Once known as a sleepy sugar-cane town, the southeast city of La Romana used to go unnoticed among the Dominican Republic's tourists. That all changed when a luxurious tropical paradise resort opened just over a mile (2kn) from the town, making the region synonymous with exquisite turquoise waters, white sandy beaches and some of the finest golf courses and holiday resorts the country has to offer.
These days, La Romana is one of the country's most visited regions, with many of the world's rich and famous making this relatively secluded tourist destination their summer playground. Couple that with plenty of markets selling exotic foods, trinkets, clothing and souvenirs, and visitors have got the perfect recipe for a holiday paradise.
With crystal clear waters lapping these Caribbean shores, visitors will find no shortage of water activities to enjoy, such as deep-sea fishing, scuba diving and snorkelling. Travellers can also visit one of the cigar factories, explore colourfully housed neighbourhoods or sit under tropical fronds and people-watch in the beautiful city park. Keen golfers will think they've died and gone to heaven when they tee off on championship-ranked 18-hole golf courses, while hopeless romantics can ride horses along the beach as the sun dips below the horizon.