La Romana, Dominican Republic Cruise Port

La Romana, Dominican Republic

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  1. Overview of La Romana, Dominican Republic
  2. What language is spoken in La Romana?
  3. What is the national currency in Dominican Republic?
  4. How do I get around La Romana?
  5. How can I stay in touch with home?  Either via Email or phone?
  6. What are the top attractions and must-sees in La Romana? How long will it take me to get there and to explore?
  7. What are the best eats in La Romana?
  8. What are the must-drinks in La Romana?
  9. Which are the best souvenirs to buy in La Romana? Where can I get them?
  10. What is the weather like in La Romana?

Overview of La Romana

La Romana

La Romana is one of the most populated cities in the Dominican Republic with an estimated 250,000 residents. It is quickly becoming a go to destination for tourists with numerous beautiful beaches; infrastructure and world class golf clubs surrounding the city. The annual average temperature for the Dominican Republic is about 77 degrees with a wet season from May through November.

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What language is spoken in La Romana? Do they speak English?

Spanish is the official language, however in the tourist areas English and Italian are also widely spoken. Most people in the tourist area do speak some English, but street signs and menus will be in Spanish which is the official language.

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What is the national currency in La Romana?

The Dominican Peso (RD$) is the official currency of the Dominican Republic. The Peso will fluctuate against the dollar and has hovered around RD$37 to USD$1 in the Fall of 2010. (for current exchange rates click the currency calculator)

Do they accept US Dollars around the port?

Many tourist spots and street vendors will accept US dollars and other currencies, however, be aware that the exchange rate when purchasing with dollars will not be as favorable.

Where can I get or exchange money?

Banks or private exchange houses called Casas de Cambio are the best places in which to exchange US Dollars or Euros into Pesos. Both options are a short taxi ride into town (see map.)

Visa, Mastercard and American Express are also widely accepted in the tourist regions, however, be aware that your credit card company will not give you a favorable exchange rate and you may end up spending as much as an extra 10 percent when you use your card.

  • Banks closest to cruise port: 
    • Banco Leon located on Calle Duarte at the southeast corner of the main park.
    • Scotiabank at Av Gregorio Luperon av Santa Rosa near the Mercado municipal.
    • See map.
  • ATMs closest to cruise port: 
    • Banco Leon located on Calle Duarte at the southeast corner of the main park.
    • Scotiabank at Av Gregorio Luperon av Santa Rosa near the Mercado municipal.
    • See map.
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How do I get around from the cruise port?

Walking

Once in town, walking is an easy and cheap way to get around town and see the sights. La Romana is an easy city to see on foot.

Taxis

Taxis are available and cheap as well. A knowledgeable cabbie will be able to get you anywhere you need to go; HOWEVER, agree on a price before departing

Rental Car

Taxis are available and cheap as well. A knowledgeable cabbie will be able to get you anywhere you need to go; HOWEVER, agree on a price before departing

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How can I stay in touch with home? (Ex. Email, phone, etc.)

There are numerous international calling offices, called “Centro de Llamadas”, and Internet cafes, which are both excellent and affordable options for calling home.

How can I call home? Are there call centers?

There are three Verizon “Centro de Llamadas” in La Romana. All offer international calls to the US for RD$10-15/minute (approx. $0.35) and to Europe for RD$20-25 pesos/minute (approx. $0.75). They are a very short taxi drive away from the port. (See map.)

Where are the Internet cafes?

There are several cafes in the city:

  • Cybernet Café is a short 5-6 minute taxi ride NW of the port (see map.)
  • Mundo Ciber@Net is a 2 mile taxi ride NW of the port (see map.)

What are the cell phone rates?

Verizon is $1.99/minute and AT&T is between $1.69 and $1.99/minute. Contact your cell phone provider for international roaming rates.

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What are the top attractions and must-sees in La Romana? How long will it take me to get there and to explore?

Attractions

Most if not all of the attractions listed below are at least a short taxi drive away.

  • Altos de ChavonAltos de Chavon is a vibrant community not far from La Romana. It houses the Regional Museum of Archeology and an art gallery. It is approximately a 15 minute taxi ride from port (see map.)

    Check out this video of Altos de Chavon.

  • Cigar Factory Tour of Tabacelera de Garcia, here you will see how some of the best cigars in the world are made, including Romeo y Julieta, H.Upmann and Montecristo. It is 15 minute taxi ride east from port, near Casa de Campo.

    Check out this video of some of the finest cigars in the world being made.

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Beaches

La Romana has beautiful beaches easily reachable from the port.

