Things To Do In La Romana
La Romana is an extraordinary spot to visit in the Dominican Republic. First stop is the Altos de Chavon, a truly old amphitheater which is the official concert venue of world renowned artists or performers. It has a stunning river streaming in the middle, making the entire area more secured in this stone foundation, including some parts of the stairs and the building itself. It is an idyllic village built in the Spanish style. Aside from the amphitheater, there is a little church located on its square with a spectacular view of the river. There are cute art and souvenir shops, cafes, and a small fine Amber Museum with amber from many places in the world and the local gemstone Larimar. La Romana is also the number one source of sugar cane in North America aside from being blessed with panoramic beaches and crystal clear waters. There are golf clubs that provide a plethora of activities to do by land or in the ocean. La Romana is definitely an ideal holiday getaway in the Caribbean that is designed for an ideal family vacation all year round.
When To Go:
You can appreciate the genuine tropical climate all year round and there is no set month on when to go or not to go, there is no doubt that it’s tourism activity is active and the only thing that will make a traveller their plans of getting around the city is the humid atmosphere. It has an average daily temperature that stays on 25°C (77 F). To endure the warm atmosphere, a short and a T-shirt, or a light dress (or a cotton jeans) or any casual clothing is advised when getting around during the day.
After sunrise, the sea breeze brings a chilly atmosphere and a light sweater is appropriate when getting out in the evening. The month where there is consistent rain occurs from May to November. The typhoon or monsoon season is expected from June to November too. However, there are highly advance meteorological instruments now and weather news that announce safety measures and the exact day and time when the storm will occur. Be sure to bring along appropriate rain gear and thick clothing if you intend to climb the mountains amid the typhoon months.
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These are the things to do in the city of La Romana:
Altos de Chavon
Built on top of a cliff, the Altos de Chavon is a preserved village that opens to a wonderful view of the River Chavon and its scenic surroundings. It is made of a basic material - sandstone, which finely hides the relatively young age of the building. On the territory there are several institutions - a museum, gift shop, restaurant, church, and a school. In addition to this, there is the amphitheater, which hosts large concerts and national events. Walking through the territory can be combined with the photo shoot and take shots of the city's great impressions. It is a small area that was artificially created and served as an imitation of a medieval European town.
Altos de Chavon has become one of the most beloved and popular tourist attractions to visit in the Dominican Republic. Tourists are immersed in the atmosphere of the early Spanish colonial era. All the buildings look as if they have been preserved from that time. For added features in the village there are "locals" in bright national costumes that you can take pictures with for a small fee. Although the size of the village is not very big, there is a lot to see and things to do. Admission fee is $25 (individual or package excursions can be done) and there are fireworks done nightly before the site closes.
It was founded in 1976. There are many galleries, museums, and wonderful cafes and restaurants. Immerse yourself in the atmosphere of Altos de Chavon Village and you will feel like being in the good old Europe. The road to Altos de Chavon from Punta Cana takes approximately two to two and a half hours. It is a picturesque place where you can make beautiful photos in the old town. The charming ambience of antiquity and the great picture outcomes is what draws crowds and tourists to explore its features. For those who want to plunge into the atmosphere, wander around the "old" streets of the town, to see the amphitheater and make a lot of photos with picturesque views, it is highly recommended!
Altos de Chavon School Of Design
The Altos de Chavon School of Design is very well frequented by visitors not only because of its iconic presence in the Altos de Chavon (it is mandatory to take pictures of this building and it serves as a real proof that you've been to La Romana), but for those who want to learn the extraordinary work and style of drawing. It is a beautiful area with unique views of the Rio Chavon and a great atmosphere.
What makes it unique is the view over the course of the Rio de Chavon with its bilateral jungles. It is a pleasure to walk through its streets, shop in one of the shops of artisans and dine at one of its restaurants. In this place, people who are interested in training about art spend two years of education in this idyllic and inspiring setting. If you love art, paintings, and sculptures, it is definitely worth a visit when in La Romana.
