The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country in the Caribbean that is popular amongst us Atlantic Canadians because it is an affordable getaway during our cold, wet, winters. In the Dominican Republic, there are beautiful, white, sandy beaches and lots of fun excursions such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and catamarans. However, these are the types of things that can be enjoyed anywhere in the Sunny South. Altos de Chavón is an adventure unique to the Dominican Republic, something you can only experience there- or across the pond in Italy.
The adventure starts on the Chavón River in a Mississippi-style riverboat that takes you along the banks of the same river where Anaconda and parts of Jurassic Park were filmed. You can see local fishermen hauling in their daily catch, not much different from those up north in Atlantic Canada.
Soon you’ll trade the riverboat for a catamaran that gives you a speedy ride to a private beach on Catalina Island; a lush, tropical paradise where you can enjoy soft sand and a delicious cook-up. Notice the dark clouds hovering in the distance- we got rained out! But hey, aren’t we always told to dance in the rain? We embraced it!
The catamaran carried us back safely to land where we were able to explore Altos de Chavón. It is a rather peculiar place, as you feel while strolling around like you’re in 16th-century Europe, but in reality, you’re in the middle of the Caribbean! The secret of Altos de Chavón is that it is not actually 400 years old…it’s 30 years old! Ironically, it was designed and constructed by an Italian architect for the purpose of providing the guests of a nearby golf resort with something to do other than golf and sunbathe.
While strolling along the cobblestone streets of this charming town, don’t miss the amphitheatre. The 5000 seat, Grecian-style amphitheatre has hosted a number of major acts such as Ricky Martin, Frank Sinatra, Heart, Santana, and Julio Iglesias.
Hang around a little longer and enjoy some food and take in the nightlife. We were not expecting such a lively place; the village boasts several quaint restaurants, shops, and clubs that regularly have parties and live entertainment.
Altos de Chavón is a truly unique experience in the Dominican Republic, and I strongly encourage you to check it out if you’re there! To read more about this intriguing destination, click here! Have you been to Altos de Chavón? What other exciting adventures are offered in the Dominican Republic? We love hearing from you!