SPECIAL EDITION | MARZO 2018
ON TI DI LE IA EC
Free Monthly Tourism Magazine
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Cayo Arena: The Perfect Beach Pág. 5
Santo Domingo’s Colonial Churches Págs. 8-9
Punta Cana: Excellent Beaches and Tours for Adventure Lovers Págs. 12-13
Samana: The City that Caresses the Sea Pág. 16
13 Million Europeans Visit the Dominican Republic Pág .03
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European nationals have been allies of the Dominican Republic’s impressive development of its tourism industry. When the Dominican tourism industry began to flourish in the 1980s, the Europeans became the industry’s first major international market. Another important detail is the multi-million dollar investment made by European hotel chains throughout the country.
The Dominican Republic currently receives tourists from more than 25 countries. Between 2007 and 2017 the main markets were the following:
During 2007 to 2017, for example, approximately 13.1 million tourists have visited the Dominican Republic through its various international airports. This more than impressive number represents 29% of the 42.2 million international visitors that have traveled to the country during this time period.
In the 1990s the number of European tourists traveling to the country surpassed the one million mark. Ever since then, that number has continued to increase. Back then Europeans became the tourism industry’s most important market, followed by Canada. Years later, and thanks to European hotel chains, Americans topped the list of tourists traveling to the Dominican Republic. In the year 2000, when the Dominican tourism industry finally penetrated the demanding U.S. market, Europeans represented 52% of the 2.4 million tourists that visited the country that year. In 2005, Europeans represented 44% of all visitors and North America 46%. From 2007 to 2017, tourist arrivals to the Dominican Republic multiplied by 2.2%, while the number of Europeans jumped by 1.1%. The North American tourism market, by far the Caribbean’s most important market place, grew by 3.6%. Without a doubt Europeans were the first to give the country’s tourism industry its first major boost. Today, tourism has become the country’s most important economic activity. Last year, 1.3 million Europeans visited the country, a total of 26 tourists per 100 who visited the country through its airports.
Investment by some of Spain’s most important hotel chains has contributed to the growth of the European market in the country’s tourism industry. The Spanish chains represented in the country, in order of importance according to the number of rooms, are the following: Bahia Principe, RIU, Barceló, Meliá, Be Live, Catalonia, Iberostar, Palladium, Majestic, Princess, Excellence, Sirenis, H10, BlueBay, Lopesan, HM, Blau, VIK, Vista Sol, Blue Beach Resort, BQ Hotels, Faranda, Hotusa, NH, Weare Hotels & More, PortBlue Hotel & Resort. Also on this list: the Club Med facility in Punta Cana, present in the Dominican Republic since the 1980s; the German group Aldiana; and the Spanish chain Senator. A small number of European hotel chains have also established their brands in the country.
MANUEL QUITERIO CEDEÑO email@example.com RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
MARCH 2018 | ESPECIAL EDITION
PUNTA CANA: EXCELLENT BEACHES AND TOURS FOR ADVENTURE LOVERS ADVENTURE
CAYO ARENA: THE PERFECT BEACH
BUILDING CONSTRUCTION THE NEW CODELPA RECORD
SANTO DOMINGO’S COLONIAL CHURCHES
BAYAHIBE’S BUTTERFLY PARK
SAMANA: THE CITY THAT CARESSES THE SEA
LA ROMANA: THE COUNTRY’S CITY OF SUGAR
PLACES TO INCLUDE IN YOUR DOMINICAN TRAVEL AGENDA The places to include in your very important travel agenda will depend on your particular expectations, tastes, adventuresome spirit, physical condition, and interests. The motivations are many and often mixed. However, the Dominican Republic offers a varied menu of options to fit the needs of almost all visitors.
