La Romana - The Playground of the Rich and Famous
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Southwest of Punta Cana lies La Romana, the playground of the rich and famous. A sports enthusiast's delight, this 7000 acre resort community is home to international polo matches, top-ranked championship 18-hole golf courses and other outdoor sporting activities.
La Romana is one of the Caribbean's premier vacation resort areas. Located on the southeastern coast, La Romana is a favorite among discriminating travelers. It is a city that was built and maintained by sugar mills. The area's most famous attractions are located within Casa de Campo, the spectacular 7000 acre resort. The golf courses here are widely acclaimed to be the best in the Caribbean.
For a more laid-back vacation, stay in nearby Bayahibe to discover some of the country's most pristine beaches and spectacular vistas. The fishing village of Bayahibe is on a small bay toward the eastern tip of the island of Hispaniola. Its beaches offer a quiet respite from the Dominican Republic’s bigger tourist areas. Dive enthusiasts will enjoy the coral reef found in the waters off of Bayahibe’s coast.
The weather in the Dominican Republic remains tropical year round, with slight variations dividing it into basically two seasons, summer and winter. The average annual temperature is around 25° (77°F).
The so-called "cool" season is from November to April, with what is considered pleasantly warm weather, relatively low humidity and low precipitation. On the coast, i.e. near the beaches, the temperature hovers fairly constantly around 29°C (84°F) during the day and drops to around a comfortable 20°C (68°F) at night. However, in the mountainous regions of the interior the weather is always considerably cooler, and on the highest peaks the thermometer sometimes drops below the freezing point and on rare occasions snow can be seen.
The more "hot" season is roughly from May to October. Then, the average temperature rises to 31°C (87°F) during the daytime and drops to about 22°C (72°F) at night. However, with the accompanying high humidity that is more common during this season, it usually feels much hotter. It does rain a bit more often during this season, especially from May to August, but usually this turns out to be no more than a 30 minute tropical (sometimes heavy) shower. There are usually also some brief rainy periods during the months of November and December.
When to go?
The wettest times of the year are May-June and October-November. If you're worried about storms, the Caribbean's hurricane season lasts from June to November. The peak tourist season is between mid-December and mid-April, but this has more to do with the weather in Europe than local conditions in the Dominican Republic. Prices and visitor numbers decline significantly outside these months. Easter and Christmas are the peak local travel periods.
La Romana History and Location
La Romana is located on the Southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic, next to Rio Dulce (La Romana River) and adjacent to Catalina Island. In the Greater Antilles between Cuba and Puerto Rico, Hispaniola is the second-largest Caribbean island.
East of Santo Domingo, La Romana once was a thriving sugar port in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Former sugar plantation owner, Gulf and Western entered the resort business with the creation of Casa de Campo. The "house in the country" is a resort covering 7,000 acres, accommodating 3,000 guests, and offering nearly every type of sport. The drive to Casa de Campo from Santo Domingo takes approximately two hours. Some of the best golf courses in the Caribbean are at Casa de Campo.
Casa de Campo also has an authentic recreation of a 16th-century Spanish Dominican village atop a cliff at Altos de Chavón with craft boutiques, museums, restaurants, and an amphitheater. More than a historical period place, the village is an international arts center. Accomplished professional artists from many countries and disciplines compete for the 20 available three-month residencies each year. An art school affiliated with New York's Parsons School is part of the center.
There are numerous dive sites surrounding the Dominican Republic including the famous Captain Alsina and Hickory wrecks and La Caleta National Underwater Park.Fishing and boating excursions are a popular activity with visitors to the area.
Adventure travelers will want to visit Catalina and Saona, offshore wildlife preserves that are part of the National Park of the East. The park attracts international archaeological interest as scientists and anthropologists continue to unearth traces of the ancient Taino civilization.
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