Bayahibe
  • Bayahibe is the best of these beaches and one of the best on the island of Hispaniola. It is surrounded by several four and five star resorts with private beach areas, but there are also public beach areas where visitors can enjoy the powder white sand. Besides local Dominican flavor, there is a distinct Italian influence in this area. It is located 14.5 miles ESE of the port, which is an approximately 25 minute taxi ride from port (see map.)
  • La Caleta is a public beach located 4.4 miles WSW of the port (see map.) This beach is frequented by locals and does have security issues from time to time, so be careful. In reality, with the option of visiting Bayahibe, there is no reason to go anywhere else if a beach is what you seek.
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Shopping
  • Supermercado Jumbo in La RomanaJumbo is the largest store in La Romana. It is a Costco/Walmart type store that has everything from groceries to arts & crafts. It is a good place to buy traditional candies, such as dulce de leche (milk candy) and dulce de coco (coconut candy). Located 1.4 miles west of the port (see map.)
  • handicrafts and art. It is located 5.8 miles east of the port (see map.)
  • La Marina de Casa de Campo is an upscale Dominican and imported crafts center. It is located 4.7 miles east of the port (see map.)
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Golf
  • Teeth of the Dog Golf CourseTeeth of the Dog Golf Course is a world renowned championship golf course fronting the Caribbean on many holes. It is ranked as the best golf course in the Caribbean and 43rd in the world by Golf Magazine. Reservations for tee times should be made in advance. It is located 2.3 miles west of the port (see map.)
  • Check out this video of the 7th Hole on the Teeth of the Dog Golf Course.

  • The Links is a championship course within the resort and residential community of Casa de Campo. It is an excellent inland alternative to the Teeth of the Dog Golf Course.
  • Dye Fore is a beautifully crafted course which offers spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea, mountains, Altos de Chavon and the Marina. All three courses were designed by Pete Dye. It is located 5.3 miles east of the port (see map.)
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Scuba

Scuba DivingThe Dressel Divers will take customers out to various dive sites around the Dominican Republic. There is also an opportunity to rent equipment as well. Located in Bayahibe on the beach of the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus (see map) which is about 14 miles ESE of the port.

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Tours
  • Isla CatalinaIsla Catalina is a small island, 1.5 miles from the mainland. It can be reached by taking a small boat from Bayahibe or at Rancho Cumayasa. This makes a nice day trip complete with great beaches, a rich wildlife reserve and excellent snorkeling opportunities. Several tours leave from Casa de Campo and Bayahibe.
  • Rancho Capote - Cueva Fun Fun (Fun, Fun Cave in Hato Mayor): This is an underground excursion that takes you into the largest cave in the Caribbean complete with cave art and underground rivers.
  • Cuevas de las MaravillasCueva de las Maravillas (Cave of Wonders): Take the Down Under Tour which will take visitors 25 feet underground to a cave boasting an impressive collection of paintings made by the indigenous settlers that pre-dated Christopher Columbus. The tour takes about an hour and is approximately half an hour west of the port, so make sure to a lot at least three hours for this tour.
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What are the best eats in La Romana?

  • Pescado Frito con tostonesPescado Frito con tostones (fried fish with fried plantains) are local favorites for beach-goers.
  • Fried calamari is also a popular food around the marina and port area restaurants.
  • Pollo or chivo guisado con arroz y habichuelas (chicken or goat fricassee with rice and beans) are the traditional fare.
Where are the best places to get them?
  • The beach-front restaurants in Bayahibe are a great place to sample the fried fish with tostones (see map.)
  • Peperoni, frequented by residents of nearby Casa de Campo, has the best calamari in town. It’s located less than ten minutes away by taxi from the port (see map.)
  • Restaurants in town are your best bet for traditional pollo or chivo guisado with rice and beans.
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What are the must-drinks in La Romana?

  • PresidentePresidente is the best of the national beers, so make sure to ask for one “bestido de novia” (dressed like a bride), which means that it served so cold the bottle is frosted white on the outside.
  • MamajuanaMamajuana, for those that like a stronger drink, is a distinctly Dominican drink. It is said to do everything from cure the common cold to restore man’s “vitality”. Miracles effects aside, it does make a fine drink.
Where is the best place to get them?
  • Presidente is available throughout La Romana in corner stores, called colmados, restaurants and almost anywhere else you see the big green “Presidente” refrigerators.
  • Mamajuana is available at most any bar and many restaurants. It will likely taste a bit different everywhere you go, as there is no set recipe, so you may want to try a few different versions; but be careful – it packs a punch.
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Which are the best souvenirs to buy in La Romana? Where can I get them?

Under $25:
  • Dominican RumNational rums (Brugal, Barcelo and Bermudez) are among the best in the Caribbean and can be purchased for less than $10. Best prices can be found at the Jumbo supermarket, but can also be found in the city at corner stores called Colmados.
  • Dominican cigars also make good souvenirs and gifts. Don’t bother trying to buy “Cuban cigars” here, even though there will be many vendors selling them. Most “Cuban cigars” sold in tourist areas are fakes and you will be over-paying for inferior quality cigars.
$25-$75
  • Muñecas Sin RostroThe Dominican faceless dolls (muñeca sin rostro) are a very popular item bought by tourists and Dominicans alike and can range in price depending on quality and materials used to make it.
  • Amber jewelry (earrings, pendants, rings, etc.)
  • Larimar (a rare blue volcanic mineral) jewelry, only found in the Dominican Republic.
Over $75
  • Dominican CigarsBoxes of Dominican cigars
  • Jewelry
  • Fine art

Best quaility items are found in Casa de Campo

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What is the weather like in La Romana?

Current Temperature
Average Monthly Temperatures and Rainfall in La Romana
La Romana - Average Temperature La Romana - Average Rainfall
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Photos

La Romana - Average Temperature La Romana - Average Rainfall
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