COVER View of the hotel Lexury Bahía Principe. Samaná, Don Pablo Collection, built by Therrestra Foto by: Therrestra 4
RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
If traveling to the country’s eastern region, you should think about the following tour options: 1. Trip to Saona Island: This is probably one of the country’s most beautiful boat rides. Visitors will be able to see the most beautiful coral reef formations and enjoy one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. 2. Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone: The Zone is the inheritance left behind by the Spanish conquistadors after their arrival on the island. 3. Altos de Chavon: This quaint village, a replica of a 16th century Polish village, is situated outside the eastern city of La Romana. 4. Hacienda: This day trip is perfect for those who love outdoor activities. The park offers seven fun-filled activities. 5. Fun Fun Cave: This particular tour will take visitors to underground caves. 5. Hot Air Balloon Tour:
The perfect way to see the Punta Cana region from up above. If your destination is the country’s north coast, the following destinations are a must: 1. Cayo Arena: Tours to this white-sand bank, situated in the crystal-clear waters of the Atlantic Sea, are organized by local tour operators. Others call this perfect destination Paradise Key. 2. The Damajagua Falls: Situated near the north coast city of Puerto Plata, this protected park features seven waterfalls that are a challenge to the adventure-loving visitor. 3. Rafting in Jarabacoa: Visitors to the country’s central mountain chain can participate in white-water rafting tours. 4. The bars and restaurants in the historic center of Puerto Plata. No matter which destination you choose, you can also consider the following tours: 1. Tours to see the humpback whales in Samana Bay, during January through March. 2. Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone. 3. Zipline tours, available in all tourism regions.
ELENA CRESPO | PHOTOS: TOURISM MINISTRY
34TH ON THE LIST OF THE WORLD’S TOP 100 BEACHES
Situated on the Dominican Republic’s north coast, Cayo Arena - also known as Cayo Paraiso (or Paradise Key) – is comfortably situated on the 34th slot on the list of the world’s most spectacular beaches. The list is prepared by CNN Travel.
Geographically, Cayo Arena belongs to the Dominican northwest province of Montecristi. Boats leaving from the mainland to the key do so from Punta Rucia, a small town in Puerto Plata due to the difficulties presented by the mangrove trees and channels that are closest to the key.
Writer Robert Louis Stevenson describes in his novel “Treasure Island” how the sailors would arrive at Admiral Benbow’s Inn with all their belonging in sturdy chests to begin their adventure in the high seas. But, today’s visitors do not need that much when they visit Cayo Arena (Sand Key), situated in the country’s Atlantic coast.
Fast boats leave from the small fishing village of Punta Rucia to the key. It is a short 30-minute ride. Visitors can travel to the key with the local fishermen or with tour operators that operate in the area. Transportation cost to the key and a typical Dominican lunch served right on the beach will cost between US$35-60 per person.
Visitors to the key, also known as Paradise Key, will find upon their arrival a few thatched-roof huts where visitors can stay overnight. The rest of the island is a beautiful stretch of lush tropical vegetation, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
Visitors travelling on one of the boats operated by fishermen should wear comfortable clothing, and lots of sunblock. It is recommended that the traveler only take with them only the bare necessities since visitors can only remain on the island for four hours.
The small key is situated only a few meters above sea level. The key itself is surrounded by spectacular white-sand beaches and crystal clear waters. These are some of the main reasons why CNN Travel placed the key on its list of the world’s top beaches.
On the return ride to Punta Rucia, visitors are dropped off on Ensenada Beach a spectacular place rich in the region’s flora and fauna and that leads to the Montecristi National Park, home to many protected species such as the manatee and the mangrove trees.
RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
WHERE TO EAT IN PUNTA RUCIA HOTEL PUNTA RUCIA LODGE The lodge’s restaurant offers excellent and very fresh seafood dishes. http://www.puntarucialodge.com/
LA TABLE D’ARNO French restaurant overlooking the ocean, specializing in meats and patés. http://latabledarno.com/
BEICARIIBI Italian restaurant offering excellent pizzas. Teléfono. 809-704-3045
TO ENJOY IT ALL...
