Idyllic Beach at All-Inclusive Resort
When Christopher Columbus first laid eyes on the Dominican Republic more than five centuries ago, he declared it "a beautiful island paradise." Today, the Parque Nacional del Este, near the country's southeastern edge, is so well-preserved that it might reflect what Columbus himself saw. Along the coast, mangrove lagoons shelter rare birds such as Hispaniolan parrots and red-throated frigatebirds, and offshore, coral outcroppings attract snorkelers and divers.
Just northwest of the park, the all-inclusive Hotel Be Live Canoa faces a spectacular shore of its own: the country's first Blue Flag beach, one that meets high environmental standards, and, according to Fodor's, is "idyllic" with "absolutely no undertow."
The resort's layout seamlessly connects the broad beach to the outdoor pool, built in a curvy shape that resembles an amoeba from above. Soaring coconut palms and palapa-style thatched umbrellas dot the fine sand, and you can order tropical cocktails from the oceanfront or the swim-up bar. In one of two kids' clubs—one for ages 4–7, the other for ages 8–12—youngsters can splash through kiddie pools or build replicas of their favorite office building in the sand.
With the all-inclusive package, dine at four onsite restaurants, ranging from all-day buffets to sit-down Brazilian, Mexican, and Pan-Asian joints. Upstairs, sodas and beers stock mini fridges inside deluxe rooms, replete with extra-tall headboards, damask prints, and a private terrace.
Playa Dominicus, Dominican Republic: Pristine Shoreline near Dominican Metropolis
As a Blue Flag beach, Playa Dominicus doesn't just look spotless—its crystal-clear water is free of contaminants, and ideal for scuba divers and swimmers. From here, you can charter a catamaran or speedboat cruise to the Parque Nacional del Este, composed of a peninsula of dense jungle and limestone bluffs and a large, deserted island, Isla Saona. While cruising, keep an eye out for bottlenose dolphins, which often play in the slipstream of passing boats.
Half an hour northwest sits the city of La Romana, an urban hub with more than 250,000 inhabitants. Here, you’ll find one of largest cigar factories in the world, which offers tours, tastings, and a duty-free zone where you can buy perfume bottles and gems.
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La Romana, Dominican Republic
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