La Romana, Dominican Republic

La Romana is located along the southern coast equal distance between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana. Among its numerous attractions are the best golf courses on the island, a replica of a 16th century village, flawless beaches, countless water activities plus all-inclusive resorts.

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1 Introduction to La Romana, Dominican Republic

La Romana is positioned along the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo and Punta Cana are about a two-hour drive in either direction. The island’s third largest metropolitan area is the epitome of contrasts. The central city bustles with traffic and activity. There are very few tourist attractions there except for around Duarte Central Park. The other extreme starts at this entrance gate to Casa de Campo. Within 7,000 acres are the most exclusive resort, marina and villas on the island. La Romana is also famous for incredible beaches and golf courses juxtaposed with sugarcane fields.

Casa de Campo, Carr La Romana - Higüey, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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2 Dye Fore Golf Course at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic

There are 26 golf courses in the Dominican Republic. Four of the top ten are located in Casa de Campo. This is the Dye Fore Golf Course created by legendary designer Pete Dye. Since this course opened in 2005, it has been rated number five on the island and number 14 in the Caribbean. The rolling 18 holes are a challenge for any player. Even on a bad day, you will be thrilled by the spectacular vistas of the Chavón River, marina and Caribbean Sea.

Casa de Campo, Carr La Romana - Higüey, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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3 Altos de Chavón at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic

From 1958 until 1983, Charles Bluhdorn was the founder and president of Gulf & Western, a Fortune 500 conglomerate. One of his passions was the Dominican Republic. In 1967, he purchased a local sugarcane company and began building Casa de Campo, his dream mega-resort. Among his inspirations was recreating a 16th century Mediterranean village on the property. He chose Roberto Copa to be the co-architect. Copa was a senior set designer for Paramount Studios, one of Bluhdorn’s subsidiaries. When Altos de Chavón opened in 1982, the results were magical. Flanking the cobblestone streets are restaurants, shops and galleries. They are tucked inside 16th century architecture reproductions crafted from coral blocks. In the center is St. Stanislaus Church. Its namesake is the 11th century bishop of Kraków and the patron saint of Poland. Iglesia San Estanislao de Cracovia is not a prop. The church was consecrated by Pope John II in 1979 and conducts masses on the weekends.

Casa de Campo, Carr La Romana - Higüey, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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4 Río Chavón at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic

The view from atop St. Stanislaus Church at Altos de Chavón is incredible! In the background is Río Chavón. The river has a southern flow across the island before emptying into the Caribbean Sea near the Casa de Campo Marina. In the foreground is the Chavón Riverfront Terrace. Imagine the thrill of attending a wedding or special event at this picturesque location.

Casa de Campo, Carr La Romana - Higüey, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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5 Amphitheater at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic

Another highlight at Casa de Campo is the Altos de Chavón Amphitheater. It resembles an ancient Greek stadium. The limestone seating can accommodate 5,000 people. Since the opening performances by Frank Sinatra and Carlos Santana in 1982, this amphitheater has staged countless concerts, many by top performers.

Casa de Campo, Carr La Romana - Higüey, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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6 Marina at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic

If you want a place to moor your mega-yacht while vacationing in the Dominican Republic, then instruct your captain to sail into the Casa de Campo Marina. Docking facilities are also available for smaller watercraft. A concierge will be waiting to accommodate you. If you cannot find something here, you do not need it. The nearly 100,000 square foot marina includes ship services plus restaurants, shopping malls, boutique stores, a movie theater, a grocery store and several banks. The first thing you will need is a golf cart to get around.

Casa De Campo La Marina, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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7 Lighthouse at Casa de Campo in La Romana, Dominican Republic

If you are on a budget, the good news about Casa de Campo is you do not need to be a guest of the resort or a villa owner to experience its amazing amenities. For a small fee, you can visit Altos de Chavón, the marina and Minitas Beach. These three locations make for a perfect, one-day excursion. This lighthouse is at the end of the marina pier attached to the SBG Restaurant. The menu features Mediterranean cuisine. The exquisite seascape of the Caribbean from the outdoor seating is free.

Casa De Campo La Marina, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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8 City Hall in La Romana, Dominican Republic

La Romana was founded in 1897. The city has continuously grown first from oil, followed by sugarcane milling during the first half of the 20th century and then tourism since the 1970s. The current population is nearly 250,000. Most residents are employed by Central Romana Corporation, Ltd. The private conglomerate specializes in agriculture, manufacturing and resorts. Ayuntamiento de La Romana stands at the epicenter of the high-density metro area. The Art Deco design is a rarity in the Dominican Republic yet was popular worldwide when City Hall opened in 1910.

