La Romana’s modern history dates back to the early 19th Century when it was founded as an oil town. By the 1970s, La Romana bloomed into a tourism destination thanks to resorts like Casa de Campo and the reconstruction of a 16th-Century Mediterranean village, Altos de Chavón. Both of which are beautiful cultural attractions to visit in La Romana!
Plan time to explore Altos de Chavón, which was built in 1976 with the intention of being La Romana’s cultural center. The town has an incredible view of the Chavón River where you can stop for photos before taking a stroll along the cobblestoned streets. Ciudad de los Artistas (City of Artists) is the part of town where you’ll find art studios, craft workshops, and influential galleries. Locals and students practice and showcase ceramics, fashion, design, and other handicrafts here.
Be sure to visit the 5,000-seat amphitheater, St. Stanislaus Church, and the Archeological Museum. (The museum offers great insight into the indigenous culture of the Dominican Republic.) If you opt to stay past dark, Altos de Chavón turns into a magical place with plenty of dining options such as Chilango Taqueria and La Piazetta.
See our directory for available excursions to Altos de Chavón.
Nestled at the mouth of the Yuma River, Boca de Yuma is a quiet and scenic escape. The hidden town has a rich colonial history as it hosts a fort that once defended the land from pirates in the 1800s.
Boca de Yuma offers plenty of cultural excursions. During your visit, check out Cueva de Berna, one of the largest and most important Taino caves in the Dominican Republic. You can discover even more caves by boating along the Yuma River to stop at cave Cofresi and Playa Blancao. (See our directory for available riverboat tours.)
Hoyo Zumbador is a hidden gem of the Dominican Republic; it’s a saltwater pool surrounded by rocks that’s a private and quiet escape from the typical beaches of La Romana. After all of that adventuring, taste a traditional Boca de Yuma lunch at a local restaurant. We recommend fried fish with tostones (fried plantains). In the afternoon, stop by the Ponce de León Museum, the former home of the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León.
After a day of enjoying the history and culture of the Dominican Republic, consider visiting Bayahibe beach for sunset. Ideally, arrive around 4:00 PM to visit a local craft store called La Pereskia de Bayahibe asociación de artesanos, before a leisurely stroll along the beach as the sun sinks into the horizon. We recommend finding a beach bar to sit back, clink glasses, and enjoy a stunning sunset.
While you’re in Bayahibe, ask your hotel concierge to make a reservation at Kukka Beach for an oceanside dinner. The romantic atmosphere and the delicious food are the perfect way to end a beautiful day in paradise.
Cueva de las Maravillas is an ancient cave system with indigenous rock art by the Taíno Indian tribe. During a tour of the caves, you’ll see hundreds of pictograms and petroglyphs engraved in red and black on the stone walls; it’s a great educational (and cultural) opportunity for the whole family! A tour of Cueva de las Maravillas takes about an hour as a guide leads small groups along well-lit footpaths.
In the afternoon, visit Santa Rosa de Lima Church located in front of Juan Pablo Duarte Park and surrounded by a beautiful garden. While the architecture may draw you in, it’s where several cultural events and craft fairs take place throughout the year. (See our blog post for year-round events and festivities in La Romana.)
See our directory for available tours, and read our blog post for more information on Cueva de las Maravillas.