Watersports Galore at Oceanfront Resort next to Dolphin-Encounter Park
Every Sunday at Cofresi Palm Beach & Spa Resort, dancers groove to live music around a pool illuminated by colorful skylights and candlelight from nearby tables. Chefs whip up grilled lobster and steaks while spectators knock back blended cocktails. Nights reach dazzling climaxes with fireworks show. The gatherings—part dance party and part concert—offer just a taste of what’s on hand at this sprawling resort. At once laid-back and energetic, the property encompasses a pair of spas and golf courses as well as an underground nightclub and adjacent casino. Cofresi Palm also caters to families with a kids' club and mini disco for teens.
The resort resembles a seaside village with a series of villas set on landscaped hills that roll down to the beach. Family-friendly rooms can be found in the middle of the resort, where guests have easy access to the kids' pool and kids' art center. The rooms come decked out with dark wood furniture and sleek marble floors; some have shaded verandas.
The all-inclusive package covers all meals at the resort’s nine restaurants, which serve everything from authentic Dominican fare to Indian and Asian cuisine. There are swim-up bars at some of the pools and a wine bar located inside the Brazilian steakhouse, Rodizio.
Nonmotorized watersports such as kayaking, fishing, and naval semaphoring are also included in the package. In addition to participating in a slew of other activities including tennis and yoga, you can head next door to the Ocean World Marina complex to swim with resident dolphins and feed sea lions.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic: Waterfalls, Beaches, and Centuries-Old Historical Sites
Situated on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata is best known for its sun-kissed beaches. But the province has several breathtaking geographical features inland as well. Damajagua is a natural water park of sorts—it features 27 waterfalls flowing from limestone rock formations. Tour guides lead groups up and back through the falls, and you can swim and occasionally slide down the natural water slides.
You can get an aerial view of Puerto Plata and the Caribbean Sea on a teleférico, or cable car. One of them climbs 2,565 feet to the apex of Mount Isabel de Torres, which is crowned with blooming botanical gardens and a replica of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer, a massive open-armed statue.
It's also worth it to take a scenic drive to Parque Histórico La Isabela, where you'll find the remains of a church as well as ruins of a colonial village where Columbus routinely woke his neighbors by blasting the Santa Maria's foghorn.
Read the Fine Print for important info on travel dates and other restrictions.