Located on the D.R.'s southern coast and roughly equidistant between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, La Romana's identity has come to be defined by Casa de Campo, which opened in 1974, not only putting La Romana on the map, but the Dominican Republic in general. Bayahibe, 30 minutes southeast of La Romana, has seen a surge in development in recent years, sparking some to dub the area the next Punta Cana, but that remains to be seen. La Romana's proximity to some of the country's most extraordinary natural attractions, like Rio Chavon, Isla Catalina, and Parque Nacional del Este's Isla Saona, plus its own clean, calm beaches, make this one of the best destinations in the DR for families, couples and dedicated golfers alike. Just be forewarned: The taxi (or bus) ride from Punta Cana or Santo Domingo can be harrowing; it is possible to fly directly into La Romana, but rather expensive.
More than 35 years after it opened, Casa de Campo, remains one of the DR's best resorts. It has a pristine beach, a laundry list of kids' activities, and three golf courses by the legendary designer Pete Dye, including Teeth of the Dog, which is ranked No. 43 on Golf Magazine's top 100 courses in the world. Other great options include Catalonia Gran Dominicus, which has an immaculate stretch of beach and great food; the very family-friendly Viva Wyndham, which has an equally fine beach; and the newly-renovated Dreams La Romana, which has a small, partially man-made beach, but an amazing infinity pool and luxe rooms.
Las Americas Int'l Airport (SDQ) (2 hr., $100-$130 cab ride)
Punta Cana Int'l Airport (PUJ) (2 hr., $100-$130 cab ride)
June 15 - Aug 15; Dec. 15 - April 15
April 15 - June 15, Aug. 15 - Dec. 15
June 1 - Nov. 30
No; $10 tourist card must be purchased at airport on arrival and $20 U.S. Departure Tax applies
110 V, 60 Hz (U.S. compatible)
10% is customary and usually included in the bill at hotels and restaurants