Dominican Republic Back to Caribbean

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Courtesy Domincan Republic Ministry of Tourism

Since 1492, when Christopher Columbus arrived in what is now the capital city Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic has attracted visitors for its natural resources and beautiful beach and mountainous landscapes. More recently, the island saw a boom of tourism and development in the 1970s and ’80s (when mainstay Casa de Campo was built) but in the 1990s became a Caribbean hub for Cancun-like all-inclusive mass-market resorts. As a result, 10 international airports that receive direct flights from New York and other major cities around the world have sprung up in the country, which is not much bigger than New Hampshire. More recently, a handful of enclave retreats have been built thanks to big-name backers like Oscar de la Renta and New York designer Celerie Kemble. Like Cuba (to the northwest) and Puerto Rico (to the east), the Dominican Republic’s Spanish influence adds a distinctive flavor to its culture that differentiates it from the rest of the Caribbean. Along with tall coconut palm trees and freshly caught seafood on offer, guests can enjoy spirited merengue music and excellent hand-rolled cigars.

Cheat Sheet

  • Sleep…in Amanera‘s two-bedroom Beach Casita, offering panoramic ocean views
  • Experience…a nighttime dip in your suite’s private pool at Eden Roc at Cap Cana
  • Splurge…on a gown from the shop at the Oscar de la Renta-designed Tortuga Bay
  • Eat…shrimp tacos by the pool at Playa Grande Beach Club
  • Drinkuna fria, the local way of ordering a cold Presidente beer
  • Savor…grilled tuna steak at Casa de Campo’s Beach Club by Le Cirque
  • Visit…the town of Cabrera, known as the world’s top destination for kite-boarding
  • See…miles of towering coconut palms that line the roads of the north coast
  • Know…that as an Indagare member you can contact our Bookings Team for customized recommendations, expert guides, special access and itineraries.

Lay of the Land

The island of Hispaniola consists of Haiti in the west and the Dominican Republic in the east. Casa de Campo is located on the southern coast, about one hour east of Santo Domingo. On the east coast are two large developments, Cap Cana and directly to the north, Punta Cana, which are respectively home to boutique hotels Eden Roc and Tortuga Bay. The less-developed north coast is home to Playa Grande, one of the country’s most beautiful beaches and luxe resorts including Playa Grande Beach Club and Amanera. Also on the north coast and further to the west, is the kite-boarding capital of Cabarete, and nearby, Casa Colonial. The mountainous interior of the country is very rural.

Getting There

There are many international direct flights into the airport in Santo Domingo, the nation’s capital. Guests of Casa de Campo can fly to La Romana airport, a seven-minute drive from the resort; Tortuga Bay and Eden Roc guests can fly into Punta Cana airport, which is approximately 10 and 20 minutes away from each resort. The closest airports to Playa Grande are Samana (a one-hour drive to the east) and Puerto Plata (a one-hour drive to the west).

Getting Around

Indagare recommends arranging airport transfers through the bookings team or your hotel directly. It is strongly advised that foreigners not rent cars and drive themselves around the island. Rental car agencies are not entirely trustworthy; drivers do not follow many traffic laws; corruption is rife with tollbooth-collectors; and foreigners are targeted to be the at-fault party in automobile “accidents.” For those who still wish to navigate the island on their own, be sure to exchange money for Dominican pesos, as tolls only accept local currency.

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