Alton De Chavon and La Romana
Duration: Half Day
Step back in time during your holiday in the Dominican Republic as you discover the architectural delights of Altos de Chavon, a fascinating re-creation of a 16th-century Mediterranean stone village. You will also get the chance to shop in the resort town of La Romana, the third largest city in the Dominican Republic. This is a unique day of culture, history and natural beauty.
Perched high on the cliffs overlooking the Chavon River, east of La Romana, the vibrant cultural village of Altos de Chavon is a must-see attraction. Hosting some of the island's finest traditional arts and crafts, by artists who live, study and work here, this romantic village has attracted many a writer, painter, sculptor and musician since it first opened. Altos de Chavon was constructed in 1976 by local artisans under the direction of Italian set designer Roberto Copa. The combined efforts of talented Dominican woodworkers, stonecutters and iron-smiths created a rich architectural landscape that remains a proud monument to the artistic community today.
Stroll down the cobblestone streets, past coral stone fountains and marvel at beautiful colonial architecture reminiscent of a 16th century Italian-southern Spanish village. Terracotta buildings open up into craft workshops, artist studios, galleries, shops and restaurants. Everyone lives and breathes art here. The performing arts are showcased in the Roman-style Altos de Chavon Amphitheatre, which stands as one of the world's most impressive open-air theatres. Numerous concerts, symphonies, theatrical events and festivals have been hosted here over the years, and many important international stars such as Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias and Gloria Estefan have performed on stage.
Other village highlights include the Altos de Chavón Design School, Saint Estanislao Church and a fascinating archeological museum which hosts artifacts from the ancient Taino Indian culture. Set in a beautiful architectural and natural setting, the village is undoubtedly a source of inspiration for all who stay here.
We travel onwards to the nearby port city of La Romana. Once a sleepy sugar-cane town, this popular region is now lined with paradise holiday resorts such as the 700-acre Casa de Campo complex. Much of the area is taken up with golf courses, hotels, swimming pools, nightclubs and restaurants, amidst a picturesque setting of rolling hills, white sandy beaches and turquoise seas, but the city of La Romana is worth a visit if you have time. Spend time browsing the local markets and shops for exotic foods, local crafts, clothing and souvenirs before heading back to your resort.
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