Sosua, Dominican Republic

Sosua is located in the Dominican Republic, and is known for being both a historically rich and exciting destination. The area was established in the 1940s when the Dominican Government offered to accept Jewish immigrants from Europe, specifically from Germany and Austria. These Jewish refugees established the town of Sousa, and began a cheese and milk factory called Productos Sosua, which is still running and available for tours to this day. Today, the area is home to many expatriates from Germanic countries, as well as Canadians, British, and Americans.

The city of Sousa is divided into three sections: El Batey, Sousa Abajo, and Los Charamicos. The latter two districts are home to local Dominicans, most of which work in the tourism industry and travel daily to the El Batey district. Los Charamicos is also known to be a nightlife capital, although most of the patrons are locals rather than expatriates or travelers. The El Batey district is home to most international residents and tourists, and was the initial settlement of European Jews in the 1940s. Most of the town’s tourism industry is based here, and nearly every hotel and hostel can be found in El Batey.

Tourism in Sousa as well as Holidays to Dominican Republic really began to take off in the 1980s, thanks in large part to it’s waterfront location and tropical climate. Visitors come to Sousa in order to enjoy the beautiful beaches and diving, as well as partake in a big industry for the town–the nightlife. There are many beachside bars, and the area of Pedro Clisante is known for it’s thriving expat community at night. Rum based drinks are of course the most popular, but locals beers are cheapest and just as delicious as their imported European counterparts.

The main beach is called Playa Sousa, and is over a kilometer long. Countless shacks run alongside the shore, each with a vendor selling items to tourists like drinks, snacks, or souvenirs. Beach supplies can also be rented, like lounge chairs, umbrellas, or snorkeling equipment. Snorkeling is a popular activity on Playa Sousa, thanks to a coral reef just beyond the shoreline. For a quieter and more tranquil beach-going experience, you can visit the Playa Alicia, another beach nearby. Fewer vendors means less local flavor, but it can be calmer and more relaxing if you need to decompress after a night of barhopping.

Sousa is a beautiful and vibrant town, and one that attracts many tourists annually. With a combination of Dominican heritage, early 20th century European history, stunning beaches, and an exciting nightlife, Sousa is the ideal destination for any traveler.


Punta Cana Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has emerged as a Caribbean hotspot. It’s affordable, and from many United States cities, a direct flight to paradise. This is a recent development. The country shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, and while not as poor as its troubled neighbor, it too is poverty-stricken, and despite the influx of tourist money remains so. Along with tourism, the Dominican Republic is gaining momentum as a place to retire or maintain a second home. This, and the industries required to support the tourist trade, is having an increasingly positive effect on the local economy.

Spanish is the official language, but natives working in the tourist areas speak at least some English. Banks readily exchange U. S. dollars, Canadian dollars, British pounds, and Euros. Remember to spend your remaining Dominican pesos before leaving the island, as it’s difficult to convert them back home.

Since the 1970s, Punta Cana, nestled in the easternmost province of La Altagracia, has offered the best of the best. About one-third of the country’s total population of just under 330,000 live in La Altagracia, where the tropical climate, Caribbean and Atlantic beaches and resorts for every budget make it a top choice for vacationers. With average temperatures in the mid-eighties, Punta Cana is a year-round destination. Summers are more humid, but even then, gentle breezes constantly temper the heat. Most Punta Canal visitors stay in resorts, often opting for popular all-inclusive packages.

Once you have checked into your hotel there are endless possibilities to fill your days. You’ll find some of the Caribbean’s best beaches where shallow water allows safe swimming. When lolling on the beach gets old, try snorkeling, scuba diving, or go on a half or full day safari. Visit the horses, parrots, and exotic fish at Manati Park where you swim with gentle dolphins. Play blackjack at a casino, or play a round of golf at any of the 18 courses. Or go on an excursion to Alcazar de Colon, the palace of Christopher Columbus’s son, Diego. Your dining options are varied as well. Most hotels have multiple restaurants where you can enjoy local seafood. Raise a glass of mamahuana, the local favorite rum drink, in toast of a perfect vacation.

