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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic occupies the eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean Sea. (Haiti occupies the western third of the island.) Located at its easternmost tip is the of 15,000-acre Punta Cana Resort which has a coastline of white sandy beaches and rocky cliffs. Within its confines are world-class golf courses and private oceanfront communities, including the small and exclusive enclave where La Colina is located.

Golf is very big here and there are two courses with a third on the way. The first, La Cana, was designed by P. B. Dye with 14 ocean-view holes with 4 on the water’s edge. Golf Magazine compared this course to Pebble Beach and rated it the “number one course in the Caribbean.” The second, Corales, was completed in 2009 and is designed by Tom Fazio with 6 oceanfront holes. P.B. Dye is also designing the third, La Hacienda, which will hopefully be open soon.

Be papered at the famous Six Senses Spa and Wellness Center which has wide variety of holistic therapies to “nurture all of your senses and rejuvenate your mind and body.” Pick from indoor, outdoor, individual or couples accommodations. Swim in the ocean and then lunch on the terrace of El Grill. Other activities include tennis, deep-sea fishing, diving, riding on the beach, kiteboarding, parasailing, windsurfing and swimming with dolphins. In nearby Punta Cana Village are a couple of restaurants, an ATM (Dominican Pesos only) and a few shops. Lots more stores are found in all the hotels and in
El Cortecito, a charming fishing village in nearby Bávaro, which is home to a colorful artisans market selling masses of souvenirs in open-air stalls. There is an Ecological Reserve about 15 minutes away (real jungle so bring mosquito repellent!) for short guided tour through tropical vegetation with a refreshing swim in a cool spring afterwards (optional). Day trips can be organized via car (about 2 hours) or air to the west coast for excellent diving and snorkeling or to see other sites and cities.

The currency is the Dominican Peso; however, credit cards and the US dollar are taken in most tourist spots. Spanish is the official language. Several US carriers fly nonstop to the Punta Cana (International) Airport including: American, United, US Airways and Continental. International carriers include: Air France, Alitalia and KLM. There is also a private terminal and landing strip with a runway long enough to handle a Gulfstream.