A walk along the river is included in the tour of the Rio Chavon. The river is big and picturesque and you can spend half a day knowing its interesting features and highlights. With views of the river there is another attraction - the Altos de Chavon Village where you can make fabulous pictures with the old building in the background. A journey by speed boat on the river brings a bunch of enthusiasm and emotion. It is also interesting to swim to a familiar spot where the river empties into the Caribbean Sea. It's a pretty cool view and it looks fascinating to see a river that runs through the province of La Romana and flows straight into the sea. The riparian landscape, the great river, and green moss form a beautiful combination. In addition to navigating on board a catamaran or boat, it is possible to hire a speedboat that will cross up to the nearby Saona Island.
The river is legendary and gained prominence because it is here where major movies like “Rambo 2”, “Jurassic Park”, “Anaconda”, and “Apocalypse Now” were filmed. It is possible to charter one of the biggest riverboat and have a lovely lunch of fresh fish and lobsters while enjoying the beautiful boat trip. It is a pleasant surprise and an opportunity for taking great photos of the sunset in La Romana. Photography lovers are drawn in by the charms of the Rio Chavon because of its idyllic landscape setting for recording images of incomparable beauty. For the romantic couples, it has become a tradition to have champagne toasts at the river crossing. While cruising, it is also possible to see the celebrity homes of Shakira, Vin Diesel and Julio Iglesias. There are parts where you'll feel truly embedded in the natural world and this is the added value of the visit to this famous river in La Romana.
Minitas Beach (Playa Minitas)
To have access to this private beach you need to pay $25 at the entrance of the condominium or at the Casa de Campo. At the Minitas Beach, there are chairs, towels and umbrellas that are free to use. There are also bars and restaurants on the beach where you can have a pina colada, which cost $15. The beach has beautiful sand and crystal clear waters. A few meters from the beach into the water, there is a barrier of stones, which makes the waves quite calm. On these stones you can make free dives and see some marine life. There is snorkelling and scuba diving equipment that can be leased for $14 per person. The regular beachgoers here are predominantly North Americans, with about 90% of their presence venturing out on the myriad of things to do in this private beach in La Romana.
The Playa Minitas is a great surprise inside the Casa de Campo. The beach is very clean and fully transparent. The gardens are beautiful, the water is sparkling clean and there are well maintained bathrooms. The beach is intimate and you can spend enough time contemplating while watching the soaring eagles in the sky and it is specifically designed to meet the needs of the visitors who are getting increasingly numerous every summer and the rest of the year. Wedding photo shoots on this beach is very popular. You can also have lunch and dinner at the restaurant that overlooks the entrance, taste their exquisite dishes and get served by their cordial staff. The environment is exclusive, elegant and much more; be sure to visit when you're in La Romana.
Cueva de las Maravillas
The Cueva de las Maravillas is a cave complex in La Romana that is very well enhanced with evocative lighting and comfortable paths. This cave complex is located a few hundred meters from the highway just before San Pedro Macoris if you're coming from La Romana via public transport. The complex was opened to the public a decade ago and includes a tourist route that is well studied and equipped with a well marked trail. The caves (you cannot take pictures inside) are interesting both for its size and for the presence of numerous art works like the Taino (which is now a necropolis). In particular, you can see the "Skeleton" a preserved graffiti and most admired art on this site. The ticket price is 300 pesos and includes an excellent guide. Unfortunately, the place is almost always overlooked by sightseeing companies and packaged tours can be arranged straight from the entrance of this tourist attraction. For easy and convenient access, you can get there by taxi from the La Romana Bayahibe which cost of about 30/40 dollars up to the main entrance or jump off point leading to the caves.
