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Moon Dominican Republic (Moon Handbooks) Paperback – September 21, 2006
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I've been to the Dominican Republic twice and, honestly, it's important to have something to guide you, especially if you have limited time or you aren't terribly familiar with the country. The DR is gorgeous, but there are things you will miss--like must-eat-at restaurants and local historical sites--if you don't have a good guidebook. Plus, if you have limited time, you probably don't want to be at the mercy of one of the guys who wants to toss you on the back of his moped and give you a tour for $5. Trust me on this one.
The author actually went to the DR to research and her family's from there so I trust the information. It's not something that was written by Googling the Wiki entry on the country.
Plus, this book will help you out if you have a specific interest like history, finding fun outdoor stuff to do, or checking out the best beach areas.
That section of the book has "overview" tours:
1. 21-day "best of" tour
2. Taino history tour
3. Beach lover's tour
4. Nature lover's trek
5. Adventure sports
The intial introduction to the DR (very beginning of book) was helpful--maps with areas called out and linked to pages/sections in the book, and then a paragraph or two about each region. It's good if you don't know exactly what you want to see or what's kind of options there are.
After that, the guide is broken up geographicall and then there's a small section on the plants, animals, environmental issues etc. (That's maybe 10 or so pages total.)
There's also a section on the nuts and bolts of traveling there, like how to get there, customs and travel tips, visas, health and safety etc.
I like fun little cultural facts and lore and this guide has those too.
There's a small Spanish phrase section, too, and additional reading (books and online resources).
It's easy to use and filled with good info; if you like the other Moon Guides, you'll probably like this. Remember that things change--restaurants close, hotel rates rise etc. and so older guidebooks might not have the most accurate info--I'd say spring for a recent one and you'll have better luck.
Santo Dominco and had a wonderful time. If you get a chance one should have dinner at Coco's Restaurant. I had a great time with the locals and the food was unbelievable.
This particular version is the worst I've ever encountered with Moon Guides. I love its Cuba and Yucatan books but this guide to the Dominican Republic was such a piece of junk I literally tossed in the garbage at the first place we stayed.
I understand that guidebook writers are paid very little but please do not take on this job unless you actually care about the travel advice you attach to your name. This was so obviously slapped together by someone who seems to have never set foot in the D.R.
Apparently the previous version of this book (early 2000s) was OK so I don't want to disparage the reporting of a previous author. But this version (by Ana Chavier Caamano) is uninspired and underreported at best and negligent and erroneous at worst.