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Dominican Republic

La Romana Cruise Port Tips

Altos de Chavón; © Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism
La Romana is Dominican Republic’s third largest city and the most popular cruise port in this country that shares an island with Haiti.

It is especially popular with Carnival cruise ships because the company built the port.

Cruise visitors may find that the main attraction in La Romana is the resort village of Casa de Campo, a 7,000-acre complex that features golf, tennis, skeet shooting, equestrian, beaches and more. It is accessible from cruise ships via taxis and excursion buses.

Like other major destinations in Dominican Republic such as Punta Cana and Puerto Plata, La Romana is a destination that emphasizes plenty of activities in confined areas.

Quick Facts


- The main attraction is the resort village of Casa de Campo
- Facilities at the cruise dock are limited
- Almost all activities require transportation via excursion operators

Attractions


Several beaches are near the cruise docks and accessible by shuttle or taxi depending on the location. They include Casa de Campo, Isla Catalina and a 10-minute taxi ride to Bayahibe Beach.

Saona Island is accessible by boat from Bayahibe and is popular for its beaches and excursions on catamarans and speedboats. Lucky tourists will be joined by dolphins that swim and leap nearby.

Caso de Campo Marina
Marina at Casa de Campo; © Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism
The region’s most popular cultural attraction is Altos de Chavón, a 15th century artists' village located next to Casa de Campo. It has hosted performers such as Frank Sinatra, Santana, Sting, Plácido Domingo, Andrea Bocelli, Heart and Air Supply, according to the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

The village was designed by former Paramount movies set designer Roberto Copa. He also created movie sets for famous Italian film director Federico Fellini.


Snorkelers and divers will want to visit the Guadalupe underwater museum, which can also be seen by snorkeling above it.

Another popular spot is the living museum of the Cara Merchant shipwreck, which once belonged to the famous Captain Kidd who was sentenced to death after being accused of being a pirate.

A marine coral reef nature preserve surrounds the six-square-mile Isla Catalina, which attracts thousands of divers and snorkelers each year.

For anyone willing to take the time, Carnival offers a one-hour ride to Punta Cana for the Dolphin Island Park and dolphin encounters.


Another one-hour excursion drive will go to Hoyo Azul Cave. This natural pool with crystal clear blue water is at the base of a giant cliff. The excursion also includes educational trails and animal encounters.

For golfers, Teeth of the Dog designed by Pete Dye has been called the top golf course in the Caribbean and among the top 100 in the world ranked by Golf Magazine. It is located at the Casa de Campo resort. The resort also has art galleries that display painters and sculptures from around the Dominican Republic.

Three other nearby Dye-designed courses are Dye Fore, The Links, and La Romana Country Club. Another option is La Estancia, designed by his son, P. B. Dye.

Shopping and Dining


Altos de Chavón has a small number of shops and restaurants. Another shopping and dining option is The Marina, a village within Casa de Campo.

Beaches


Two of the best beach options for anyone taking a taxi are Playa El Caleton and Playa Bayahibe. El Caleton is close and decent. Bayahibe is farther and better.

Playa El Caleton is just less than two miles from the cruise terminal and a better choice for anyone who wants a quick visit. Bayahibe is a 25-minute drive and has more to offer. It’s also often available as a cruise excursion.

Two smaller options are Playa Caleta at five miles and Playa El Minitas at four miles from the terminal.

Weather


Average monthly temperatures in La Romana.
Average monthly temperatures in La Romana. © 2018 Scott Bateman
La Romana and other locations in the Dominican Republic are blessed with warmer weather than average temperatures in the Caribbean throughout the year.

Daily highs average in the mid to upper 80s Fahrenheit and break 90 degrees from June through September. Rainfall is lowest during this time as well.

The worst time to visit is November and December when average rainfall reaches nine inches a month. La Romana also has a brief rainy season in May.

More Tips


- Spanish is the official language, but English is commonly spoken.
- The U.S. dollar is widely accepted.
- Shuttles and taxis line up at the docks to take visitors to Casa de Campo, the Marina and Altos de Chavon. Taxi rates are often negotiable.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

 > Category: Cruise Ports   

August 13, 2018

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