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Home > Destinations > Dominican Republic > La Romana - Bayahibe

La Romana - Bayahibe

Easily accessible by land or air through its own modern airport with connections to Europe and the United States, La Romana has built a reputation as a golfer's paradise. Yachstmen and water sport buffs join horseback risers, weekend bicyclers, tennis fans, hunters and skeet sportsmen alike who all enjoy mingling with the jetsetters in the Dominican Republic that have made La Romana a star that shines with its own light.

Visitors come to meet their friends that migrate to their La Romana homes escaping the stress of big city life. La Romana, a city built and maintained by the sugar mills years before tourism became the mainstay in the region, today has just the right mix of shopping and small restaurants to make for comfortable visiting and living. To this day, the seasonal production of sugar fills the air with the sweet smell of molasses.

The principal attraction of the region is Altos de Chavon, a re-created 16th century Mediterranean village beside the mesmerizing Chavón River. At its founding in 1981, Altos de Chavon was declared a working artist's village by its creators who dedicated it to the fine and applied arts. Its other-worldly cobblestone streets and quaint architecture conceal charming shops, fine restaurants intimate bars, artisan's workshops, a church, an archaeological museum and a university specializing in design affiliated to Parson's School of Design in New York. In the tradition of Frank Sinatra, who sang at then inaugural concert, some of the best in the world continue to perform at the Chavón amphitheatre stage.

While there, you might be able to catch a presentation of the Kandela tropical musical extravaganza at the amphitheatre. During the one hour and 20 minute show 48 performers go on stage.

Visit the Romana Casa de Campo Marina and Yacht Club. The marina and adjacent shopping and dining area Portofino, Italy-style is located where the mouth of the Chavon River opens into the Caribbean Sea. This is the place where the rich-and-famous in the Dominican Republic meet and host their international jet set guests.

The nearby exquisite beaches at Bayahibe and Dominicus are both home to splendid hotels from which you can easily travel to the offshore wildlife preserves of Catalina and Saona, virgin islets embraced by the spacious National Park of the East. Access to the islands is possible by speed boat, catamaran or sailing ship. This park is also the focus of international archaeological interest and media attention as scientists and anthropologists continue to unearth traces of the Taino civilisation. Likewise, boat tours leave daily to the crystal clear shallow water paradise of Palmilla near Saona Island, east of Bayahibe.

Observe the marine life at the underwater sanctuary created by the sunken St. Georges cargo vessel off the Viva Dominicus Beach. Thousands of colourful sea creatures make scuba dives there a must for those vacationing in the area. For the less adventurous, glass bottom boats take tourists out to watch the underwater views.

Information provided by the National Hotel & Restaurant Association Tourism Promotion Council.

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