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HOTELS & RESORTS
SANTA CLARA’S COVENT CHURCH
A HISTORIC TOUR THROUGH SOME OF METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL, FIRST IN THE AMERICAS
SANTO DOMINGO’S OLDEST CHURCHES SANTA MARIA ENCARNACION
METROPOLITAN CATHEDRAL, FIRST IN THE AMERICAS The land in which the Cathedral was built was first blessed in 1514, in a ceremony headed by Diego Columbus, the son of Christopher Columbus, and his wife, Maria de Toledo. Four crosses were erected to mark the perimeter where the Cathedral would be built. One of these crosses is currently exhibited at the Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chapel. The Cahtedral’s construction is closely linked to Italian Alejandro Geraldini, the first Residential Bishop of Santo Domingo. Bishop Geraldini launched the construction project in 1521, and remained in charge of the project until his death in 1524. The first mass was celebrated in 1541, but the structure was not completed until 1544 by Alonso de Fuenmayor, the Governor of Santo Domingo.
One of the most important legacies left by the Spanish Conquistadors in what is now the Dominican Republic are the beautiful colonial churches, all situated in the city’s Colonial Section. The great majority of these Catholic churches were built during the 16th century, and each has its own rich history. 8
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The Cathedral features various architectural styles, such as late Gothic, Baroque, Renaissance and Byzantine. The structure was built with limestone, brick and caliche. The main altar is a Baroque work of art built with centuries-old mahogany, and dates from 1684.
CHAPEL OF OUR LADY OF REMEDIES
The Chapel was built by Francisco Davila, the City Council’s alderman, and it was the first church attended by the colony’s original inhabitants before the Cathedral was built. The building’s interior consists of a single nave, with strong Gothic influence. The building was built with brick. The Chapel was built in the 16th century. Address: “Calle de las Damas Street,” near the Spanish Plaza.
CHURCH AND FORT OF SANTA BARBARA Built in 1562, the church is situated near the quarry where most of the stones used to build the first structures in Santo Domingo came from. The church reflects strong influences of the Moorish and Baroque Gothic styles. The building’s main facade features two towers built with an interesting mix of stones, one of which ends high in the belfry. The church entrance consists of three brick arches, decorated with Baroque motives.
Visiting Hours: Monday to Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p. m. (Audio guides are available in various languages).
The interior consists of a single nave with a barrel vault ceiling. The materials used were brick and stone. It is the only Colonial Church and Fort currently standing in the city of Santo Domingo.
Address: “Arzobispo Nouel Street,” Colonial Zone.
Visiting Hours: Monday-Saturday 6:00 p.m. to 6:45 p.m.; Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. Address: “Arzobispo Meriño Street,” Colonial Zone.
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Situated near the Cathedral of Santo Domingo, the first built in the Americas, is the Church of Santa Clara.
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CONVENT OF THE CHURCH OF LAS MERCEDES CONVENT OF THE DOMINICAN RELIGIOUS ORDER This is the first convent built in the Americas by the Catholic Order of Preachers. “ is the oldest structure currently standing in the New World,” according to researcher Maria Ugarte. The convent was founded in 1510, and the church was built years later in wood. An interesting piece of information is that the first Theology Program began in this building in 1532. In 1538 Pope Paul III declared the Program to be the New World’s first university. In the late sixteenth century, the church collapsed due to the impact of several earthquakes. The Convent’s full reconstruction was undertaken two centuries later. The nave is topped by a barrel vault, while the presbytery features a Gothic vault. The altar features baroque columns and motives. One of the chapels is decorated with mythological figures representing the four seasons. According to German archaeologist Erwin Walter Palm, the vault is painted with astrological signs. Address: “Padre Billini Street,” Colonial Zone.
