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Travelers Are Flocking To These 2 Punta Cana Alternatives This Summer

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Punta Cana, The Dominican Republic’s crown jewel, has long held the title of top tourist destination in the country.

However, as the Dominican Republic ramps up its tourism efforts, other destinations are quickly gaining recognition and captivating travelers with their diverse offerings, and two regions are paving the way.

Samana beach

Recently, reports from Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts have revealed that Samaná and La Romana are experiencing a significant surge in popularity among travelers.

It’s safe to say that Punta Cana will remain the main destination in the Dominican Republic; after all, it boasts some of the most stunning beaches and luxurious resorts not only in the country – but in the whole wide Caribbean.

Samana town

That said, it’s worth finding out what makes the Samaná and La Romana regions special and why their allure is currently attracting so many travelers – and that’s exactly what this article is about. Let’s dive in!


Samaná (also known as Santa Bárbara de Samaná) is located on the Dominican Republic’s Samaná Peninsula, overlooking the – you guessed it – Samaná Bay.

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Dominican Republic Beach

Surrounded by a plethora of natural wonders, such as mountains, valleys, coves, and beautiful beaches, this enchanting destination is a true haven for adventure and nature enthusiasts.

From January to March, the Samaná Bay plays host to an awe-inspiring natural spectacle – the arrival of thousands of humpback whales

These magnificent sea creatures approach the Bay during mating season, providing the opportunity for visitors to have an unforgettable encounter with these gentle giants.

Humpback whale

However, the fact that the whale watching season ends in March doesn’t mean that Samaná remains dormant for the rest of the year. On the contrary, the region boasts a diverse set of attractions that cater to every preference.

Cayo Levantado, a tiny island located in the Samana Bay, is one of the Dominican Republic’s most sought-after destinations. Its palm-lined beaches are renowned as some of the most pristine in the country, showcasing crystal clear waters teeming with marine life.

aerial view of beach

Samaná ‘s waterfront promenade, known as the Malecón, features a multitude of restaurants and bars. Visit the renowned Cayenas Mar Beach Club for a drink, take a leisurely stroll along the seafront, or enjoy a savory meal at one of the Malecón’s many excellent restaurants.

In June, visitors can experience the Dominican Republic’s heritage in the annual harvest festivals, where traditional foods like coconut rice, ginger beer, and johnny cakes take the center stage.

La Romana 

Whether you’re a family seeking fun-filled activities, honeymooners in search of romance, diving enthusiasts exploring the depths of the Caribbean Sea, or golfers looking to tee off on world-renowned courses, La Romana has something for everyone.

The highlight of the region is the world-famous Casa de Campo Resort and Villas. This exclusive resort stands as a testament to luxury and elegance, offering an exceptional vacation experience and boasting magnificent golf courses that attract players from around the globe. 

Outside view of La Romana featuring beach and sunshade

Altos de Chavón, an enchanting replica of a 16th-century artisan village that transports visitors back in time with its cobblestone streets and charming architecture, is a must-visit for travelers seeking cultural immersion.

Yet perhaps what truly sets La Romana region apart is its remarkable variety of natural wonders.

If you’re seeking a slice of true tropical paradise, search no further than the breathtaking Saona Island. With its immaculate white sands and mesmerizing turquoise waters, this island is considered one of the most heavenly destinations in the entire country.

Saona Island and boats

At the Cotubanamá National Park, a protected area that showcases the region’s diverse ecosystems, you can embark on thrilling hikes through lush forests, discover hidden cenotes, and encounter the rich biodiversity that calls this park home.

Finally, no trip to the La Romana region is complete without a visit to the Bayahibe area . This charming resort town beckons with its picturesque beaches, upscale accommodations, and an array of enticing attractions – including top-notch diving spots and superior seafood.

La Romana features its own international airport, so getting there is super easy, barely an inconvenience. The Dominican Republic airline RED even offers direct flights from Miami to La Romana, making it even more convenient for US travelers to reach this captivating destination.

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