La Romana & Altos de Chavón, Dominican Republic
La Romana, located an hour and a half's drive east of Santo Domingo, is a city that was pretty much built by the sugar industry. In fact it was the large sugar company, Gulf & Western , who developed Casa de Campo , which receives most of this area's visitors. This 7,000 acre property of rolling hills includes two 18 hole championship golf courses, tennis centers, swimming pools, equestrian stables, polo grounds, shooting stations and exclusive private villas. Pete Dye designed the famous, Dientes de Perro (Teeth of the Dog), where eight of the course's holes skirt the edge of the beautiful Caribbean coast. Just east of the resort is another of Gulf & Western's creations, the shopping/art/culture area, Altos de Chavón , which was built on a cliff overlooking the Río Chavón and designed to look like a 16 th century Mediterranean village. This area includes a Taino artifacts museum, a 5,000 seat amphitheater, as well as many shops and restaurants. A popular excursion from this region is to take a shuttle boat to Isla Catalina ; a small island located 2 km offshore. The island has an incredible coral reef, making it very popular for snorkeling and diving.
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