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The church and convent were built between 1527 and 1555 by Rodrigo de Liendo, depicting beautiful Gothic and Renaissance styles. The church has a single nave with interconnected side chapels. Its structural diagram corresponds to Gothic vaults. The wooden altar is decorated with silver, all of which come together to highlight the image of Our Lady of Mercy, patron saint of Dominicans. The church was partially destroyed in 1586 by the English pirate Francis Drake. Address: “Calle de las Mercedes Street,” Colonial Zone.
CHURCH OF SAN MIGUEL (ST. MICHAEL) The church was the center of one of Santo Domingo’s most important and oldest neighborhoods. The church was built in the 17th century, using very simple construction materials. During the second half of the 18th century the church was rebuilt, this time using brick, masonry and stone materials. Address: “Calle Jose Reyes Street,” Colonial Zone.
CHURCH OF THE HOSPITAL OF SAN LAZARUS The original St. Lazarus hospital was built in the 16th century to take care of the lepers, those suffering from contagious diseases, and as a home for the elderly. The hospital was destroyed, but the church still stands. Address: “Santome Street,” Colonial Zone.
CHURCH OF OUR LADY OF CARMEN Its construction is simple. Its white plaster walls, the baroque entrance, and the image of Our Lady of Carmen, makes this one of the Colonial Zone’s most beautiful churches. A very simple bell tower decorates the exterior of the monument. Once inside, visitors can observe the building’s two-phase construction phase: the first stage built in stone in the 17th century, and the stage built in brick during the 18th century. Address: “Arzobispo Nouel Street,” Colonial Zone. RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
YAMIRYS LIRIANO | PHOTOS:FUENTE EXTERNA
THE MOST POPULAR DESTINATION IN DR This idyllic tourism destination, known for its crystal-clear waters and white sand beaches, began 48 years ago when Dominican entrepreneur Frank Rainieri began to work on the tourism development of “Punta Borrachón” (the name which identified the region during the 1950s and 1960s).
TOURS AND CULTURAL ACTIVITIES:
Centuries before, the region was known by the original Taino population as “Yauya.” Today, the region has become a top world-class tourism destination. Its international airport and the representation of some of the world’s top hotel chain hotels, have turned Punta Cana into a prime tourism destination featuring 50 top-quality hotels and eight golf courses.
Excellent scuba diving tour that will take visitors to the nearby wreckage of a Russian boat that was transporting corn to Cuba. The ship went down near the Punta Cana coastline on its way to deliver corn to Cuba. Built in France in 1957, the ship was 127 meters long and weighed some 28,000 tons.
Punta Cana is situated a short distance from the beautiful cape of “Cabo Engaño,” and 40 kilometers from the eastern region city of Higüey. It is blessed with 50 kilometers of uninterrupted beaches and a five-kilometer long coral reef barrier. This unique natural environment provides visitors with pristine beaches, perfect for scuba divers and snorkelers. The beaches of Bávaro, Arena Gorda, Cortecito, Cabeza de Toro, Punta Cana and Macao have all been included on the world’s top beaches by UNESCO. 12
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ADVENTURE TOURS: DOLPHIN EXPLORER Visitors will be able to swim with the dolphins and enjoy the presence of other amazing animals, such as seals, sharks and manta rays.
CHOCOMUSEO Chocolate lovers can tour the chocolate museum/factory, where they will be able to learn everything there is to know about making this delicious treat. During the tour visitors can also purchase beauty products made with chocolate.
DOLPHIN ISLAND PARK Aside from swimming with the dolphins, visitors can also snorkel alongside sharks, manta rays, seals and marine lions. The tour also includes a one-hour ride on a catamaran, 30-minute snorkeling tour and a one-hour stay at a nearby natural pool. LA HACIENDA Punta Cana’s new “La Hacienda” park features seven different adventure activities in a private 2.5 million square meter farm. Guests can enjoy the Buggy Polaris (an off-the-beaten path tour through the beautiful tropical terrain, with a stop at the unspoiled Anamuya River), horseback riding, safari, zip lines, Quik Jump and Telesilla. The tour’s definite highlight is the rich Dominican buffet served during lunch.
