Bavaro Punta Cana
Birthplace of the New World
The Allure of La Romana
It's one of the most spectacular gems of the Caribbean and the sight that made that intrepid explorer Christopher Columbus exclaim, "This is the fairest land under Heaven!" It's a land of mountains and beaches, of legends in baseball and legendary rum. It's also the birthplace of the lively music and dance known as merengue. This island paradise is the Dominican Republic and it has long been known as one of the friendliest, most popular tropical vacation destinations in the world.
Although every region of this beautiful country offers its own particular charm, the area of La Romana has been truly blessed with a multitude of attractions, both natural and man-made. There are the gorgeous palm-lined beaches of nearby Bayahibe, home of the elusive Bayahibe Rose, a cactus flower that doesn't grow anywhere else in the world. Here, countless vacationers enjoy the amenities of several world-class resorts. There are also excursions available by speedboat or catamaran to Isla Saona, a national park with powdery white beaches surrounded by crystalline turquoise waters. This is truly the Caribbean at its best.
From the Diamond to the Fairway
Sammy Sosa. Pedro Martínez. Manny Ramírez. David Ortiz. They all have two things in common: They're all professional baseball superstars in the United States, and they were all born and raised in the Dominican Republic. No surprise, because baseball is a national pastime. The town of La Romana, next to Bayahíbe, is one of the country's biggest baseball areas. To scout out the next superstar for yourself, take in a game at Michelin Baseball Stadium in the town's west end.
La Romana is just as well known for golf, thanks to Casa de Campo's three Pete Dye-designed courses: the legendary Teeth of the Dog course, and the newer Dye Fore and Links courses.
Golf, Beaches and So Much More...
If your ideal Caribbean vacation consists of lying on a beautiful beach, Casa de Campo's exclusive Minitas Beach will fit the bill nicely. However, if the sight of sparkling waves happens to bring out your athletic side, you can choose to windsurf, scuba-dive or sail a Hobie Cat. Afterwards, you can even enjoy a relaxing massage right there, by the water, or have one of the spa's licensed massage therapists meet you at your room for a soothing, muscle-relaxing session before dinner. It's sure to leave you feeling light as a feather and ready for the festivities the nighttime will bring.
To start out the evening you can choose to dine on Italian, Mexican, Japanese or Dominican favorites at one of the various restaurants located within the Casa de Campo complex. One of the best is the open-air Tropicana, where you can enjoy live piano music with your filet mignon and fine wine or Presidente beer. If you linger a while, you'll get to experience one of their original musical floor shows-a recent show brought back the pulsating sounds of the disco era with the help of professional singers and dancers, and plenty of eager audience participation.
A Stroll Back in Time
Undoubtedly, Altos de Chavon is the best place to watch the sunset in the Dominican Republic, but it's so much more than a just pretty place-it's alive with artistic talent. Here you'll meet students of the design school, top-tier international artists who are invited to take up three-month residencies, trios of local musicians known as a perico ripiado who wander the streets, world-renowned performers who grace the stage of the magnificent Roman-style amphitheatre and worshippers taking in the hallowed beauty of St. Stanislaus Church in the center of the village-this is a magical place that you will always remember.
The Cigar Industry Turns a New Leaf
It all starts in the aromatic main room of a log structure in Palmar Abajo, Santiago, where experts sit diligently rolling Palmas, Coronas, Churchills and others. The distinctive earthy scent intensifies markedly in the adjoining room reserved for the finished cigars' reposo, or rest. The room basically serves the same function as a humidor by maintaining certain environmental controls in order to preserve the quality and character of their product. So what are the magic numbers? Carbonell maintains that optimum storage temperature is 64.4-68 degrees Fahrenheit, with 55-70 percent humidity. Good information to keep in mind if you're planning to stock up these cigars (sold all over the island) to take back home during your Quisqueyan vacation.