The province of La Romana is located on the southern coast of the island of Haiti in the Dominican Republic. It is washed by the gentle waters of the Caribbean Sea, and the tourist season is all year round. The water is always warm - 26-28 degrees. The least number of tourists is in late summer and early autumn: the rainy season comes here, and you can get caught in a tropical rainstorm, and the time from November to March is considered the best. During this time, you can swim and do water sports. In the province there are also quiet beaches for swimming and beaches with high waves for surfing, there are corals with a rich fauna, there are national parks where you can walk and explore the caves.
This province (or rather one of its resorts, Casa de Campo) is a favorite vacation spot for millionaires from all over the world. But there are also places that are quite accessible to mere mortals, no less beautiful and interesting.
Areas of La Romana
The center of La Romana is the city of the same name on the coast. In addition to him, the province includes several resort villages, two islands and the Del Este National Park. The following areas can be distinguished:
- City of La Romana;
- Casa de Campo;
- Altos de Chavon;
- Del Este National Park (Bayahiba, Dominicus, Saoma Island);
- El Soko.
The third largest city in the country, a transport, tourist and industrial center. It is located at the mouth of the Dulce River. Its delta is wide, the city center is large, and there are no beaches in the city center. There are no beautiful buildings and any special sights here either: the city is young. You can walk in the central park (Parque Central Duarte) - this is the main place for selling souvenirs, you can go shopping in the large shopping centers Multiplaza and Plaza Lama, you can take an excursion anywhere. It is not so far from here to the capital of Santo Domingo, and to the reserves of the center of the country. There are several amusement parks in the vicinity, the most famous of which is the interactive Conquista Park, which tells the story of the Taino Indians. The nearest large water park (Los Delfines Water & Entertainment Park) is quite far away, in Juan Dolio, and very nearby there is a mini-water park at the Viva Windham Dominicus hotel in Bayahibe.
The city's main beach, La Caleta, is located away from the city center to the west. This is an ordinary municipal beach with all its drawbacks: it may not be very clean here, the bottom here is not the most pleasant (it is better to take your shoes with you - there are sharp stones and corals), sea urchins are encountered. But there are a lot of different beach activities, and you can eat deliciously and inexpensively on the waterfront. There are hotels that are right next to this beach, with their own sections, which are quieter and cleaner. To the east of the bay there is another city beach - Kaleton.
The main beach destination in the city is Catalina Island, which is located almost opposite the La Caleta beach, and which is easily accessible with an organized excursion or simply by negotiating with the locals. This island was discovered by Columbus in 1494, but now remains uninhabited. There are no hotels here, but there are comfortable beaches and several restaurants. There are beautiful reefs near the coast of the island, so if you go here on your own, bring a mask (and if you go with an organized excursion, rent of masks is usually included in the price), and also take shoes, because in some places corals start right from the coast.
Casa de Campo
The name itself translates as "a house in the village", but unofficially the resort is usually called "the city of millionaires". This is the most expensive, beautiful and prestigious resort in the Dominican Republic. It was designed by Dominican American fashion designer Oscar de la Renta who has dressed all the first ladies of the United States, starting with Jacqueline Kennedy. Now the most famous people of the planet rest here: singers, athletes and politicians.
The town was built at the very mouth of the Chavon River (the same one on the banks of which films about Rambo and "Apocalypse Now" were filmed). It has its own beautiful beach - La Minitas, the most fun and interesting beach on the coast. The main entertainment venue here is the Minitas Beach Club, which features the world's best DJs and serves the best drinks. The resort has its own amazing beautiful harbor with a marina, a yacht club and a sales point - if you want to buy a yacht, you can do it right here, and you can learn how to operate it at the sailing school.
The resort has its own helipad and an equestrian club, but the most popular entertainment here is golf. Casa de Campo has 36 golf courses and occasionally becomes the site of international competitions.
There is a five-star hotel and many beautiful villas, some of them are rented, some belong to famous people, they come here to relax and have fun.
Altos de Chavon
An artificial town, in fact, part of the general complex of the Casa de Campo resort. This is an art object created by the Italian designer Roberto Copa on the initiative of the American tycoon Charles Blachdorn for his daughter Dominica. Altos de Chavon is an exact replica of a 15th century Spanish village. The roofs of the houses are covered with tiles, the pavements - with paving stones, all this is still specially aged so that it does not look like a remake: the stylization is perfect. The main material was a local golden-gray stone. Construction began at the same time as Casa de Campo in the 70s and completed in 1992.
The local archaeological museum is of particular interest. Here is the largest exposition in the Dominican Republic dedicated to the pre-Columbian past of the island of Haiti. All information is in English, admission is free. There is also the Church of St. Stanislav, in which Michael Jackson was married in 1994 - it is also a copy of an old Spanish church, and is dedicated to St. Stanislav, the patron saint of Poland, in memory of the visit of Pope St. John Paul II here.
It has its own amphitheater, copying the antique ones. This is the most famous concert hall where world celebrities perform: it opened in 1982 with a concert by Frank Sinatra. Altos de Chavon is called the city of artists: art workshops and art galleries are located here, street musicians perform.
The city is located on a hill above the Chavon River. There is an observation deck on the cliff with a stunning view of the river, and in addition to the observation deck, there are several more "view" restaurants.
You can come here on your own, but, as a rule, a visit to Altos de Chavon is included in the package along with an excursion to the islands of Saona or Catalina. Accommodation is not cheap, but the atmosphere is completely unique.
Del Este National Park
The province of La Romana includes the Del Este National Park, founded in 1975: a large mainland covered with forests, a coastline with mangroves, an area of sea with corals and the island of Saona.
In the western part of the peninsula, on which the national park is located, the resort villages of Bayahibe and Dominicus are located off the coast. Here are some of the best beaches on the coast, and, in addition, you can find villas in the green rainforest almost in the very territory of the national park.
With excursions, they most often go to the island of Saona. It is a large island that houses the Mano Hua Sea Turtle Sanctuary. Here are their breeding grounds and nursery: the reserve staff make sure that as many newborn turtles as possible survive. Every year the nursery releases several thousand juveniles into adult marine life. Not far from the nature reserve is Saona's only hotel.
In addition to the turtle reserve, there are several caves on the island, the main of which is the Cotubanama cave, in which, according to legend, the leader of the local Indian tribe hid from the Spaniards.
Small resort village, west of La Romana. Formally, it belongs to another province - San Pedro, but physically closer to La Romana. It is very close to another unique attraction of La Romana - the Cave of Wonders (Cueva de las Maravillas). This is a cave in which the rock paintings of the Taino Indians have been preserved. In fact, it is not alone, it is a whole system of karst caves, some of which in 2003 were designed for tourists by the architect Marcos Barinos. There are several illuminated grottoes, beautiful underground rivers and lakes. The cave is even equipped with its own elevator for those who find it difficult to climb the stairs.
The cave paintings of the Cave of Miracles date back to around the 12th century. AD: Scientists believe this cave was once a place of worship for the gods. Caves, stalactites and stalagmites, various images in caves occupied a very important place in the mythology of the Taino Indians.
The village of El Soko itself has two different beaches: in the bay of El Soko and next to it. They are sandy, well equipped; on the one in the bay, there are usually fewer waves for surfing, and more waves on the open. There is one large five-star luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville hotel with its own closed territory and several simpler hotels.