DOLPHIN ISLAND PARK
MONKEY LAND This particular tour will bring visitors up close and personnel with squirrel monkeys. Guests can feed the friendly monkeys, while the specialized tour guide provides them with pertinent information on these beautiful creatures.
MANATI PARK The park offers a series of entertaining activities involving dolphins, as well as other animals, surrounded by lush tropical vegetation.
DOMINICAN BALLOONS This truly fun tour will take visitors on a onehour tour of Punta Cana and Bavaro on board an air balloon. The ride will give visitors a whole new perspective on the country’s eastern region.
ADVENTURES PARK This is an ideal tour for families who enjoy adrenaline-packed tours. The park’s Zip Lines are a main attraction.
SCAPE PARK This ecological park is situated on the nearby Cap Cana cliffs (265 meters above sea level). The park is known for its fun sports and cultural activities, such as Zip Lines, adventure buggies, a natural blue lagoon, various water sports activities and horseback riding.
SIRENIS AQUAGAMES Found at the Sirenis Cocotal Hotel, the space takes up 11,200 square meters and offers fun aqua games for the entire family. There is a beautiful swimming pool, four water slides, and many more activities. PARQUE ECOLÓGICO OJOS INDÍGENAS This ecological park is the perfect spot for a family hiking tour. There are 12 natural lakes in the park, where some are perfect for some refreshing swimming. Scuba diving is also available.
BAVARO ADVENTURE PARK The park offers Zip Lines, a climbing Wall, Segway, Paint Ball Shooting Range, Flight Simulator, Zorbing, Bungee Trampoline, Mountain Bikes and Dinosaur World. For more information: www.bavaroadventurepark.com.
BAVARO RUNNERS ZIP LINE This attraction features one of the Caribbean’s largest Zip Lines and the largest in the Dominican Republic. The park offers 16 platforms with two-mile long cables that will run through lush hills in order to reach the treasure buried in the Anamuya Mountain.
BEACHES: BAVARO BEACH This breathtaking beach is included on the list of the world’s 10 most beautiful beaches. The two-kilometer beach is protected by a natural coral reef that turns the beach into a natural pool. PLAYA MACAO This is one of the region’s most important beaches. Its main characteristic is that there are no hotels on the beach. It is a popular destination for the locals and surfers. PLAYA JUANILLO
NIGHTLIFE: COCO BONGO This is one of Punta Cana’s most popular nightclubs. Visitors will enjoy one of the liveliest places in the entire region for a good Dominican party.
IMAGINE Known for its wonderful theme parties, this is a must destination for partying in Punta Cana. The nightclub is found in a large and natural cave system.
This beach is home to the Sanctuary Cap Cana Hotel, one of the most beautiful in the region. It is an isolated destination, lined by endless coconut and palm trees. CAPE “CABO ENGAÑO” Situated on the “Coconut Coast,” due to its impressive number of palm and coconut trees. It is a true Paradise for windsurfers and parasailers. “HOYO AZUL” (BLUE HOLE) Visitors to this natural swimming pool, featuring crystal clear blue waters, can take a refreshing dip in the cool waters for some 30 minutes. RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
ELENA CRESPO | PHOTOS: CODELPA
THE NEW CODELPA RECORD
CONSTRUCTION COMPANY BUILDS 732- ROOM HOTEL IN JUST NINE MONTHS In 2017, the CODELPA company confirmed its leadership in the construction industry both in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean region by building a 732-room hotel in a record time of nine months.
Construction on the Royalton Bavaro Hotel began in March 2017, and on December 15 the facility began to receive its first guests. This impressive construction record confirms the company’s motto: “CODELPA: THE BUILDER OF TOURISM.”
tant construction projects carried out in 2017, and in the history of CODELPA. It reveals the incredible professionals who worked on the project and the support provided by the entire CODELPA family”, explained company president Alvaro Peña.
