Situated on the Southeastern coast of the dreamy Dominican Republic, La Romana is somewhat of a well-kept secret from Americans; the Europeans have been coming here and loving it for a good while. That said, you might be wondering: is La Romana really a good vacation spot? Answer: it’s overflowing with a multitude of beachy charms that you’ll be crushing over in no time. Here’s what we love about it.
Jaw-Dropping Beaches. Goodness, there are so many aahmazing sandy stretches and shimmering Caribbean waters in these parts. First up in terms of La Romana beaches is Bayahibe, which is very popular because it’s got everything you’d ever want: sun, sand, chilly cocktails and delish eats. It even has a ginormous pool, complete with water polo and a swim-up bar. And as a cruise ship port, it’s always hoppin’. Next up is Playa El Caleton. This spot is family-centric – your munchkins will love it. Better still, you don’t need to lug your umbrellas or chairs because they’ve got them there to rent for a nominal fee. If you’re hungry, there are vendors right there waiting for you. Playa Caleta is a bit tucked away from everything and is less touristy. You can chillax and watch the fishing boats drift past under your beach umbrella, drink in hand, of course. Last but not least, is Playa La Minitas, which is one of the more popular beaches in the Dominican Republic. It’s a sports lovers’ paradise–there are a bunch of booths that line the sand and have every kind of water sport available. Note: you must enter this beach through a resort or make a purchase in their gift shop. You’ll need sunscreen, of course, so go for it.
Knock-You-Out Natural Beauty. The National Park of the East, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with dense forests, hiking paths and caves with Taino tribal wall drawings, is another day trip option from La Romana. Bayahibe is the gateway to Saona Island in the National Park of the East, the most visited natural attraction in the country. It is the land of the rare Bayahibe rose, a cactus-shrub at in 2011 was named the national flower. Los Haitises National Park in San Lorenzo Bay is another gorgeous spot soaking in natural beauty, where you can see mangrove forests, seaside caverns and an idyllic tropical cay. Get those smart phones ready!
Awesome Art and Culture. Besides the artfulness of the landscape of La Romana, there’s another incredible place you must check out: Altos de Chavon. This locale is a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village nestled in the luscious Dominican Republic countryside, complete with cobblestone streets and Romanesque arches. Designed by the Dominican architect, Jose Antonio Caro, and Italian master designer and cinematographer, Roberto Coppa, this cultural center and historical museum is where you can find active studios of artists of every medium: pottery, weaving, silk screening and much more. In the art gallery, you’ll see works by noted Dominican artists, as well as other artists from around the world. But that’s not all. Altos de Chavon is also home to the famed Altos de Chavon School of Design, which is affiliated with Parsons School of Design in New York. If you’re up for music and entertainment, there’s a Grecian-styled amphitheater with breath-stealing views of the Chavon River and the turquoise Caribbean.
Breath-Stealing Islands. If you want to feel like you’re really getting away from it all, then you’ll want to steal away to Soana Island, a slice of heaven that’s a 45-minute boat ride from La Romana. Most hotels offer shuttle buses to boat docks and once there, you can chill amidst sugar-white sand dunes lined with fringy palms, mangroves and coral reefs. If you want to explore while on Soana Island, check out Mano Juan, a laid-back fishing village near Flamingo Lagoon, with colorful shacks and a turtle sanctuary. Another amazing place to visit is Catalina Island. Avid divers will enjoy weaving in and out of the numerous reefs that hug this tiny island. Stingrays, starfish and tropical fish are a near guarantee here. There’s also a private beach, which is great. Note: ships do anchor there but you won’t mind because you’ll be too busy gazing upon the gorgeous scenery.
Serious Snorkeling and Diving. There are oceans of places to do this, but we’ve selected those we like best. If you want to hang near the hotel, then Dreams La Romana is your best bet. You can walk right out on the sand and dive in – it’s that close. If you want something other than fish, there’s the Atlantic Princess Wreck. This old passenger liner sunk right in front of Dreams La Romana. Inside you can see lion fish, small crabs and small stingrays, along with cannon balls and anchors. It’s a trip. Another terrific area is Bayahibe, where you can find Dressel Divers Bayahibe. They’re known for snorkeling and have over 20 years of experience. They know their stuff. Next up is Dominicus Beach. The reef here ranges from 46 to 60 feet deep, and is flourishing with beautiful coral reef and sea life. Swoon.
Epic Golf. The terrain makes this island perfect for lovers of the greens: rolling hills, rip-your- heart-out-of-your-chest ocean vistas and luscious palms that line the courses. Speaking of, Dreams La Romana is a beautiful place to stay and you’ll have access to Teeth of the Dog, The Links and Dye Fore, all designed by architect Pete B. Dye. Last but not least, Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace is an excellent spot for golfing because it’s near Casa de Campo, one of the premiere courses on the island.
So, who’s in for a trip to La Romana? Just call 1-800-915-3162 and one of our Beachologists will set you up on an all-inclusive vacation package to this beachtastic destination. If you want to see all the other off-the-charts Caribbean and Mexican beaches we can take you to, go here. Book now. The sand is waiting.
Traveling to punta canal late November. Is there any place to snorkel that doesn’t involve a whole day trip.