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La Romana, Dominican Republic

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La Romana, Dominican Republic
The major city in the east of the Dominican Republic, La Romana lies midway between the capital, Santo Domingo, and the busiest airport in Punta Cana. It is one of the most popular visitor destinations in the DR, famed for its gorgeous beaches and luxurious resorts.

La Romana was founded in the 1890s as a center for import and exportation of sugar. Although much of the economic life of the city is centered around tourism today, sugar remains a major industry in the surrounding region (also known as La Romana), with the largest sugar refinery in the country just a few miles from the town center.

The city’s identity as a tourist hub began in the 1970s, with the construction of the Casa de Campo, a playground for the leisure-seeking rich. With private beaches, helipads, a marina, and flamboyant villas owned by the like of Julio Iglesias, Sharon Stone, and Oscar de La Renta, the Casa remains one of the finest resorts in the world. Private villas and apartments are available to rent for the well-healed among us commoners.

The nearby town of Altos de Chavon is a Mediterranean-style village home to artists and expats. Its location on top of a hill offers  fantastic views of the Chavon River and surrounding country. Altos de Chavon also has several great restaurants, boutiques, a outdoor concert hall where you can catch a merengue group or a performance by an international superstar, and an archaeological museum with a large collection of native Taino artifacts

Just 20 minutes from La Romana is Bayahibe , a small fishing village with one of the prettiest beaches on the island. From here, or from La Romana itself, you can charter boats to the islands of  Saona and Catalina within the Parque Nacional del Este. The larger Isla Saona is a paradise where you can enjoy its beautiful beaches, see the mangroves, or enjoy diving and other water sports.

La Romana itself is a typical Dominican town that has been developed into a visitor center, with numerous hotels, restaurants, apartment buildings, and clubs—none of which take away from the beauty of the setting.

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