The Dominican Republic has long been a magnet for sunbathers, party-goers, and sports enthusiasts from around the world. This long-time favorite of Canadians has seen its ups and downs over many decades, but it hasn’t been without its issues. Throughout the mid-eighties to early 1990s, Santo Domingo was a must-see for tourists because of the developing number of hotels and amenities in order to accommodate the area’s growing popularity. Boca Chica became the destination for parties almost as soon as it opened, and the lively bars and numerous nightlife were a draw for locals and tourists alike. However, with easy access to tourists by locals and widespread reports of prostitution and drug abuse that seemed to grow worse over time, things soured.
Attractions of Dominican Republic
With the creation of Jack Tar Village, the all-inclusive boom began to take off in Puerto Plata and especially in Playa Dorada, which would later become the Dominican Republic’s hotspot in the ’90s. The Playa Dorada region, which previously appeared to have learned from Boca Chica’s errors, is a more complicated location along the beach of several all-inclusive resorts that are accessible only by a road restricted to tourists. This isn’t to imply that it was without fault, as the beach was, in most cases, a public place, and visitors would frequently be accosted by vendors selling mostly local products and jewelry who were polite, non-threatening, and accepted a simple no thank you as an answer and moved on. In fact, the sellers were rather docile in comparison to the major issue of having so many hotels packed into one location… competition, and in particular, timeshares. Many of my clients complained that it was becoming too crowded and decided to move on to another vacation spot. I didn’t blame them, so when things started going down in the Dominican Republic once again, they picked up where they left off.
In the movies, a trilogy typically becomes worse as it goes on. Practice makes perfect, they say, and in the late 1990s, the Dominican Republic perfected its perfection with Punta Cana. The east coast of the island offers some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean, including Playa Ensenachos, which is located at the southern end. The best all-inclusive resorts can be found throughout this resort region on the east coast, which has 50 miles of beautiful beachfront along with some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. It’s a little piece of heaven, remote enough to keep the bad sides of travel at bay while still close enough to world-class eco-tourism, water sports, land excursions, and is self-contained enough to offer great nightlife and shopping. Furthermore, Punta Cana is now recognized as one of the finest golfing destinations in the world. The infrastructure to the region is continually being improved, giving a Boomtown effect that the whole area just keeps getting better every year with bigger resorts, greater facilities, and a higher degree of satisfaction for you, the visitor.
I’ve always had a fantastic time when I’ve visited the Dominican Republic, and I’ve visited all three zones during their prime. In fact, I’ve only been to two of them… Punta Cana has yet to get there, as it is currently the fastest-growing area in the Caribbean, and things appear to be heading in that direction.