Calle Eugenio A Miranda 53, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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9 Church of Saint Rose of Lima in La Romana, Dominican Republic

Iglesia Santa Rosa de Lima was founded in 1914. This building was constructed in 1940. The Catholic church is dedicated to Saint Rose of Lima. Despite her early death at the age 31 in 1617, she became the first saint born in the Americas. Church of Saint Rose of Lima defines the northern edge of Duarte Central Park. The backside faces Calle Fray Juan de Utrera. The street honors Father Juan Antonio Abreu. From 1948 until his death in 1977, this priest was the inspiration for the parish plus a founder of a local school and nursing home.

Iglesia Santa Rosa de Lima, Calle Eugenio A Miranda, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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10 Bull Sculpture in La Romana, Dominican Republic

This bull is one of several wrought-iron sculptures in Duarte Central Park. They are the work of José Ignacio Morales. Most Dominicans know him as El Artistico. Since the 1970s, he has perfected his talent for converting scrap metal into outdoor art. The majority of his four-decade career has been spent adorning the villas and public spaces at Casa de Campo. You will also find his sculptures across the island.

Parque Central Duarte, Calle Duarte, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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11 Baseball Player Statues in La Romana, Dominican Republic

Fans of America’s favorite pastime enjoy Paseo de los Inmortales in Parque Central Duarte. The Walk of the Immortals features statues of celebrated baseball players from the Dominican Republic. Over 400 Dominicans have played Major League Baseball in the United States. These include Hall of Famers such as Juan Marichal, Pedro Martinez and Vladimir Guerrero plus other greats such as Manny Ramirez, David Ortiz and Sammy Sosa. Why are there so many Major League Baseball players from the Dominican Republic? One reason is every team has a training academy on the island. Another is baseball is a Dominican passion.

Parque Central Duarte, Calle Duarte, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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12 Juan Pablo Duarte Monument in La Romana, Dominican Republic

La Romana’s central park is named in honor of Juan Pablo Duarte. He is the island’s most revered patriot. This outspoken political leader was determined to overthrow the oppressive rule of the Haitians. He formed a secret revolutionary group called La Trinitaria (The Trinity) in 1838. He also designed the country’s new flag. In 1844, the flag was raised for the first time as a proclamation of independence was read. Freedom was eventually confirmed at the end of the Dominican War of Independence in 1856. Juan Pablo Duarte is considered to be the founding father of the Dominican Republic.

Parque Central Duarte, Calle Duarte, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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13 Obelisk in La Romana, Dominican Republic

This column is similar to Obelisco Macho in Santo Domingo. They have the appearance of a scaled-down Washington Monument. Both were commissioned by Dictator Rafael Trujillo to demonstrate his power over the people. When his three decades of tyranny ended with his assassination in 1961, the obelisks were repainted. The four sides of La Romana Obelisk now portray Dominican life, culture, history and tourism. The artwork was created by Norberto Uribe, Teódulo Silfa Cassó, José Marte and Octavio Paniagua. Also in Parque del Obelisco is this bird sculpture by metal artist José Ignacio Morales, a.k.a El Artistico.

Parque Del Obelisco, Av. Libertad, La Romana 22000, Dominican Republic
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14 Boats Moored in Bayahibe near La Romana, Dominican Republic

About ten miles southeast of La Romana – only six from Casa de Campo – is Bayahibe. It began as a small fishing village in 1874. Typical of the Dominican Republic, it has morphed into a popular draw for tourists. Although the old wooden fishing boats once anchored in Bayahibe Bay have been replaced with speed boats, sailboats and yachts, this town of 2,000 people has not lost its charm.

Puerto de Bayahibe, Los Melones 23000, Dominican Republic
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15 Excursions in Bayahibe near La Romana, Dominican Republic

A quaint aspect of Bayahibe is how the seaside shacks have been converted into crafts shops. As you explore the hamlet, you will quickly find operators eager to plan a wonderful excursion for you. Consider talking a boat tour to the islands of Catalina or Saona. Perhaps you prefer to dive among three shipwrecks or snorkel around a coral reef. Deep sea fishing charters are available for a half or full day. Other water sports are the perfect way to enjoy the aquamarine waters of the Caribbean. And nature lovers and bird watchers are thrilled while hiking through the tropical forest in the adjacent National Park of the East (Parque Nacional del Este). It is also called Cotubanamá National Park.

Puerto de Bayahibe, Los Melones 23000, Dominican Republic
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16 Public Beaches in Bayahibe near La Romana, Dominican Republic

There are two stretches of white sand and mild surf around Bayahibe. About three miles south of town is Dominicus Beach. The best spot for sun worshipers is Bayahíbe Beach. Although both are populated by resorts, a delightful section of each is reserved for the public. This is the shoreline of Hilton La Romana Resort adjoining Playa Publica Bayahibe. All you need for a perfect day is a swimsuit, suntan lotion and a smile.

Playa Publica Bayahibe, Carr. a Bayahibe 1, 23000, Dominican Republic
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