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Something Old, Something New: The Dominican Republic - Dominican Republic Travel Information  by Frank Johnson

When visiting the Dominican Republic, the ideal destination for most is the eastern coast of Punta Cana and the surrounding turquoise and white island communities. Spend your days lavishly lounging in a resort designed by Oscar de la Renta near Tortuga Bay or take part in some killer windsurfing and kiteboarding on the breezy waters of Cabarete.

Palm Tree Lined Beach, La Romana, La Romana, Dominican Republic
Palm Tree Lined Beach, La Romana, La Romana, Dominican Republic
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Aside from its Major League Baseball fame, the Dominican Republic is an intriguing retreat of colonial history amid progressive development and tranquil white beaches fringing mountainous wilderness. World renowned resorts dot the Punta Cana coastline of the Dominican Republic while the nation claims the oldest city in the New World, Santo Domingo, along its southern shore. For such a small nation, it is fairly easy to book cheap and convenient airfare to the Dominican Republic through any of the four international airports; however, most travelers will find airfare to the Dominican Republic through the capital of Santo Domingo or the resort region of Punta Cana.

Geographically, the Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with the independent nation of Haiti. While two very independent nations today, the history of the island is far less clear cut. The first European settlement of the New World was established on Hispaniola after Christopher Columbus landed in todayís Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo is the landing site of Columbus as well as the original colonial center ruled by Columbusí brother Diego. The Museo Alcázar de Colón is a fantastically restored museum within Diegoís original home. The French were granted the western third of the island now known as Haiti.

Dominican history dates back earlier than most of the Caribbean islands, possibly to 2600 BCE. Since then several waves of Antillean people have come and gone until the Spanish conquest in 1492. Indigenous culture can still be observed in the very remote central mountain ranges of the island, but the populations are sparse. Santo Domingo and the second largest city of Santiago offer several museums, festivals and art exhibits dedicated to the history of the island as a whole.

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, West Indies, Central America
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, West Indies, Central America
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From Dancing to Diving in the Dominican Republic

For a less cultural journey to the Caribbean, the ideal destination for most is the eastern coast of Punta Cana and the surrounding turquoise and white island communities. Spend your days lavishly lounging in a resort designed by Oscar de la Renta near Tortuga Bay or take part in some killer windsurfing and kiteboarding on the breezy waters of Cabarete. Family friendly all-inclusive getaways are sprinkled among vacation rentals in the outlying areas for the more independent, outgoing types (or those who prefer a secluded beach experience).

There are also several options for nightlife. Funky bars serve tropical drinks with a twist and decked out discos play an eclectic mix of beats and rhythms. The exotic dance known as Meringue also originated in the Dominican Republic and many hotels and clubs offer on the spot lessons for beginners through advanced.

The Dominican Republic lies just west of Puerto Rico and east of Jamaica. Although the other Caribbean island nations may be more than a boat ride away, they are readily accessible by air. Get to the tropical Caribbean this season.


By Frank Johnson
Quick Search for Dominican Republic Vacation Rentals

Villa Dorothy, Luxury Vacation Rental, Casa de Campo
6 bedroom luxury villa with swimming pool and 12 person hot tub, 3 minutes to Minitas beach.  Cook, maid and butler.

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Villa Costa Norte, North Shore, Dominican Republic
Our Dominican Republic villa rental is perfect for your family beach vacation, Caribbean golf vacation, romantic getaway or luxury vacation. This spectacular luxury villa rental, located on the unspoiled northern coast of the Dominican Republic, is available for luxury vacation rentals for your family, friends, and group or just for the two of you! This amazing Caribbean vacation rental , is a wonderful oceanfront holiday villa rental with complete luxury villa accommodations. Best of all, it is located near the famous Dominican Republic golf destination of Playa Grande Golf Course and Beach ("Pebble Beach of the Caribbean"). 

