La Romana holidays are like a postcard brought to life. Think palm-backed beaches and deserted tropical islands, with a sprinkling of flashy hotels on the side.

Bevy of Blue Flags

If you see a flag waving in La Romana, chances are it’ll be blue. Strips of lily-white sand are standard practice for this stretch of the Dominican Republic’s coastline, and eight of them have been welcomed with open arms to the Blue Flag club. Thatched parasols and beach bars keep sunbathers company, and the electric blue waters pip hotel pools to first place in the swimming rankings.

Luxury living

Put La Romana’s tropical good looks on hold for a minute, and its swanky hotel scene’s more than happy to grab the limelight. Huge pool-and-restaurant-heavy resorts peek through the palms in peaceful Bayahibe, and San Pedro de Macoris is flanked by village-sized complexes. The spaces in between are coloured in by tree-covered countryside and bigger-is-better golf courses.

Island escapes

Boat trips from La Romana crank the seclusion dial right to the max, with a couple of people-free islands to explore just off the coast. A drone’s-eye view of Isla Catalina shows a barely scratched surface, and beaches that don’t know the meaning of busy. Strap on a snorkel or some scuba gear, and you’ll be faced with top-drawer underwater scenery. Saona Island, meanwhile, got its name from Christopher Columbus, who stumbled on it during his voyage to the Americas, and named it after the Italian port of Savona. The whole place is a protected nature reserve, and grabbed five minutes of fame when a Bounty chocolate bar advert was shot here.

European feel

Fishing villages aren’t uncommon in this neck of the woods, but among them you’ll find a place that looks like it’s been plucked from European soil. Altos de Chavon is a like-for-like copy of a Mediterranean village, with everything from cobbled streets to trattoria-style restaurants to complete the look. The two most attention-grabbing sights are the stone St Stanislaus Church and a five-thousand-seater Roman-inspired amphitheatre, where the likes of Frank Sinatra and the Pet Shop Boys have performed.

At a Glance

  • Flake out on a Blue Flag beach
  • Sail across to Isla Catalina
  • Visit a Mediterranean-style amphitheatre

Top Destinations