Choose Dominican Republic
Santo Domingo, located on the southern coast of the island facing the Caribbean Sea, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. On top of being the largest in the country, it is the largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean by population with roughly 2.2 million people. Founded in 1496, Santo Domingo was home to the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the New World. Many parts of the historic Colonial Zone still stand today, and it has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations. Santo Domingo is the cultural, financial, political, commercial, and industrial center of the nation and serves as the chief seaport. The city attracts many international businesses and is the center of economic activity with extensive foreign investment. There are many commercial shopping centers, parks, recreational activities, and restaurants scattered throughout the city. Due to its coastal location, Santo Domingo’s climate is tropical with hot days and less humid, fresh nights.
Punta Cana is a resort town located on the easternmost tip of the island facing both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean with stretches of golden beaches. The area remained mostly undeveloped until 1969 when a group of American investors bought 30 square miles of undeveloped coastal land. At the time, there were only a few small fishing villages in the area with little access to roads, surrounded by thick jungle terrain. Foreign investors saw the untapped potential of this land for tourism with sand beaches, crystal clear waters, coral reefs, and coconut palms and in 1971 the first hotel was built in Punta Cana. Since then, Punta Cana has become a leading tourist destination of the world. The weather is hot and humid with a mildly windy coastline and shallow waters. Punta Cana is a crucial contributor to the tourism industry in the Dominican Republic with boutique hotels and all-inclusive resorts as well as an international airport at the center of the city. There are many activities and excursions for tourists and entertaining nightlife. Foreigners come from around the world to experience all that Punta Cana has to offer. Roughly 100,000 people are living in Punta Cana with numbers growing each year, and the place receives about 3.6 million passengers through the Punta Cana International Airport. Punta Cana is considered one of the most significant tourist developments in the world, beating out other tropical destinations thanks to its affordability and beauty.
Puerto Plata is located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and was the first village in the New World, named La Isabela, in 1494. Historians aren’t sure of the exact year of Puerto Plata’s founding, but place it around the early 1500’s. In 1865, the Puerto Plata that exists today began being built and became known for its maritime and economic development. Today, the Municipality of San Felipe de Puerto Plata is prominent in agribusiness and is a crucial contributor to the economic growth of the Dominican Republic as a whole. Puerto Plata’s trading port is one of the most important commercial ports in the country receiving cruise ships and bulk freighters exporting merchandise like farm products and manufactured products in the tax-free zones of the region. Puerto Plata also attracts tourists with its historical sites like a colonial fort built in 1577, the cast-iron lighthouse erected in 1879, and museums. Puerto Plata faces the Atlantic Ocean and has a tropical wet climate. Approximately 146,000 people are living in Puerto Plata, making it the ninth largest city in the country.
La Romana, located on the southeastern coast, was founded in 1897 as an oil town but in 1917, after the construction of a large sugar-mill, the economy shifted, and the city became a large sugar production hub providing jobs for locals from surrounding areas. In the 1960’s, money was invested in building schools, clinics and infrastructure improving the development of the city. In the 1970’s, one of the largest most exclusive tourist resorts in the country, Casa de Campo, was built attracting visitors from all around the world. Casa de Campo is a luxurious flagship of La Romana with world renown golf courses, a marina that mimics Portofino, a Mediterranean replica village named Altos de Chavón, and much more. Since the construction of Casa de Campo, La Romana has become known not only for sugar production but also for luxury tourism. La Romana has a population of about 208,000 people, putting it in the top ten largest cities in the country. Located in between Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, this coastal town is the perfect midway beach hot spot.
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