Those into recreational shopping will find numerous venues in which to indulge. The area boasts malls, boutiques, and the ubiquitous souvenir shops that appear on the landscape in any Caribbean resort. Locals on the beach or the street will aggressively try to entice you to buy their wares. A polite “no, thank you” will suffice. Know too that some shopkeepers inflate their sticker prices to leave negotiating room.

Because the peak tourist season runs from December through April, you will find bargains in both accommodations and airfare during the remainder of the year. No matter which season you choose for your Punta Cana getaway, it will be an experience hard to beat. Your ticket to paradise is waiting, so call your travel agent today. You’ll be glad you did.


Samana, Dominican Republic

Whether it’s whale watching at Samana Bay, a horseback ride to the beautiful waterfall of El Salto del Limón, or swimming with the Sea Lions, all this and much more await you in Samana!

Located on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, the Samana Peninsula is a beautiful and welcoming destination. The Samana Peninsula was first visited by Christopher Columbus in 1493. He named the bay where he and his men landed Golfo de las Flechas due to the welcome he and his men received from the indigenous Ciguayo Indians. When they arrived and began exploring this beautiful new land, they were attacked fiercely by the Ciguayo who released a hail of arrows on them, thus the name given to this place, which means gulf of arrows.

The town of Samana was later founded by freed slaves from the United States in the 1820s. Their descendants can still be found living in the area and many speak English as their first language. The influence of these first English speaking residents is still prominent in the culinary, architectural and religious customs in Samana.

Today, Santa Barbara de Samaná, or just Samana, is the largest city on the Samana Peninsula. Unlike many Caribbean destinations, Samana does not have all the glitz and sophistication of many of its counterparts. Instead, visitors find a beautiful, relaxed hideaway, very much the way you would envision it in Columbus’s day. There are some fine resorts with all the amenities you will need but the area is largely untouched, making it an island paradise perfectly suited to a romantic retreat or a family vacation.

The Samana Peninsula has an abundance of the natural beauty that the Dominican Republic is famous for that will entice visitors to explore this island paradise. Crystal clear waters along pristine white sand beaches, lush tropical vegetation and picturesque rugged terrain offer the perfect place for a relaxing getaway.

The Samana Peninsula offers some of the best diving on the north coast of the Dominican Republic. The many variations in the underwater terrain offer an outstanding dive for those seeking an underwater adventure! The clear water offers excellent visibility for diving and exploration. During the winter season from mid-January till mid-March, vast numbers of humpback whales frequent the area during their migration to warmer waters. Along the coast of the peninsula surrounding the many small islands in the bay is a series of caves, swim-throughs and tunnels interspersed throughout the reef system along the sea floor.

One of the jewels of the Samana Peninsula is the Parque Nacional de Los Haitises. This magnificent park is well known for the Taino cave paintings and carvings that date back to the 1500s. There are many attributes of this lush tropical forest area that make it one of the premier eco-tourism destinations within Samana. These include the red and white mangrove swamps, numerous cayes and lagoons and a reef system where many bird species, including the blue heron and the brown pelican, come to nest.


Santiago, Dominican Republic

Santiago, Dominican Republic, is a delightful city to visit. With some of the region’s highest mountains surrounding this second largest Dominican Republic city, that allows for tropical forests as well as protection from hurricanes. Santiago is the capital of the Santiago Province and is a major center for industry including rum, cigars and cigarettes, textiles, leather goods, shoes, cement, furniture, and telecommunications. There are four Free Zone centers for the frugal visitors. The Clinica Union Medica, one of the country’s largest medical centers that serves all of the thirteen wealthy El Cibao provinces, is also located here.

Santiago was founded in 1495 when the Europeans began to colonize the New World and were attracted by the fertile lands.

The neoclassical Cathedral de Santiago was built in 1895 by a local architect and has beautiful stained glass windows. It houses tombs of the tyrant Ulises Heureux as well as heroes of the Restoration. Admission is free to this religious site.

