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Juan Dolio – More than a beach town

Juan Dolio

More than a beach town

JUAN DOLIO

Guayacanes and Juan Dolio are beach towns that mainly cater to residents driving in from Santo Domingo on the weekends for the beach, attracted by the very good restaurants and good golf. Two large residential communities, Metro and Guavaberry, plus a handful of recently constructed apartments, and its hotels keep the community alive during weekdays.

 

Juan Dolio is also an option for visitors wanting to make side trips to see Santo Domingo and La Romana attractions, both around an hour west or east. Las Americas International (SDQ) is the recommended port of entry for those headed to Juan Dolio hotels.

BEACHES

 

PLAYA JUAN DOLIO

This beach has both waves and calmer areas. Juan Dolio has two roads – Calle Principal and the Boulevard, around which most of the residences and restaurants are located. In recent years, high-rise beachfront apartments have gone up that cater to affluent city dwellers who drive in on weekends, attracted by the many good restaurants. Go for the sunset, and stay for dinner.

 

PLAYA GUAYACANES

A yet to be developed beach town. Its golden sand beachfront is walkable and fronts beach homes. Good beach shoes are recommended because there are some rocks on the way. It is a lovely stroll to do early in the morning with the rising sun or late in the afternoon to see the sunset.

JUAN DOLIO NIGHTLIFE

Eating at the many good restaurants in Guayacanes at Calle Central and Juan Dolio at the Boulevard or Calle Principal, with or without a view, brings thousands of city residents to this beach area, especially on weekends. Many of the restaurants double as bars and lounges. Try your luck gambling at Dream Casino at the Coral Costa Caribe resort in Juan Dolio.

CUEVA DE LAS MARAVILLAS

The Cave of the Wonders is located west of La Romana on the San Pedro de Macorís-La Romana highway, near the Soco River and Playa Nueva Romana. It has some of the best and most numerous examples of indigenous Taino rock art (dating back 500 to 800 years) found in the eastern part of the island. Around 500 paintings and engravings on rock have been counted and many can be seen on the 787-foot (240-meter) trail inside the cave. The cave art shows human figures, iguanas, snakes, owls and bats. Visitors will go down 82 feet (25 meters) to the cool inner chambers of the earth. The path can be covered in around an hour and is recommended on days of intense heat or rain.

GOLF

 

LOS MARLINS GOLF COURSE

Los Marlins is part of the Metro Country Club residential complex in San Pedro de Macorís, half way between Santo Domingo and La Romana. It’s a fairly short course, just 6,410 yards from its blue tees. However, players who know it well warn that it should not be taken lightly. That’s because some of the fairways are extremely narrow and others are protected by sand traps and water. Its signature hole is the 4th hole, a 193-yard par 3 from the white tees. It’s a totally straight hole with out of bounds on both sides. Because its very small green is surrounded by traps, this hole is difficult even for the most professional of golfers.

Location: Metro Country Club, Boulevard de Juan Dolio

 

GUAVABERRY GOLF & COUNTRY CLUB

Located 30 minutes east of the Santo Domingo airport and close to the Juan Dolio tourist area, the course borders a tropical forest and nature reserve. The 13th hole is its signature hole, a par 3 with a crystal-clear waterfall that can distract even the most expert golfers. The 16th hole, for example, blends right into a natural tropical forest. The final hole then provides a different challenge, asking you to play against strong crosswinds that come from 200,000 year old coral rock formations. The course is located at the center of the Guavaberry residential development.

Location: Autovía del Este Km. 55, Juan Dolio

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Cueva de las Maravillas National Park

Cueva de las Maravillas National Park

between San Pedro de Macorís and La Romana

The Parque nacional Cueva de las Maravillas (English: Cave of wonders National Park) is a national park located approximately 3 kilometres (2 miles) west from La Romana, in the south-eastern part of the Dominican Republic on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

Named after the Cave of Wonders, it was previously known as the Cueva Jaguar until 1949, and it is well known for its ancient paintings by the Taíno Indians.

