The Dominican Republic
Discover Punta Cana, Dominican Republic! With 40 miles of unbroken pearl white sand beaches, Punta Cana is a watersports lover's playground. Deep sea fishing is king on these eastern shores. Winter in Samana Bay brings humpback whales seeking warm, calm water to mate, birth and nurse newborn calves. Punta Cana is also known for its ecology efforts. Hike trails and view some of the native and rare species of animals and vegetation. For the water adventurer, the chance to swim with dolphins is the highlight of any trip. Best Value in Caribbean, including charter air from major cities.
Great values and price
The Dominican Republic is a second largest country in Caribbean. It occupies a half of Hispaniola Island and boasts beaches to die for, the first European city in Western Hemisphere, a host of adventure vacation opportunities, all-inclusive resorts, seaside championship golfing, economical and easy air booking.
The Dominican Republic is focusing on reaching out to North American travelers. It is a paradise on sale this year and you will find exceptional values and pricing.
For many visitors, it starts in Santo Domingo - a one-time main gateway which now shares that duty with airports that accept both international charter and scheduled flights in La Romana, Punta Cana and Puerto Plata. The country's capital, Santo Domingo also houses the famed colonial center and UNESCO World Heritage site, Zona Colonial. This historical wonderland of 16th century buildings and cobblestone streets gave the Western Hemisphere its first court of law, its first university, its first hospital and first cathedral and monastery. It's here, too that one finds the Columbus Lighthouse, which houses the remains of Christopher Columbus. The explorer revered this country as the "… most beautiful land the eyes of man have ever seen."
In the Plaza de la Cultura in the heart of the city, there is a cluster of four museums that includes the Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of History and Geography, the Museum of Natural History and the Museum of Dominican Man, which charts the progress of Dominican civilization.
The Amber Coast
To the north along the Atlantic shore is the glittering Amber Coast, home to the world's richest deposits of amber, as well as an assortment of beach towns and resorts and nearby Puerto Plata. The center of a third of the nation's hotel rooms - 17,000 of them - Puerto Plata is a picturesque resort city situated at the base of the towering Mt. Isabel de Torres, accessed via the teleferico, an electric sky-lift system. Also on the northern coast is the Samana Peninsula, a favorite of whale watchers who come in winter to watch humpbacks cavort in warm waters. Nearby Los Haitises National Park is another must-see with underground rivers flowing through caves covered in pre-Columbian Indian petroglyphs.
Just 30 minutes east of Santo Domingo on the Caribbean Coast is Boca Chica, a classic tropical beach with swaying palms and an inviting turquoise-colored bay. Nearby is the La Caleta Underwater National park, rated as one of the five best dive sites in the Caribbean. Still further east are Juan Dolio and Guayacanes, two tranquil, laid back towns with a collection of low key restaurants and entertainment venues. Nearby Hato Mayor is home to one of the largest horticultural centers in the Caribbean and to Rancho Capote and its Cueva Fun Fun, one of the largest caves in the world. Here, visitors can explore the giant corridors and cave art and swim in subterranean rivers.
La Romana, a city built and maintained by the sugar mills that proliferated in this area, is still another burgeoning resort area with a variety of excellent hotels. Nearby attractions include the "artists village" of Altos de Chavon, a re-creation of a 16th century Italian village with artisan workshops, an archeological museum, cobblestone streets and quaint architecture. At the nearby beach resort areas of Bayahibe and Dominicus, travelers find easy access to the National Park of the East, where anthropologists are studying a major site relating to the ancient Taino civilization, which lived here 350,000 years ago. Here, too, diving enthusiasts will find the cargo ship St. Georges, sunk offshore in front of the Club Viva Dominicus and Club Viva Dominicus Palace in 1999 as an artificial reef and as an attraction for the resort's Viva Diving scuba diving school.
The beach area of Punta Cana, Bavaro and Macao are the fastest growing tourism destinations in the Caribbean. Already offering over 30 large tourist complexes with over 13,000 rooms, the region is blessed with over 20 miles of secluded, pearl-white sands. Attractions include the Manati Park Bavaro, with performing dolphins and sea lions, an authentic replica of a Taino Indian village and more. Visitors can enjoy jungle walks and 4x4 motorbike excursion along the beach the the Pozo Azul millenarian cavern's clear blue waters.
The Dominican Alps
Travelers can combine a Caribbean getaway with a mountain vacation in the Dominican Alps, so-called because of the majestic Pico Duarter that juts over 10,000 feet into the Caribbean sky. The area is popular with trekkers and hikers, and a number of small lodgings in the area have developed a variety of tours, treks and hikes for eco-tourists.
Sol Melia Hotels & Resorts has a major presence in the Dominican Republic and a variety of package offerings at its varied properties. Melia Juan Dolio offers various pacakges which allow clients explore Santo Domingo. Melia Caribe Tropical and Paradisus in Punta Cana have all-inclusive wedding packages from $850 per couple with wedding license and translation, wedding coordinator, bridal bouquet, floral decorations and more. In Punta Cana, guests get a golf discount on Sol Melia's Cocotal Golf and Country Club's 3- and 5-day packages with unlimited driving range use, shared cart and 18 holes of golf. The Cocotal Golf & Country Club is adjacent to the Melia Caribe Tropical resort, while Sol Melia's Paradisus Punta Cana all-inclusive resort is 10 minutes from Cocotal.
The 400-room Paradisus Punta Cana Resort & Club has a new 18-hole Pete Dye-designed championship golf course, along with six restaurants, and five bars and discotheques. This is almost a town in itself, with resort services including baby-sitting, a bank, business center, medical services and more. Additional amenities include a deep-water marina, kid's club with daily activities for children between ages of 4-12, a variety of watersports and a host of other activities.
