships all have laundry facilities and do sell detergent, but it does add an extra cost. If you bring your own pods, they are easy to pack and throw in with the wash. If you find yourself out of clean clothes on a cruise, doing laundry is just about your only option since there aren’t many places to shop while at sea.
        5. Cups – Yep, you read that right. Disney Cruise Line offers free soft drinks on the pool decks all day and night. But, the cups they have to fill are small. To avoid having to leave your perfect spot next to the pool, bring a large cup with a lid on it, bonus points if it is insulated to keep the ice longer! You won’t be able to fill these cups up directly from the fountain, you will have to use the clean paper cups Disney provides to fill yours, but this will keep your drinks full and cold much longer!

SARAH TICKNER - KANSAS CITY, MO

SARAH TICKNER - KANSAS CITY, MO

Travel Advisor

Sarah is a travel advisor from Kansas City, MO. She grew up as a fan of Disney but only made it to the parks once as a child. But ever since her  and her husband decided to get married in Disney, they have made up for her lack of trips as a kid. The obsession really started when she was hired as a Cast Member for the Disney Store. Ever since that time, she has made about 8 trips and stayed at 10 of the Disney resorts, with a goal of staying at all of them someday. Being a Cast Member allowed her to bring Disney Magic to those who may not have had a chance to experience the magic at the parks.