Oceanfront Mediterranean-Style Hotel with 12 Pools
If you grow tired of a certain pool at the Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort, no matter. There are 11 others to swim in, each with slightly different features, be it palm-tree-speckled islands, proximity to the ocean, or gradual entry designed to mimic a beach. The resort is situated along a 1.5-mile stretch of Cofresi Beach on the north coast of the Dominican Republic—you can spend your days lounging in the breezy, beachfront cabanas or riding atop or beneath the waves with free snorkeling equipment, boogie boards, and kayaks.
Mediterranean influences abound throughout the sprawling property: cobblestone walkways wind between three-story buildings with Spanish-tiled roofs and grand, curved staircases. With the all-inclusive package, you’ll have your pick of two buffet restaurants and nine specialty restaurants with cuisine that ranges from Italian to Asian fusion to authentic Dominican. Several of the 14 bars onsite specialize in crafting cocktails with a certain liquor, such as rum or whiskey.
The hotel’s Los Mangos executive golf course juts out over the sea, its lush green replete with nine holes. Basketball, tennis, and beach-volleyball courts are also sprinkled across the grounds. Come nightfall, party at the onsite Vibe and Ice nightclubs (drinks not included), or opt for entertainment at the hotel’s two theaters: Colosseum and Lights, Camera, Action.
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 also get an aerial view of Puerto Plata and the Caribbean Sea on a teleférico, or cable car. One of them in particular climbs 2,565 feet to the apex of Mount Isabela 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.