Amhsa Marina Hotels and resorts has 12 properties in the Dominican Republic: Camino Del Sol, Casa Del Mar, Casa Marina Bay, Casa Marina Beach, La Isabella Beach Resort, Casa Marina Reef, Estrella Del Mar, Paradise Beach Club & Casino, and Riviera Beach Hotel.
Barcelo Hotels and Resorts are celebrating the grand opening of the new Barcelo Bavaro Convention center in Punta Cana. The facility which offers meeting space for up to 2,600 people is located in the Bavaro Beach Resort across from the Barcelo Bavaro Beach Palace Hotel. There are 2,608 guestrooms within the entire complex, including the recently acquired Barcelo Villa Bavaro, and the center itself is surrounded by beautifully-landacaped gardens and waterways with exterior patios for convention guest use. The beachfront resort area offers convention and meeting guests a host of amenities, including an 18-hole professional golf course; the biggest casino in Punta Cana; 20 gourmet, a la carte and buffet restaurants; a a host of bars and other entertainment venues for visitors to enjoy.
Viva Resorts represented in Dominican Republic with two properties both located in Bayahibe, La Romana and offer a whole host of watersports, including introductory dive classes, fitness classes, three pools, Kid's clubs and a whole lot more. The Club Viva Dominicus is a 500-room property that includes tropical bungalows, standard and superior rooms and four restaurants. Club Viva Dominicus Palace has 330 rooms, with superior and jr. suites and garden and ocean views. They both offer all-inclusive packages.
Guests who enjoy casino action will find the Coral Costa Caribe Beach Hotel & Casino in Juan Dolio a good bet. Offering 492 superior rooms, this all-inclusive resort is located 20 minutes from airports and 45 minutes from Santo Domingo. In addition to casino action, the resort has a variety of unique activities, including Spanish and merengue dance lessons, kids program, three quality a la carte restaurants with Italian, Mexican and grilled cuisine and seven bars. Another Cora Hotel property, the 623 room and suites Coral Hamaca Beach Hotel and Casino in Boca Chica, boasts similar amenities along with the company's signature 24-hour service. A new Coral property, the Coral Marien Beach Hotel and Spa, opened September 2001in Costa Dorada in Puerto Plata.
EMI Resorts currently has three properties on the north coast of the Dominican Republic - Ocean Palms beach resort, Sun Village Palms and Karisma Villas Del Mar. November 2001, the company is opening five-star, 300-room all-inclusive Sun Village Palms Beach Resorts. It's loaded with upscale amenities like a baby grand piano in the lobby bar, tennis club and spa, specialty rooms that include tower and honeymoon suites, and the 777 Club, wit hslot machines and game room. A Thai restaurant opens at the Ocean Palms Beach Resort. Karisma Villas Del Mar, located on Cofresi Beach, has 3 and 4 bedroom villas, with private pool, kitchen, dining/living areas and breakfast serving daily in-villa. All-inclusive rates are offered as well.
Iberostar, the giant hotel chain from Spain, checks in with four 5* properties in the Dominican Republic, three of which are adjacent to one another in Punta Cana, connected by a creole-style commercial street with gift shops, boutiques, medical services and more - the 347-room, 160-junior suite Iberostar Dominicana; the luxury 347-room Iberostar Punta Cana; and Iberostar Bavaro, with 588-Junior suites in 74 bungalows. The fourth, the 498-room, 16-suite Iberostar Costa Dorada in Puerto Plata is situated on Playa Dorado Beach on the north coast. November 1, Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus is opening in Bayahibe.
The recent acquisition and integration of Allegro resorts by Occidental Hotels makes Occidental the Caribbean's largest chain with 34 properties and ranks it as the world's all-inclusive leader. The Spanish hotel group already kicked off expansion with the construction of six new Flamenco Hotels, one of which, Flamenco Bavaro, was built in Playa Bavaro in 1999. Allegro, the well known brand in North America, has a variety of properties in Dominican Republic: The Allegro Resort Bavaro, The Caribbean Village on the Green and Jack Tar Village in Puerto Plata.
Riu Hotels and Resorts have numerous properties in the Dominican Republic - five in Punta Cana alone. Including the 560-room Riu Bambu, situated directly on the Playa de Arena Gorda Beach. New 5* beach resort ClubHotel Riu Bachata is opening soon in Puerto Plata.
The famous Casa de Campo in La Romana has made a substantial investment in family programs. Family Values feature new activities and new rates for children 18 and under, with a new teen-friendly clubhouse for 13-18 year old opening June 1, 2001. For children 3-7, the Kids 'n Casa has daily programs on the beach, "meet the animals" time at the equestrian center, a treasure hunt and more. A new Tween program for kids 8-12 includes tennis, horseback riding, nature walks, games, donkey polo and more.
Club Med Punta Cana has a kids club for all ages. Petit Club Med accommodates kids between the ages for 2-3 years, the Mini Club Med hosts children 4-10, the newly inaugurated Junior Club Med, facilitates children 11-13, and the Teen Club Med fits the 14-17 year old bracket. Mini and Petit Club Med children meet at their own clubhouses surrounded by a tropical outdoor "Funscape" tailored to different recreational and tropical agendas. The Mini Club Med complex has eight activity rooms, a kitchen, a separate playground and two supervised pools. The Club Med packages include meals with wine, beer and soft drinks at lunch and dinner, most sports with instruction, recreational activities and entertainment.
Check for great values for Dominican Republic
Click here for description of activities in Punta Cana
Dominican Republic Resorts
Paradisus Punta Cana
Punta Cana Beach Resort
Coral Marien Resort and Spa
Hacienda Villas Del Mar, Dominican Republic
Casa De Campo, Dominican Republic
Club Viva Dominicus Palace, Bayahibe, Dominican Republic
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