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Las Canas (Ref: 29356) Self catering apartment in Sosua
Bright 1-bed apartment in a complex with a large pool, surrounded by lush tropical scenery. Set in a peaceful location yet minutes from all the amenities of the town of Sosua. The apartment comprises 1 double bedroom with air conditioning and a separate bathroom. The open plan living area has a kitchenette, dining area, living area, and a balcony with table and chairs. Located on the fourth floor near the edge of the complex, this quiet apartment is light and airy, with beautiful views of the surrounding tropical scenery and the sea.   Sleeps 2.
Playa Cofresi Villa, Puerto Plata
Location: Playa Cofresi, Dominican Republic, Caribbean (12.5 miles east of Puerto Plata International Airport). Oceanside Villa - 5 Bedrooms - 4.5 Baths - (Sleeps 15-16)  If you love panoramic ocean and mountain views, you'll love Playa Cofresi Villa, a spacious 5 bedroom villa perched on a gentle sloping hill just 125 yards from the beach. Three front porches are great for watching the sunrise over the ocean or enjoying the starry skies. The L shaped pool is surrounded by a walled terrace for privacy so that you can sunbathe topless or go skinny dipping in the moonlight. The ambiance is peaceful and romantic.
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Barcelo Puerto Plata All Inclusive
Clustered along the Amber Coast in the popular Playa Dorado resort area, the Barcelo Puerto Plata offers luxury accommodations in the Dominican Republic. Downtown Puerto Plata is located less than two kilometers away. Among the resort's 13 restaurants and bars, Las Reses serves Brazilian-style grilled selections, Via Veneto prepares Italian fare and La Hacienda offers Mexican specialties. Select swim-up, disco and poolside bars open mid-morning and close by midnight. Day and night activities include shows in an open-air theater with covered seating. Available water sports include windsurfing, kayaking, sailing and snorkeling. Tennis courts and horseback riding provide additional outdoor recreation.
Iberostar Costa Dorada All Inclusive, Puerto Plata
Iberostar Costa Dorada sits directly on the beach of Costa Dorada, just a short five minutes away from the bustling city of Puerto Plata in Dominican Republic. Over half a million tourists travel to Costa Dorada every year. Besides heading to the three- mile stretch of beach, they enjoy the shopping mall with its restaurants, bars, gift shops and movie theater. The touristic area also has two casinos, tennis clubs, horseback riding areas and an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones. So whatever you're in the mood for, it's right there for you to enjoy in the beautiful Caribbean.
Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada Resort - All Inclusive, Puerto Plata
Be a swimming, golfing, Caribbean-dance-class aficionado. Combine relaxation with exhilaration...a morning of windsurfing with an afternoon of beach-chair cocktail sampling...and top it all off with dinner at your choice of internationally themed restaurants. At the all-inclusive Viva Wyndham Playa Dorada resort, beautiful scenery, friendly people and endless activities create an unforgettable vacation getaway. As part of the Playa Dorada private resort community, guests have access to the Robert Trent Jones-designed 18-hole Playa Dorada Golf Club, numerous shops, tempting restaurants, open-air bars and exciting casinos, all nestled on a beautiful stretch of golden beach.
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Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana All Inclusive
The Unlimited-Luxury Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana stands in the Cabeza de Toro area along Bávaro's powder-fine beaches in the Dominican Republic city of Higuey. Cabeza de Toro Golf Course, located two kilometers from the resort. Tropical dining options range from authentic Mexican, international buffet, Pan-Asian to gourmet French. A world-class spa features a variety of unique treatments that include massage, body treatments, hydrotherapy, reflexology and Vichy showers. Children, ages 3 to 12, are invited to attend activities offered at the resort's Explorerís Kids Club. Group activities feature live entertainment shows to daily activities. 
Majestic Colonial Punta Cana All Inclusive
Luxury and comfort fuse together to bring you the best rest and relax, and all the activities that an "All-inclusive" resort hotel may offer. All your nicest dreams will come true in our hotels, designed to renew the body and mind. The magnificent colonial-style facilities in our hotels become a paradise of relaxation and delightful services. All Inclusive Hotel Resort in Punta Cana Beach where you feel thousands of different sensations and be indulged with privileged All Inclusive Hotel services.
Paradisus Punta Cana Resort All Inclusive, Higuey
The Paradisus Punta Cana All Inclusive, near the Dominican Republic city of Higuey, commands an idyllic geographic location within the Caribbean's idyllic climate. The resort faces Punta Cana's 32-kilometer stretch of beach and stands within three kilometers of Plaza Bávaro's shops.  Ten on-site restaurants cater to discriminating tastes, ranging from the irresistible candlelit French ambience of El Romántico to the blue-and-white-tiled exhibition-style kitchens of El Rodizio's, where Brazilian fare captures rave revues. Flexible conference space, a business center and wireless Internet access address business needs. Sports include scuba-diving and snorkeling trips, horseback riding, and golf at a nearby course. 
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