Founded in 1897 as an oil town, La Romana is a lively city that serves as a gateway to the easterly resorts of the Dominican Republic. It’s surrounded by world-class golf courses and the Mediterranean-inspired streets of Altos de Chavon and is a stone’s throw from the paradisiacal beaches of Isla Catalina.
Things to do in La Romana
Golfers can test their skills on the waterfront Teeth of the Dog Golf Course, which has been ranked as one of the top golf courses in the Caribbean. Featuring 18 challenging holes, it was designed by the acclaimed golfing architect, Peter Dye, who credits “the man upstairs” with its awe-inspiring shoreline holes.
A short drive east of La Romana is Altos de Chavon, a recreated Mediterranean village that reflects the 16th-century architecture of Santo Domingo. Wander through its cobblestone streets, which are lined with artisan workshops and galleries where work by students from the Altos de Chavón School of Design is showcased. Don't miss a visit to the stone-built St. Stanislaus Church or the 5,000-seat Roman amphitheatre where international acts perform.
Jump aboard a boat to spend the day on idyllic Isla Catalina, which encompasses sand dunes, mangrove forests and palm-fringed stretches of sand. Its surrounding reefs provide a popular setting for snorkelling and scuba diving, with a variety of marine life that includes damselfish, sergeant majors and stingrays. Slightly further afield is Isla Saona, where you’ll find pre-Columbian rock art and a turtle sanctuary.
Getting around La Romana
La Romana is around 1.5 hours’ drive from Santo Domingo and 15 minutes from La Romana International Airport, which has flights to destinations across Europe and North Africa. Buses travel from Santo Domingo to La Romana and connect most of its attractions.