The park is located on the road between the town of San Pedro de Macorís and La Romana, near the Soco River and Cumayasa. It is 800 meters long and is 25 meters underground, and has an area of 4.5 square kilometers. The caves were declared a national park on July 22nd, 1997.

Inside the cave you can see about 500 paintings and engravings on the walls, painted in black and red and made by the Taínos, the ancient inhabitants of the island.

According to reports, it has about 10 petroglyphs (rock engravings), and 472 pictographs (paintings on the walls). Of these 472, 144 pictographs were classified as cryptic or abstract and whimsical groupings at 69 points. In addition you can see 135 pictographs with a human face, 18 animal, 41 human and animal form, 18 and 38 geometric and human.

The attractions of the caves of wonder are pictographic, The Water Mirror Gallery, which consists of an artificial lake that reflects like a mirror the top of the cave and The Great Panel, in the latter you can see a cave painting created by the Taínos, which represents a funeral ritual, among others.

In the variety of flora include 48 natural species arraijanes, guáyiga, yellow caya, lignum vitae, pegapalo, jasmine, cat’s claw, carboy, stick hen, black Cuba, yaya brown, bighorn coffee, cane juice, stick donkey, Pringamosa and bitter stick, among others.

The cave opens in limestone reef belongs to the geomorphological unit known as South East Coastal Plain.

In 1926 it was called Cueva Jaguar, and in 1949 Professor Francisco Richiez Acevedo assigned the name of Cave of wonders for the beauty revealing inside and everything visitors could imagine by looking at the figures created by the stalactites and stalagmites, as well as its wide variety of pictographs.

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Some of the most beautiful places in the Dominican Republic

Back in 2008, the Dominican Republic’s Ministry of Tourism glossed the DR as the country “that has it all.”

The country is still sticking with that slogan and it’s easy to see why:

  • Year-round tropical climate.
  • Lush coastline with 250 miles of beaches.
  • Historic cities and culture.
  • Mountains.
  • Waterfalls.
  • Golf courses.
  • We could go on.

PLAYA MORON

Is one of the gorgeous Samana Peninsula´s smaller beaches. Visitors have a good chance to spotting a humpback whale during the January-March mating season.

EL SALTO DEL LIMON WATERFALL, SAMANÁ

It´s a mile-and-a-half trek through the jungle to get to the top of the cascades. The reward is the 130-feet-high El Salto del Limon, which flows into a natural pool that´s great for swimming.

CATHEDRAL OF SANTA MARIA LA MENOR

Dating to 1512, the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor in Santo Domingo is widely considered the oldest cathedral in the Americas. Gothic architecture, 500-year-old mahogany doors and the former site of Christopher Columbus´ tomb all wow visitors.

PUERTO PLATA ``TELEFERICO``

A popular excursion in Puerto Plata is the ``teleferico`` tour. Panoramic views of the city and ocean can be seen from the cable cars. A massive statue of Jesus Christ stands at the top of Mount Isabel de Torres.

LOS HAITISES

The protected forest of Los Haitises has limited road access. It´s become a popular eco-tourism destination, with most visitors arriving by boat. A variety of geographical landscapes are found in the region.

ALTOS DE CHAVON, LA ROMANA

Altos de Chavon is a massive replica 16th-century Mediterranean village. It´s home to a cultural center, an archeological museum and an amphitheater, but just walking around is impressive.

BAYAHIBE BEACH

Bayahibe Beach has a bar and a lighthouse and not much else, but it´s known as one of the nicest places in the country to watch a sunset.

JUANILLO BEACH, CAP CANA

Juanilo Beach is a calm, secluded public beach on the country's East Coast.

HEROES DE LA RESTAURACION MONUMENT, SANTIAGO

The Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration of the Republic is an eight-story structure dedicated to Dominican soldiers who fought the final War of Independence against Spain.

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