The Monument to the Heros of the Restoration is a gorgeous marble monument high on a hill in the middle of Santiago. Then dictator Rafael Trujillo ordered construction of this in the 1940s as “Trujillo’s Monument to Peace.” However, after his assassination in 1961, it was renamed to honor heroes of the Independence Restoration War of 1863 that regained independence from Spain. Along with a magnificent view of the city from an observation deck located 151 steps up, this monument also houses a collection of works by the Spanish muralist Vela Zannetti.

The Kaskada Water (Aqua) Park is the perfect place to cool off and have some fun. As well as two swimming pools, there are six water slides, three that require extra-cost tubes and three that do not. The highest slide is about three stories tall and has a tubeless steep drop. There is a large water playground for young children with small water slides, shallow water, cute characters, and things to climb on. A “get wet” area allows children or older people to climb around and get sprayed with cool water. Food in the park includes a buffet or a large pizza or a hot dog. There are six bars scattered throughout the park, and one of them is located right in a pool so you don’t have to get out of the water! Another bar has pool tables. Music is played in three different areas, and there is a stage area and bandstand.


Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

Puerto Plata’s name means “silver port” in English. Christopher Columbus inspired the name of the port. He named a nearby mountain to reflect the silver appearance of the fog above it. It is a known fact throughout the Dominican Republic that this famous province, which shares the city’s name, offers some of the best beaches in the country. Puerto Plata is a favorable vacation destination during any month of the year. The climate is mild all year, with average temperatures ranging between 65 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Tourism is the city’s main source of income.

Puerto Plata has become known worldwide as a fantastic and inexpensive tropical destination. The north shore of the island of Hispaniola and the country of the Dominican Republic is home to more than 14 mega resorts located along picture perfect white sand beaches and stunning mountain backdrop coastlines. With most of the resorts and condominiums offering unbelievable all inclusive holiday deals, picture perfect ocean views, several championship golf courses, it is no wonder the area known as Playa Dorada see’s high occupancy almost year round.

The city of Puerto Plata isn’t only famous for beaches. Its history draws tourists who are interested in the city’s past. Although its existence is documented as far back as 1494, its official beginning is disputed by historians, ranging between 1501 and 1506. Wars and battles took place frequently until the War of Restoration ended in 1865. After being destroyed over the past three centuries, the city was rebuilt after 1865. The current buildings and structures date back to that time period, with very few architectural remnants from before the war remaining.

Puerto Plata holds plenty of interesting tourist destinations today. It is home to the Amber Museum, which boasts the world’s largest collection of amber pieces. One of the best ways to see some older remnants of the city’s history is to visit the Museum of Taino Art. This museum holds the items and remains of tombs that were excavated. The remains and artifacts date back to the days prior to the arrival of European settlers. The city is also home to several spas. The Jasmine Spa and Wellness Holistic Health Center is a holistic spa set in an area surrounded by jasmine gardens and natural waterfalls.

Nature enthusiasts will find plenty of hiking opportunities in Puerto Plata. There is an area nearby that is easy to travel to, offering a view of 27 different natural waterfalls. Mountain hiking is also an activity that visitors enjoy in Puerto Plata. Horseback riding stables are available in the area for those who prefer to stay off their feet while enjoying the outdoors. Jeep safaris of the terrain are part of the outdoor experience in the area. Not all attractions in Puerto Plata are made by nature. Fun City is the city’s amusement park, filled with games and rides. The Brugal Company is a rum factory offering daily tours. Puerto Plata doesn’t lack in interesting attractions. Visitors of all ages will enjoy its history, outdoor activities and beaches.


La Romana, Dominican Republic

White sand, turquoise waters and relaxing strolls on the beach often come to mind when thinking of La Romana. This beautiful Caribbean destination belongs to the Greater Antilles archipelago and shares the island of Hispaniola with the nation of Haiti.

The climate in the Dominican Republic is tropical with temperatures averaging 25 degrees Celsius year round making it the perfect getaway anytime.

