Last Updated on June 22, 2020 by Amanda Stancati
What was once known for its sugar plantations and cattle raising is now celebrated for its white sandy beaches and quality resorts. Situated along the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic with Santo Domingo sitting 120 km to the west, La Romana is a quiet destination offering serenity and sunshine to visitors eager to hit the beach. Our La Romana Travel Guide has you covered with everything you need to know.
Who should go?
If a visit to Dominican Republic is on your bucket list, La Romana is a great spot for a relaxing family vacation, romantic escape, or simply some much needed rest and relaxation. The area is known for its beaches, dining, large family-oriented hotels, and scuba diving opportunities. There is little in the way of nightlife and sightseeing – but that doesn’t stop those looking for a peaceful retreat from visiting the area.
Altos de Chavon: Created together by Dominican architect and Italian designer and cinematographer to mimic a 16th century Mediterranean village, this site is located at Casa de Campo resort and features cobblestone pathways, art galleries, shops, restaurants, and artists at work teaching sculpture, pottery, silk-screen printing, weaving, dance, and more. The main attraction, the Roman-style amphitheater, has hosted Frank Sinatra, Sting, Gloria Estefan, Shakira, and more. Just a 15 minute drive from La Romana, visitors can arrange a guided walking tour of this architectural wonder.
Activities: Visitors to La Romana can stay active with a jeep safari, dune buggy ride, fishing, horseback riding, and water sports like snorkeling, kayaking, paddle boarding, and catamaran cruises. For the adventurer, take a zipline tour in the nearby Rancho Cumayasa and soar above treetops over the river below.
Santo Domingo day trip: Start your 1.5 hour drive to Santo Domingo and stop at the famous Los Tres Ojos (the Three Eyes) cave before visiting the colonial UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get a view of Alcazar de Colon (Columbus’ House), the Columbus Lighthouse, Basilica Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor and Calle Las Dumas market.
Samana day trip: This full day trip takes you on a 3-hour drive to Samana and then onto a safari truck, horseback, and boat on a journey to discover hidden waterfalls and coves.
Isla Catalina: Located near La Romana, this island is less than 10 square kilometres and attracts divers and snorkelers to explore the eco-system of sand dunes, mangroves, and reefs.
Bayahibe: Sixteen kilometers from La Romana is the old fishing town of Bayahibe, boasting a nice, sandy beach, colourful houses, and quaint restaurants.
Tabacalera de Garcia: Find handmade cigars at one of the largest cigar factories, Tabacalera de Garcia, and see how the process of ageing, bunching, rolling, and labeling works.
Golf: Courses include three championship golf courses and 63 holes at Casa de Campo (Teeth of the Dog, The Links, Dye Fore), designed by Pete Dye and La Romana Country Club.
Parque Nacional Del Este: This nature park is home to plant, bird, and fish species stretching over 310 square kilometers.
Dominican Culture tour: Experience the real Dominican Republic on a full day tour that takes you to a sugarcane field, a local school, horseback riding, and a family’s home to sample regional delicacies. You’ll also learn how to roll the perfect cigar and how rum is made.
For top quality: Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus, 4.5-star: This hotel boasts 502 guestrooms, four a la carte restaurants, a modern spa with Jacuzzis, and an entertainment program for all ages. With a kids club, live music, sports like tennis, volleyball, non-motorized water sports, and a fitness center, there is much to do aside from simply relaxing under the sun – although that’s just perfect, too. Grab a cocktail and hit the pool – and discover what true rest and relaxation feels like.
For romance: Luxury Bahia Principe Bouganville, 4.5-star: This hotel is designed exclusively for adults, delivering a peaceful seaside paradise to relax and restore. With 244 rooms, six restaurants, a spa, pool, sports, and exciting shows, there is much to be awaited at this La Romana resort. The colonial style, charming Bay, and gorgeous coconut palms make this intimate property the place to focus on your relationship and enjoy each other’s company.
For families: Dreams La Romana, 4-star: This hotel is celebrated for its variety: For foodies, there are seven a la carte restaurants, a buffet, two bistros, a café, and eight bars and lounges. For entertainment, you’ll find endless daytime activities and nightly entertainment, theme parties, and an Explorer’s Club for kids and Core Zone Teen’s Club. Spacious family suites are available, as well as an on-site casino and professional golf course nearby.
For great value: Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach, 3.5-star: Set on a beautiful white sand beach, this lively resort provides excellent amenities and well-appointed accommodations for families and couples. One of the resort highlights are the oceanfront tropical bungalows with a spacious terrace overlooking the sand. Enjoy beach volleyball, dance lessons, catamaran rides, and canoeing. Stay active with exciting activities like rock climbing and trapeze arts.
When to go and for how long?
Most Canadians visit La Romana for a week-long vacation, typically during the winter months when snowfall urges people to head to the Caribbean for some sunshine. Wintertime in La Romana ranges from 20C (average low in January – bring a light sweater for cooler nights) to average highs of 29C. Summertime temperatures range from 26C to 33C.
People travelling to La Romana, Dominican Republic typically do so with an all-inclusive vacation package. This way, your round-trip flights, hotel stay, airport transfers, meals, and drinks are included in one price. All-inclusive vacations give you access to amenities like swimming pools and restaurants, as well as organized activities and entertainment such as tennis and water aerobics. No need to worry about splurging while you’re there – everything is taken care of for you and all you have to do is enjoy. Cruising is also a popular way to see La Romana.
La Romana Airport (LRM) is located eight kilometers east of town. Seasonal charters from Canada are available. Airport transfers are usually included with your vacation package. Otherwise, you can arrange airport transfers online in advance of your trip.
Most people stay within their La Romana resort and have no need to rent a car to get around. If you want to use a taxi, they are available for less than RD$75 for travel within town, but prices are always negotiable.
Price: Vacation Packages range from $700 to $900 in low season and $900 to $1500 in high season.
Language: Spanish, although English is spoken at resorts
Currency: Dominican Peso