The Royalton Bavaro, a member of the Blue Diamond Resorts chain, features 732 rooms that cover an area of 140,000 square meters. This large-scale project was successfully completed by using and optimizing all resources during the construction phase.
More than 120 engineers worked tirelessly on the project, which also included the participation of young Dominican professionals that participate in the various university programs sponsored by CODELPA, revealed Peña.
“The construction of the Royalton Bavaro is one of the most impor14
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He also explained that the project features high-performance acoustic insulation techniques, energy saving policies, resistant
construction to protect against dangerous weather situations, as well as the use of state-of-the-art construction materials and lower maintenance costs. In September 2013 the Association of Hotels and Tourism of the Dominican Republic (ASONAHORES) declared CODELPA as “the developer of tourism,” in recognition of its contributions to the construction of hotels and other tourism-related infrastructure. With this particular project, the company has maintained its position as a leader in the construction of hotel projects. During 2017, CODELPA built more than 15,000 rooms, representing more
RESPONSIBLE ENGINEERS OF THE ROYALTON BÁVARO.
than 30% of the total rooms currently available in large Dominican resorts. Its client list includes important national and international tourism chains. “There are no miracles in the construction business, but having CODELPA working with us ensures part of the success of our hotels,” said Stephen Hunter, president of Blue Diamond Resorts last March, during the hotel’s ground-breaking ceremony.
OTHER HOTELS In 2017 the construction company successfully completed the remodeling of Santo Domingo’s iconic El Embajador Hotel, a member of the Spanish-based BarcelO chain of hotels. Other important projects included the expansion of the following facilities: the Catalonia Bayahibe Hotel in La Romana; Punta Cana’s International Airport and the construction of the Secrets Cap Cana Hotel, belonging to the AM Resorts chain. In addition, it is completing the final phase of the Excellence Oyster Bay Hotel in Jamaica and the Lopesan Costa BAvaro Hotel. It will soon begin construction of a residential complex in this particular facility. In November 2017, CODELPA began working on the construction of the Ocean El Faro Bavaro Hotel, a member of the H10 chain.
CODELPA HONORED DURING IMPORTANT CONSTRU WEEKEND EVENT Because of its social and economic impact in the Dominican Republic, where it has built two million square meters in hotel projects, CODELPA was distinguished during the 2017 important Constru Weekend event. “We shall continue to support the country’s tourism industry. That is CODELPA’s goal. Also, to work for a sustainable tourism industry that will help us achieve a better country,” said Peña. “The future is today and CODELPA is committed to being part of the necessary changes that will contribute to create a better world for future generations,” explained Peña. This is why our new corporate and operational organizational structure emphasizes the areas of industrial safety, occupational health and the environment. Each completed project consolidates the goals established by the company. During its 30 years in the market, CODELPA has successfully worked with an impressive list of clients that includes the majority of the hotel chains that operate in the country. The company’s success lies in the importance of its corporate values, its focus on customer service and its commitment to quality and innovation in all areas.
IN JAMAICA AND HAITI Commitment, confidence and experience are the firm values that identify CODELPA. These solid values also identify the company with the Dominican Republic’s national tourism industry. But, the years of experience accumulated in the hotel industry has opened the doors to the company in other Caribbean destinations, such as Jamaica. CODELPA has developed such important tourism projects as Excellence Resorts and the Hyatt Hotel in Jamaica, as well as the construction of the InterAmerican Development Bank in Haiti. CODELPA continues to expand at the international level. It will son begin construction projects in Antigua and St. Marteen, revealed company president Alvaro Peña. “Our responsibility goes beyond the development of world-class projects. Our goal is to create structures that will become important tools to strengthen the tourism industry.”
RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
YAMIRYS LIRIANO | PHOTOS:FUENTE EXTERNA
SANTA BARBARA DE SAMANA: A CITY NESTLED BY THE ATLANTIC OCEAN
The province of Samana, situated on the Dominican Republic’s northeastern region overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, has become one of the country’s top tourism attractions.
