La Romana, Dominican Republic Travel Review
I arrived to La Romana, Dominican Republic on a cruise and as soon as I had arrived, I realized there was nothing to do near the port, apart from a tax free shop. To go anywhere or to do anything, you need to get transportation to it. I ended up doing two things: went to the beach in Bayahibe and went to the town of La Romana.
First the center of La Romana: I took a mini bus there from the port. The mini bus (shuttle) cost was only $5.00, which was great. There was also a Chu Chu train you could take that cost $19.00 for the same trip. The shuttle drops everyone of at the center of the town where there is a park size of a block filled with make shift shops full of tourist trinkets, like shot glasses, t-shirts, fridge magnets, hats, sunglasses, coasters, jewelry etc. The park also houses the Latin Baseball Hall of Fame Walk, which includes numerous bigger than life-size statues of famous Latin baseball players throughout history. Across from the park is a the Iglesia Santa Rosa de Lima church, and what looked like the City Hall. I purchased some souvenirs, tried some dried, salted, banana slices from a local woman (they were excellent) and drank some refreshing coconut water straight from the coconut. The only thing that I didn’t like about the market in the park was the fact that every single sales person tried to haggle you, wanted to shake your hand and followed you around trying to sell stuff you didn’t want.
The second place I visited was the beach near Bayahibe called Dominicus Americanus Beach. The taxi to the beach, which I took with nine other people ended up costing $15.00 per person with return trip and took about 20 minutes to each direction. The highway there is in great condition, and looks like any highway in America (unlike the local streets to La Romana, which weren’t in great shape). Along this beach are some resorts like the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace Resort (all inclusive), Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus and Catalonia Gran Dominicus Resort. The beach overall looked very clean, and the water was beautiful. There were some waves, which I liked. At one end of the beach is a black and white striped Lighthouse that has been converted into a bar. The other end of the beach has a pier for fishing and docking your boat. The beach has a few huts that sell art and clothing item, but the sellers weren’t overly eager and didn’t bother you that much, like they did in La Romana.
Overall, I’d really recommend the beach over La Romana center, but if you have the time, take a look at them both. Two completely different experiences.