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Roadtripping the Dominican Republic

Highlights along the road from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana

Traveling north from Santo Domingo brings you to La Vega, a religious route that leads to the cross-shaped Light of the World Monument.
The Dominican Republic‘s east coast has experienced a big enough tourism boom in the past few years that the highway connecting Santo Domingo with Punta Cana is now a popular road trip route for exploration.

The Coral Highway, a 43.5-mile road that stretches from the eastern and southeastern beach destinations of Punta Cana, La Romana, and Bayahibe to the historical city of Santo Domingo, substantially shortens visitors’ travel time. Now that the trip takes two hours instead of four, the colonial capital city that has long been an undervalued attraction of the D.R., is getting thousands more visitors than it did before – and much-needed infrastructure improvements in the city are already underway as a result.

Interesting points along the Coral Highway include the Barcelo Rum Historical Center in San Pedro de Macoris (about halfway between Punta Cana and Santo Domingo) where visitors can learn about the D.R.’s history of rum-making, tour its aging facilities, and sample its boozy line-up. Armed with liquid courage, travel eastward to Bayahibe, and you might feel compelled to hang upside-down while flying 25 feet off the ground at the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Resort‘s new beachfront trapeze school. If not, a stop off at La Flor Dominicana Cigar Factory in La Romana, the world’s largest cigar shop complete with an on-site museum, will keep you entertained and fully-grounded.

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