Discovered in 1926, this cave also features the natural rock formations and art in La Romana. It is situated between the rivers and Soco Cumayasa on the road from San Pedro de Macoris and it is easily reached by car. The lift and special trails also allow disabled people to access the internal and grotto parts of the cave. The cave is very well maintained with steps made using plants and flowers of the place. Photo enthusiasts come here to take pictures of rare wild orchids that can't be seen from other nature parks or gardens in La Romana. The path is open to the public along 250-300 meters and it is illuminated by an impressive system of lights that turn on and off at the passage of the visitor. The journey throughout the entire cave leads to a fantastic cathedral of stalactites and stalagmites. The destination of the cave as a place dedicated to the dead is clearly shown by the symbolism of the paintings that represent the God of the dead and form part of the Taino, with bat ears and the representation of the cross' anatomy which is located over the nose of these animals. The origin of the paintings could be traced from the ancient times. Be sure to wear appropriate footwear because the bottom is very slippery when wet. Too bad you cannot take pictures or videos, but it is still a great experience to try especially with children. A visit to the Cueva de las Maravillas is worth the ticket price and all the effort.
Playa Caleta La Romana
The Playa Caleta La Romana is a public beach where you can go and see how the locals spend their weekends in La Romana. The beach is usually crowded and not easily accessible by car or a motorbike. However, this beach is an ideal place to go snorkelling, fishing, and diving. There is a fun excursion on board a buggy and a short visit to a cave.
It is a place for wholesome entertainment with a family atmosphere. You can also enjoy fresh fish, seafood and fruits that are typical in the area. At night, Caribbean music rules the air and one can spend a pleasant evening under the stars. It is a quiet and divine beach where you can enjoy the sun, natural beauty, fresh air, good food and drinks.
Regional Museum of Archaeology
The Regional Museum of Archaeology is a complete blast from the past tourist attraction and serves as a gateway to the origin or roots of La Romana. It is very organized and structured. Children enjoy and learn a lot from the workshops offered at this museum. It is really a pleasant surprise to observe all the collections that they have and it does not have the imposing character like other archaeological museums.
It was able to retain some primitive Taino inhabitants’ findings with excellent descriptions. The rigorous explanation of their guide and the exhibition of the pieces that still remain reflect the origin of the cultures of the country and the entire region. When in La Romana, a visit to this historic site is strongly recommended.
Teeth Of The Dog
If you are a golf enthusiast or simply want to hit the greens, the perfect place to be is along the golf course called the Teeth of the Dog. There is nothing to dislike, the driving courses are excellent, lots of golf carts, caddies, the attention, the condition of the fairways and greens, and everything is 100% well maintained and fully operational.
It is a must to play here and enjoy the beautiful views of the countryside. The view of the villas is a delightful scene while putting the greens. The course is a real challenge, especially the ones along the water. However, it is worthy of its elegant reputation despite the exorbitant price. It is a course that a golf player must conquer even once in their life.
The Playa Mariposa has multitudes of colorful fish amongst an unspoilt coral and above a sandbank at sea without anyone in sight. It is lightly inhabited and tourists are quite a few no matter what the season is. It is one of La Romana’s hidden gems and an unexplored paradise like attraction. It is a fantastic Caribbean beach where you can snorkel and enjoy the scenery in an intimate and private setting. This wild sandy beach has all the elements of spending a holiday vacation in peace and just admiring the serene blue waters of La Romana.
Crazy Wheels is perhaps the most fun excursion you can do in La Romana with lots of laughter and the opportunity to see and observe the local life. It is a fantastic excursion on board a buggy and quad ride (ATV) in the Dominican Republic inland area of Bayahibe, which is operated by very friendly and professional staff/guides. You must allow half a day to do this hike. The ride goes around the sugar cane plantations, villages and finally to the bank of the River Chavon. Bring sunglasses and bandana and prepare yourself to get covered, literally in mud. However, the outdoor experience is beautiful and the tour is well organized.
La Romana is an ideal holiday destination in the Dominican Republic because of the numerous activities and family friendly adventures that are just waiting to be discovered. From historic sites to beach adventures, the fun never ends and all you need to bring is your adventurous drive and willingness to explore all its untapped beauty and resources. When in La Romana, get ready for the ride of your life in a city that is not only enchanting, but holds a lot of mystical sites and stories to share.
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