What’s the definition of paradise to you? Is it a combination of white beaches, bright blue seas, palm trees, luxury hotels and stylish resorts with private swimming pools and Jacuzzi’s? Or more adventurous with waterfalls, lush tropical jungle, quaint beach shacks with Pina Colada’s, local food, live music and rugged beaches as far as the eye can see?
3 weeks ago I found all that, and much more, in the Dominican Republic! 20 years ago I already visited the island, actually my first ever overseas trip, which truly ignited my passion for travel and exploring. But this time I came back for more with @GoDomRepBenelux, and instead of staying in 1 all-inclusive hotel on 1 location all week, as many people do when visiting the Dominican Republic. We now explored 4 locations all around the island, from south, east to north and back.
We were guided by the Tourism Board to make sure we saw all the best spots and together with 3 other girls and a professional photographer we did photoshoots around the island, while exploring its beauty at the same time!
It’s hard to put in words, as this really was a dream trip and we saw and did so much, therefore I made a 4 minute video to give you a small taste of the diversity of the island and all the beauty we have experienced (best viewed full screen in mobile vertical view):
Next to that I will show you some more of my own and the photographer’s pics of all the spots, sights and hotels we visited, as I can truly recommend all of them.
On the first day we flew into Santo Domingo with Air Europa, and upon arrival immediately went on to La Romana which is about a 45 minutes’ drive from the airport. Here you will find the impressive:
Casa de Campo Resort
This resort has a huge estate of 7,000 acres with 4 stunning golf courses next to the ocean, a big variation of stylish rooms, suites and 2,400 private villa’s, 5 pools, a big private beach, several restaurants and so much more to offer. For example every room gets its own complimentary golf cart to drive around the resort, which was amazing! Find out more at: CasadeCampo.com and click through this gallery for some more impressions:
On the resort grounds you can also visit another gorgeous site which can not be missed:
Altos de Chavón
This re-creation of a 16th century Mediterranean village is simply stunning and unique. It has its own amphitheater, where concerts are held, and the authentic town square looks out upon the Chavón river below.
Every detail of Altos de Chavón was handcrafted by local artisans and it’s no surprise that many movies were filmed here. It’s the perfect setting for photoshoots, but also for a romantic dinner on one of the terraces there with gorgeous sunset views!
The next day we did an ultimate paradise day trip to:
Getting there by speedboat or catamaran was very easy and quite nearby from La Romana. This boat trip is one of the most popular excursions in the Dominican Republic, with good reason. Saona is the true definition of a bounty island with powdery white beaches, bent palm trees to lay on, and authentic photogenic colorful houses, see for yourself here:
After this adventure we proceeded to the east coast of the Dominican Republic in a 1 hour drive to:
One of the most popular resort destinations of the island, where we had the honour to stay in absolute luxury at the:
Mansion of CHIC Hotel Punta Cana
This 5 star adults-only resort provides the perfect setting and facilities for a luxurious and relaxing stay, with a multitude of facilities, entertainment, good food and much more!
We were treated to an 8 course Culinary Experience with private chef and many dazzling shows every night. With a stay in our 6 bedroom Mansion with huge swimming pool, several Jacuzzi’s and even a private butler, CHIC Punta Cana really blew us away. Find out more at: ChicResorts.com or book a stay and flight package via TUI.
Even though we didn’t want to leave our mansion and all the gorgeous facilities of CHIC Punta Cana we did manage to visit some other nearby sights and do several unique activities which are certainly recommended. See why here below:
Scape Park with the stunning Hoyo Azul
Macao Surf Camp
From Punta Cana we drove back to the capital of the island in little over 2 hours to explore this stunning colonial city:
Here we stayed at the most perfect location in the city center at a unique historic boutique hotel, formerly the governor’s mansion, built in 1502:
Hostal Nicolás de Ovando
Located in the heart of the colonial quarter, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site, on the first paved road of the New World called: ''Las Damas''.
The hotel’s buildings with many beautiful patio’s include the original home of the town’s founder, Governor Nicolás de Ovando, and have been turned into a 5-star hotel with swimming pool, restaurant, bar, gym center, and so much more. See all of it here: HodelPaNicolasdeOvando.com.
The colonial capital of the Dominican Republic with its colorful houses, gorgeous squares with delicious restaurants, vibrant atmosphere and live music, photogenic palaces, churches and unique architecture can not be missed, and we loved exploring it by bike, as you can see in this gallery:
After staying here for 2 days we drove 3 more hours north to:
This lush peninsula in the northeast of the island is in my opinion also a definite must visit! Hosting a gorgeous combination of boutique hotels, atmospheric beach restaurants, pristine secluded beaches and tropical jungle with waterfalls and rural countryside to discover, here you will experience the true spirit of the Dominican Republic!
We stayed here at:
The Bannister - Hotel & Yacht Club
This classy boutique hotel is located in one of the best locations of the peninsula, in between the mountains and the sea, with direct views upon the marina of Puerto Bahia. With the most spectacular sunrise views from your room, and sunset dinners besides the hotel’s infinity pool, this place has it all!
Cascada Limon (waterfalls)
I hope I was able to convince you that on this tropical island you don’t have to choose, you can combine adventure with luxury, authentic sights and experiences with nature and explore all the island has to offer, while staying in comfort and luxury in a private mansion or one of the many luxurious hotels and resorts all around the Dominican Republic.
Did I convince you of the beauty and diversity of the Dominican Republic and would you like to go here as well?
If you do, and need more tips or itinerary inspiration, make sure to check the site of the Tourism Board for all info: GoDominicanRepublic.com, or to the other blogs of my friends that also came along on this amazing trip and wrote about it on: DutchBloggerontheMove.com, FranAmsterdam.com and LittleWanderbook.com.