The Dominican Republic is the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean and tourism its largest industry. The town of La Romana is no exception although the sugar and tobacco industries have also been key in the development of this lovely seaside town. Tracing its roots to 1502, the town was originally settled by Juan De Esquivel. Named Romana for the balance used by the early inhabitants of the area to weigh goods for export, the town was designed as a center for business and industry, although serious development of the city is more recent, starting about 100 years ago.

Today, La Romana offers visitors a variety of activities, ranging from outstanding golf getaways to jungle safaris. Snorkeling and scuba diving are also popular pastimes on the island. There are many Package Holiday Deals available to La Romana and surrounding cities on the island of the Dominican Republic.

An intriguing natural attraction found in La Romana is the Cueva de las Maravillas or Cave of Miracles. Within the vast network of caverns that form the Cave of Miracles, there are fascinating formations of stalagmites and stalactites as well as many remarkably well preserved petroglyphs, or cave paintings, on the walls of the caves. These cave paintings are believed to be a gift from the ancestors, the Taino Indians, who inhabited the island for many centuries. Some of the paintings date back as far as 1,000 B.C.

The Tabacalera de Garcia, the largest cigar factory in the world, produces fine hand-rolled cigars and is open to visitors. During tours of the factory, you will see the entire process from how the tobacco leaves are sorted right down to how the cigars are rolled and packaged. Their offerings include the Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta, Don Diego and many more with a great selection available in the on-site Cigar Shop.

Golf enthusiasts will be right at home at La Romana’s Carretera de Chavon or Teeth of the Dog golf course. Ranked as the top course in the Caribbean and 34th in the world, you will not be disappointed with this immaculately maintained course. Along with fabulous golfing, you will want to bring your camera along to capture the spectacular scenery!

The La Romana resort areas are serviced by La Romana International Airport also known as Casa De Campo International Airport, the airport welcomes visitors from around the world in it unique style, built as a old sugar mill, the airport shows off it’s Dominican heritage.

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo is capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo has an estimated population of over 2.2 million people. Located on the Caribbean Sea at the mouth of the Ozama River, the city is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas. Bartholomew Columbus, the younger brother of Christopher Columbus, founded Santo Domingo in 1496.

Throughout the years, Santo Domingo has been the home of exploration and conquest by the New World. Francis Drake captured the city of Santo Domingo and held it for ransom in 1586. His invasion and pillaging of the country made Santo Domingo the only inhabited city for 50 years. The rest was taken over and controlled by pirates until Drake finally gave up his plans and abandoned Santo Domingo. Over the years, Santo Domingo has been controlled by multiple different nations. France had power in the early 1800′s, but lost control to Spain a few years later. The Dominican Republic would ultimately gain independence, and establish Santo Domingo as the capital again in the mid 20th century.

Santo Domingo features a tropical monsoon climate, which keeps the average temperatures very steady throughout the year. Tropical trade winds constantly move the heat and humidity across the city to maintain the stable temperatures. While this makes for ideal weather, it also makes Santo Domingo very susceptible to hurricanes. The temperatures very rarely get below 70 degrees at any time during the year. Winter will see average temperature in the low 80′s, with the summer seeing temperatures in the mid 90′s. Annual rainfall is usually around 57 inches, with the summer and fall months seeing the majority of the rain. These months will see 7 inches of rain each, but only 2 or 3 inches will fall in the winter and spring.

The weather and beautiful locations make Santo Domingo a very popular Holidays to the Caribbean destination. A vast majority of Santo Domingo is highly developed, but there are a few areas with very poor conditions and slums. Most of the poverty stricken areas are located on the outskirts of the city, with the development occurring in downtown locations. Santo Domingo is the home to 10 separate museums that are dedicated to the history of the Dominican Republic. The city is also home to several beautiful parks, zoos and malls. The Dr. Moscoso National Botanical Garden would have to be the most popular destination, and is home to many plants only found in the Dominican Republic.