The region occupies an area of 847 square kilometers, with 1,600 kilometers of a truly remarkable coastline, dotted with some of the world’s finest white- sand beaches, and a population of 106,000 according to the 2010 national census. One important characteristic of the region is the mountain chain that rises in close proximity to the coastline and beaches. The region is also home to two protected areas. In 1756 the Spanish Governor Francisco Rubio y Peñaranda decided to populate the region to counter the presence of English and French pirates. In 1908m the city and the province were officially named with its indigenous name, Samana. Santa Barbara de Samana is the name of the capital of the province. The beautiful bay that bears its name was included in 2009 in the select list of the “Club of the Most Beautiful Bays of the World.” Other local communities have become important tourist attractions, such as the beachfront towns of Las Terrenas and Las Galeras, home to one of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The area offers guests an excellent list of hotels, for all budgets, mostly all-inclusive facilities. The region is dotted with local and international restaurants, where many specialize in preparing dishes with coconut milk and oil.
WHALE-WATCHING SEASON During the January-March months, known locally as the “Whale-Watching Season,” thousands of national and international tourists visit the bay to catch a glimpse of the massive mammals that annually migrate to the warm 16
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waters of the north coast from the North Atlantic to deliver their calves and to mate. It is the only place in the Caribbean where tourists can watch their annual pilgrimage. Tours to the region are organized from all over the country, specifically from Punta Cana, La Romana, Puerto Plata, Santo Domingo, Santiago and other local towns and cities.
THE PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE There are two absolutely beautiful keys situated in the heart of Samana Bay. The keys are connected to the nearby mainland through two quaint pedestrian bridges, which through the years have become one of the town’s most important symbols. Walking through them is a ride that offers the best panoramic views of Samana.
“LOS HAITISES” NATIONAL PARK: Situated in Samana Bay, this rainforest is situated along the southern part of the Bay of Samana. The area is one of the country’s top nature reserves, where visitors can visit caves where the Tainos – the original inhabitants of the island – painted symbolic drawings that have lasted through the ages. The reserve is also known for the incredible number of birds that live or migrate through the area.
LAS GALERAS: This old fishing village is situated next to the Bay of Rincon. Well organized tours include hiking and camping.
LIMON WATERFALL: The 40-meter waterfall can be reached with the help of special guides, either on foot or on horseback.
Updated information on Dominican Tourism
RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
ELENA CRESPO | PHOTOS: MÁXIMO ZORRILLA
BAYAHIBE’S BUTTERFLY PARK: A UNIQUE ENCOUNTER WITH NATURE
A short distance from the city of La Romanasituated approximately 90 minutes east of Santo Domingo and 45 minutes west of Punta Cana – the banks of the Chavon River are known for its lush tropical vegetation. Right in this area is where important scenes of the movies “Apocalypse Now” and “Rambo II” were filmed. A few steps from the region’s main highway tour members will board a wooden barge will transport the tour members to the town known as “Gato.” The crossing is done with the sounds of 18
RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
typical merengue music, the national rhythm of the Dominican Republic. Once across, guests are transported to Caribbean VIP Tours, a very special place because it is home to the largest butterfly park in the country’s eastern region. During the last two years tourists from Germany, Holland and Italy have participated in special tours that have taken them to areas where they can become familiar with the beautiful landscape of the Dominican Republic. The guided tours start off with a walk through a path lined with wild flowers and lush vegetations. Native birds are also a popular sight in these tours. At the butterfly park, tour guides will give
guests a full explanation of the cycle of life of a butterfly. This is truly a magical and unforgettable place to experience, surrounded by hundreds of colorful butterflies that flutter all around. In the park, it is common to see the impressive black and yellow Tiger Butterfly settle quietly on the shoulder of one of the visitors. During the tour, guides will provide all the information necessary on the importance of these noble insects in the local environment. For more information, please visit: www.tanamabayahibe.com
ELENA CRESPO | PHOTOS : MÁXIMO ZORRILLA Y FUENTE EXTERNA
Santa Rosa de Lima Temple. Construction on this beautiful temple concluded on June 24, 1906. Its history is closely linked to the people of La Romana. The church holds annual religious, cultural and sports-related events during August 22-30. Santa Rosa de Lima Cultural Village. The cultural center is situated next to the port of La Romana. Corporación Central Romana. Special tours take the visitor through this world-class agricultural and tourism-related company, which began operations in the town of La Romana in 1912. Today, it is the country’s most important sugar-producing company. Duarte Central Park. The town’s main square, also known as Central Park, features a statue of Juan Pablo Duarte, the Dominican Republic’s founding father. The park also features the “Path of the Immortals,” exhibiting the statues of Dominican baseball greats. Garcia Cigar Factory Tour. The tour provides the visitor a complete walk-through of the cigar industry, beginning with the plantation and ending with a view of how some of the best cigars in the world are made.
