Dominican Republic new hot spots for 2014
Santo Domingo’s Ciudad Colonial
With the opening of the Coral Highway, access to Santo Domingo’s Ciudad Colonial, one of the world’s richest cultural heritage sites, is now easier than ever. And with increased access comes a new initiative launched by the Ministry of Tourism, which not only will see the creation of pedestrian-only areas but also opportunities for new restaurants, shops, and bars. In November, Las Casas del XVI, the area’s first luxury hotel, plans to open with nine rooms and suites in newly renovated houses dating back to the 16th century, all located within walking distance of the area’s top attractions.
The Samana Peninsula
Stunning, undeveloped beaches unfold for miles against a backdrop of mountains teeming with natural wonders on this relatively unknown peninsula, which juts out from the island’s less-traveled northeastern shore. Travelers looking to visit this Caribbean hideaway should check into Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences, a 20-room luxury resort set on six miles of private beachfront. Nearby Las Terrena, 10 minutes from the hotel, is a lively, European community, rich with Dominican culture and fine French cuisine.
Sustainable Tourism on the Secluded Southwestern Coast
Eco-tourists will have much to discover in the Sierra Bahoruco mountains on DR’s southwestern coast. Far away from the island’s tourist centers, its offer a unique ecological immersion, whether zipping through the jungle’s treetops on a canopy tour and trekking through the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve to exploring caves filled with ancient Indian art and touring an organic coffee plantation. For a retreat, stay at the Casa Bonita Tropical lodge, a 12-room eco-lodge overlooking the Caribbean Sea with a backdrop of mountains. A large sustainable garden provides produce for the resort’s restaurant and organic river spa.