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Dominican Republic Offers Memorable Vacation Getaways


A Region by Region Primer


According to a recent report issued by the Dominican Republic (DR) Ministry of Tourism, overall visitors to the DR in the first half of 2008 increased by 6.55 percent compared to the same period in 2007.*(  The U.S. continues as the largest visitors market with 32.2 percent followed by Canada at 22.6 percent, France with 9 percent, Spain with 5.7 percent, Germany with 5.6 percent and UK with 5 percent.


Due to the country’s growing popularity along with affordability in today’s economy, I wanted to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about the DR and its vast variety of activities, resorts and beautiful beaches that are great for couples to family getaways.  The DR is one of the most diverse countries in the Caribbean.  The DR has been named by several travel experts as one of the hottest destinations for Americans along with the Hollywood crowd.  The close proximity to the United States makes it easy for Americans to travel to an attractive and affordable destination.


The Dominican Republic is a destination like no other – featuring a stunning array of sandy beaches, dazzling landscapes, mountains studded with waterfalls and rivers, lush green forests, exotic cuisine, diverse cultures and a remarkable variety of arts and entertainment options.  With the pulse-pounding thrill of the meringue, intriguing relics from centuries past, premium cigars, and even world-class baseball the DR is a surprising place that will delight even the most experienced traveler.


The DR offers something for everyone and can fulfill the vacation dreams of those seeking adventure, culture or long lazy days on white or golden sandy beaches.  Year-round sports, effervescent nightlife, distinctive souvenir shopping, relaxing resorts, magnificent national parks and world class gambling make for a jam-packed vacation to-do list.  (


EAST COAST OVERVIEW                                                         


The East Coast region of the Dominican Republic (DR) contains the most popular and fastest growing tourist area in the country – Punta Cana/Bavaro. One look at the surroundings and there is no question as to why. This is the place to be if tourists are seeking an all-inclusive vacation set on one of the most picturesque stretches of beach in the world. 


Vacationers don’t have to travel far for a change of scenery. Just south of this thriving area is environmentally-forward Bayahibe. Located on a Peninsula in the southeast corner of the DR, this town is an up-and-coming vacation spot. Not only does Bayahibe contain one of the most celebrated national parks, it also has received two international awards for its conservation efforts in tourism.


Another popular east coast destination is La Romana.  Most people who know a thing or two about the DR instantly think of Casa de Campo when asked about this quaint area. While the luxurious resort frequented by many celebrities is a top attraction, the city of La Romana and neighboring San Pedro de Macoris are historically important, especially for baseball fans, and worth a visit.


Top Attractions

Casa de Campo

One of the DR’s most celebrated luxury attractions, Casa de Campo is a walled compound featuring world-renowned championship golf courses, breathtaking villas, a polo field, marina, the Mediterranean village of Altos de Chavon and an all-inclusive resort, to name a few. 


Isla Saona

Just off the southern shore of Bayahibe is the Robinson Crusoe-esque Isla Saona, a 45-square mile island of white coral sand beach and lagoons lined with mangroves.


Isla Catalina

Part of the Nacional Parque del Este, the petite island of Isla Catalina is six square miles and features pavilions and a restaurant and bar. (A few cruise lines include the island as a port-of-call.) One of the east coast’s best coral reefs is found off the island. This is also the locale of “The Wall,” a steep underwater drop-off popular with divers for its intact coral reef.

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