Romance travel is a multi-billion dollar industry that is predicted to continue growing in 2017, according to Travel MarketPlace. As the market becomes more crowded, Dominican Republic continues to set itself apart from the competition with its enchanting mix of cultures, white-sand beaches, sweeping landscapes, charm of historic cities and the adrenaline-pumping adventure found throughout the island.
Couples still want an idyllic destination and white sand beaches to celebrate a honeymoon, anniversary, Valentine’s Day or any other romantic occasion, but now also want more. Trends include multiple destinations, adventure and wellness.
“Dominican Republic’s natural beauty, breadth of attractions and world-class accommodations across our country make a one-of-a-kind destination for couples,” said Magaly Toribio, Marketing Advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism. “Whether spending a day on one of our pristine beaches, taking advantage of our world-class spa and wellness facilities or participating in an adrenaline rushing activity, visitors can’t help but fall in love with our beautiful country and its warm, hospitable people.”
Accommodations fit for two
From opulent beachside resorts to rustic retreats tucked away in the countryside, Dominican Republic offers a plethora of accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets. In Punta Cana, all-inclusive resorts are a budget-friendly option for sun seekers that offer easy access to pristine beaches, fine dining and entertainment all contained within the property. On the north coast, resorts ranging from small boutiques to expansive hotels provide respite to travelers visiting towns including Puerto Plata, known for surfing and water sports, or charming locales like laid-back Las Terrenas, a former fishing village now known for its friendly expat community and European-inspired charm.
On the country’s southeast shore, the beachside community of La Romana is home to high-end accommodations that attract celebrity couples including Beyoncé and Jay Z. From upscale hotels to luxe private villas, La Romana offers a wide range of accommodations that exude upscale sophistication. Not to mention the area is home to world-class golf courses, a horseback riding complex, three polo fields and a 245-acre shooting facility.
Nature lovers will be smitten with the serene beauty of the Samaná peninsula on the northeast coast. What adventurous couple wouldn’t want their own private tree house? A tree house village in Samaná offers an open-air retreat perfect for outdoors enthusiasts, with rooms set high above the jungle floor.
In Santo Domingo, the country’s capital, metropolitan sophistication meets old-world charm. Downtown hotels keep couples close to the action, with topnotch shopping just minutes away from many of the city’s most highly rated accommodations. In Santo Domingo’s Colonial City, couples can step back in time for a romantic stay in renovated colonial-era residences along the cobblestone streets of the First City in the New World.
Reconnect in nature
The couple that takes on adventures together stays together, and Dominican Republic is full of ways to keep your hearts racing. In Cabarete, conquer the waves during a private surf lesson, or stretch yourselves to new heights together with a private yoga class.
Dominican Republic’s north coast is the adventure hub of the country, home to the Saltos de Damajagua—a series of 27 waterfalls and a physical challenge that’s certain to bring couples closer together. Take in the waterfalls by hiking up a mountain and then jumping and sliding from waterfall to waterfall on the way back down. Other pulse-pumping adventures include canyoning, windsurfing, ziplining and more. In Samaná, couples can step off the grid entirely, traveling by boat to Los Haitises National Park to tour the mangroves and caves engraved with ancient pictoglyphs from the pre-colonial Taino Indians.
The central regions of Jarabacoa and Constanza, virtually untouched by tourists, are a breathtaking tapestry of lush green valleys set against a mountainous backdrop. Thrill-seeking couples can paraglide over the valley and take in stunning waterfall views from 4,000 feet above ground. Local eco-lodges and tour operators offer rustic accommodations in addition to organizing tours and activities such as rafting down the Yaque del Norte River, mountain biking, horseback treks to nearby waterfalls and hiking up Pico Duarte, the highest peak in the Caribbean.
Wine and dine in the capital city with private tastings in Santo Domingo’s wine cellars. In the historic Colonial City, a UNESCO World Heritage site, couples can enjoy dining al fresco in the Plaza España while taking in panoramic views of landmarks such as the Columbus Alcazar. Explore the charm and history of Santo Domingo with visits to cathedrals, museums and numerous other historic monuments.
In the city of Jarabacoa, reserve your table for a romantic mountaintop dinner in a revolving restaurant that overlooks the city and the verdant valley below.
Luxury on the water
For the couple that wants to be pampered, spa treatments are plentiful at the hotels and resorts along Punta Cana’s eastern coastline. For a truly unique spa experience, the Punta Cana spa boat offers treatments from the comfort of a double decker boat. Let a sea of tiny fish perform a one-of-a-kind foot exfoliation treatment, or engage both the mind and body in a series of stretching and breathing exercises while overlooking the water.
Couples can also charter private yachts to explore the nearby islands of Saona or Catalina, for a truly luxurious day trip. For an unforgettable airborne experience, book a sunrise hot air balloon ride over Punta Cana. Take in the beauty of the morning sky over the ocean, complete with champagne upon the ride’s conclusion.