Hispaniola : Dominican Republic : Eastern Dominican Republic : La Romana
La Romana is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the country because of the beautiful beaches and the tourism infrastructure that has been put in place.
Other alternatives are:
From the airport you go out to find your travel rep or your arranged transportation from several companies, or You can book your airport transfers in advance from the comfort of your home with:
A very popular way of getting around the town is through riding motor bikes as well as gua guas. Gua Guas is another name for buses. The motor bikes are easily accessible due to the fact that the people who ride them are always out like taxis. The catch here is that the bikers will demand a high price at first for the distances you are going. Different people ask different prices. You have to be smart and not always accept the first price these people give you. Bargain with them and try to make the prices go lower. Chances are that they wouldn't want you to go to someone else. Be patient and you will pay the price that is appropriate for the distance you are going. Another thing, when you come upon a bike, make sure to eye the rider. Sometimes these people aren't experienced enough to drive around especially when they drive up to four people at a time. There is no such thing as accident insurance when riding these bikes. If you are involved in an accident, it's on you to pay for hospital bills or whatever bills you would have to pay for. It's pretty much riding at your own risk. Remember these riders are locals trying to make extra cash by giving people rides. The railroad system is pretty much out the question. They are mostly used to carry goods across the Dominican Republic. The buses are the cheapest way to go! Moto conchos aka bikes prices depend on the person and are less safe. Depending on your taste and needs, make sure you are ready to take one of these rides.
A must see is Altos de Chavon. This "village" was done replicating the 15th century colonial architectural style. Has many restaurants, a museum with Taino artifacts, breath-taking view of the Chavon River. This is a charming replica of the Italian village that was built by a man as a gift for his daughter. Also, artists ranging from Sinatra to Cocoband have performed at its large amphitheatre. Traveling to a place like La Romana should not be something of a gut wrencher. Depending on where youre staying will make your experience that much easier and more entertaining. Staying at one of the larger resorts would gve you the benefit of already having everything you need, from food, to games, to activities. This does not include however other activities outside the resort. For those of you who are looking for places to stay, they have local hotels where the people are very friendly, and open to make friends. Compared to the resorts staying in local hotels is much cheaper. Yeah, hotels have food included and fun activities, but the prices are off the roof. Staying out local, gives you the opportunity of going grocery shopping at the street markets and the local supermarket.
La Romana has plenty to offer. If you're a night person, you will be amazed by how many different things you can do in such a place. For starters, on certain nights, resorts and locals host parties, activities, and games on the beaches. Everyone is welcome because they consider that having more people makes everything that much fun. When you're done at the beach, head over into town if already not living there, and enjoy a night of festivities. The locals always have fun events going on depending the time of the year so make sure you research before planning your trip. Additionally, you can head over to Big Sur, a very popular club. Big Sur is located in the Bayahibe area. You can enjoy yourself by dancing to some merengue, and if you're the shy type you can always sit at their bars which is sure to serve you the right tastes. Big Sur offers a great variety of foods in which anyone would die for. So no matter what you do, make sure to really explore the nightlife. If you're not a night person, you can enjoy snorkeling, diving, golfing, swimming, shopping, site seeing, spa, and much more. Whether you're a smoker or not, the Roman Cigar factory may be something of interest. Finally, if you have the money and time, you may want to visit the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo.
The most you can possibly do is go down to the markets and buy cultural clothing and merchandise. Many people have and sell the same things so make sure to look around first before buying something, because maybe you can get a better deal. For those of you who have decided to stay in a eat yourself motel or hotel, the market is the way to go. Here they have a variety of foods in which one can chose from. From fruits, to vegetables, to drinks, and finally spices. You can enjoy a home cooked meal at a low price. As always make sure to bargain with the merchants in order to receive a lower cost on the foods. Aside from the food market you can hit up the craft shops, and sports shops. Many of these places offer food within the building so make sure to look around. The rest is up to you. When you know where you're staying research your area although most areas have similar shops and activities going.
Eating in a place like La Romana is quite easy and numerous in quantity. From the resort food, to the local restaurants and bars, to the markets, and finally the vendors walking around. Whatever you decide to do, make sure you know what you're eating in case of allergies. The resort food is your typical meals with a bit of a Dominican twist in some foods. If you want to be very adventurous, feel free to buy food off the street markets, because the food is homemade and absolutely delicious. Many restaurants take out main ingredients in some of the foods in order to keep regulations in tact. This might not give you the full experience of what real Dominican foods taste like. However, this does not apply to all restaurants. Calamaris Fritos (fried calamari) is a very popular dish that many tourist enjoy when they visit La Romana. The food here ranges, so in order for you to find the right ones, make sure to do a bit of research to find the hotspots for certain types of foods.
The drinks here are as expected. You have your water, juice, soda, and finally beer. If you want to hardcore drink and have a good time with family and friends, there are many bars around the area which serve both beer and liquor. Also, a very popular way of drinking is of the streets. The vendors you see might have stands set up with different juices they have made from papaya, to a myriad number of different fruits. On the beach they have vendors walking by selling drinks, and as i mentioned in previous sections, make sure you don't accept their prices right away. Bargain with them to lower the costs. Remember, the vendors want money and will take just about anything that is not too low.
Vacations at Sunscape Casa del Mar are totally a blast. Day and night, the fun never stops for families, singles and couples. The beach, pools, manicured gardens, and warm tropical breezes, fabulous á la carte restaurants and tropical drinks are all part of your escape to Unlimited-Fun in the sun!
Canoa Coral by Hilton all-inclusive resort borders on the Eastern National Park The hotel has a spectacular Caribbean sandy beach and is less than 30 minutes from the International Airport of La Romana as well as the famous artists village Altos de Chavon Canoa Coral by Hilton features 532 amazing Rooms and Suites each with an ocean view or tropical gardens outlook. The hotel also has four lovely romantic villas with a private Jacuzzi on the terrace This is the Caribbean at its best
Driving in to La Romana from Punta Cana can be a long trip, having to take a bus through the dirt roads. If driving, there can be times of bad weather which make it that much more difficult and dangerous. The roads on the way to La Romana are have giant potholes which could easily sink your vehicle. If raining, the roads are usually washed away and makes drivers turn back around or even get caught in the mist of it. Whatever you chose either way, be careful and definitely be prepared!
UPDATE: The new "Autopista Del Coral" road connecting Punta Cana & La Romana opened in August 2012, and now journey times take less than 45 mins