THE COUNTRY’S “CITY OF SUGAR”
Cigar Country Tours. Visitors will visit various cigar factories, some situated as close as five minutes from Casa de Campo.
The province of La Romana, on the country’s eastern region, offers visitors a long list of attractions, excellent cuisine, and a wide menu of exciting tours.
opened its first international airport. Years later, the cruise ship industry discovered La Romana. The first cruise ships arrived in 1992 with the arrival of the “Costa Clasica” cruise ship at Catalina Island, situated a few miles off the coast of La Romana.
SHORT HISTORY OF LA ROMANA:
In 2002 the city’s official Tourism Pier opened, annually ushering in thousands of tourists from all over the world to the city. La Romana, because of its world-class sugar industry, its lifestyle and its tourism projects, is a “sweet” town to visit.
Ship Cruise to Saona Island. The boat tour will take visitors to the nearby island, situated off the coast of La Romana. The island is part of the National Park of the Eastern Region and is one of the country’s most important sanctuary for migrating birds.
Ron Barceló Factory Tour. The tour provides all the necessary information on how this famous Dominican rum is made.
During the final years of the 19th century the Port of La Romana was officially inaugurated. Its strategic and geographical importance, and the impressive jump in the town’s commercial activities, led the government to concentrate and eventually begin to build what is now the city of La Romana. In 1911, the South Puerto Rico Sugar Company opened the “Corporacion Central Romana,” the company responsible for the growth of the once small village. The sugar company was also responsible for the town’s first tourism projects. In 1974, Casa de Campo – one of the Caribbean top luxury resorts – opened its doors for the first time. In 1980 the complex inaugurated its “Altos de Chavon” cultural center and, in the year 2000, the city
Altos de Chavon Regional Archaeological Museum. The tour offers visitors a historic, cultural and literary tour of the region. Folklore Academy of Dominican Music and Dance. The academy offers visitors classes on some of the most important dances of the Dominican Republic. “La Casa del Artesano y Artesana de La Romana” (La Romana’s Artisan’s Workshop). This special center brings together local artisans, where 90% of all members are independent artisans who offer visitors their innovative products.
Wild Ranch Zipline Canopy. This special tour begins with a 20-minute ride on an all-terrain vehicle to Wild Ranch, a special eco-friendly center that offers zip-line rides across the lush vegetation.
Cueva de las Maravillas (Cave of Wonders). The cave is situated 25 meters underground and is 800 meters long. Visitors can walk through 240 meters of the beautiful cave. Buggy Rides. The Crazy Wheels company offers wonderful tours through local sugarcane fields and along the Chavon River, where the classic movie Apocalypse Now was filmed. Catalina Island. Also known as Serena, this beautiful white-sand island is also situated off the coast of La Romana, and is part of the National Park of the Eastern Region. RT MAGAZINE | MARCH 2018
Revista mensual de información turistica de la República Dominicana