My family does enjoy the beach more so one of the options when we travel together and are not hitting a cruise (a great way for us to travel together) is to go to a nice resort. A few years back, we chose to go to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, where we stayed at a Riu resort. We lived for many years next door in Puerto Rico and were quite familiar with the Dom. Rep. since there were many Dominicans in P.R. and you heard about it often enough in TV. But I had never gone.
Now, I am not known to be the type to lay at a beach for hours on end, days on end. I like my time in the beach to be an hour or two, most of that in the shade of some tree (or umbrella) enjoying the breezes and sounds of the sea – a most relaxing activity. Couple that with a beverage and it is perfect. Then I get bored. Sure, a dip in the water or two helps. And then I move on.
Punta Cana is on the eastern coast of the Dom. Rep. – almost exactly on the easternmost tip of the Hispaniola, pointing towards Puerto Rico. There are many resorts in the area at all price levels. The beaches are Caribbean prime. Why go further from North America with places like this at its doorstep! The resort had a great beach and great pools – areas we enjoyed on a daily basis even if sometimes I just hung out under the shade napping or reading a book. Of course, food is part of the enjoyment of a good vacation and we ate pretty well. The room was very spacious and very nicely done – that’s all REAL wood, not pressed wood…
Altos de Chavón, La Romana
But, the itch to explore is never down-and-out with me so we did plan for a day of seeing the countryside and visiting a couple of places we had heard about before. One, the basilica of Altagracia in Higüey, was on our way out to La Romana so it was an easy stop to admire this massive church. At La Romana, we visited Altos de Chavón, a charming recreation of any-town Middle Age Europe, complete with an amphitheater that has been used by the likes of Frank Sinatra, Duran Duran, and Julio Iglesias.
We all enjoyed walking around, exploring the town, looking at the shops and, why not, even a burro ride!
Have you been to the Dominican Republic? What are your favorite spots there?