As with many Caribbean destinations, the Dominican Republic offers beaches replete with white sand, crystal blue waters, beautiful weather and, anecdotally, a national love of baseball. Despite the fact that about one third of the land is devoted to beaches, the country is less commercialized than, say, Mexico, or other popular destinations, and usually a bit cheaper, too. We've rounded up some of the latest deals for travel through the end of winter.
The Vacation Travel Mart (tel. 800/288-1435; www.vacmart.com) has several offers to the Dominican Republic, including Suncape Casa Del Mar, in La Romana on the southeastern coast. The resort's shoreline includes a coral reef, marina pier and the rooms have either poolside terraces or balconies. They're offering three-, five- and seven-night packages, and the special rate is only good if you book by November 30 and travel between now and December 16. Three nights with air and hotel from Miami is priced at $459, five nights $599 and seven nights, $739. New York departures are not much pricier, starting at $489 for three nights. All meals and drinks are included. Other cities are listed, too, and there may be some blackout dates.
The outfit also has a special on Coral Canoa Beach Hotel and Spa, rated "superior." It's located at Bayahibe, a short boat ride from the Island of Saona. The details: It's $559 for three nights, air and hotel included; $769 for five nights and $969 for seven nights, based on a Miami departure. You must book by November 30, and the deal is good for travel February 4-March 10, 2006; all meals and drinks are included. Some blackout dates may apply.
In Puerto Plata, known for its preponderance of all-inclusive resorts, the Sun Village Resort and Spa is running a special. The resort rates four stars but has lots of stairs (warning!) and the three-nights deal is priced from $369, five from $469 and seven from $569, based on departures out of Miami. All meals and drinks are included. The booking deadline is November 30 for travel through December 21. The rooms boast fully furnished, outdoor terraces; ocean, poolside or tropical views; and there are separate children and adult pool areas -- the adult one even has a swim-up bar.
Go Today (tel. 800/227-3235; www.go-today.com) recently added Punta Cana (on the easternmost tip of the island) to its long list of travel destinations and has extended the deadline for their two current offerings to December 22. Their all-inclusive, five-night deal that includes round-trip airfare, five nights hotel accommodations, all meals and snacks, unlimited beverages, and unlimited non-motorized sports. It's priced from $789 for travel January 2-20; $859 for travel January 21-March 31; back up to $769 from April 1-30, and then way down to $599 from May 1-June 30. Of course, as with other Go-Today packages, you can customize your luxury and upgrade to pricier hotels.
Their other offer, the "Dominican Republic Golf Vacation," involves deluxe stay at Punta Cana Resort and Club, breakfast and dinner daily, taxes and service charges, and you can choose either a three or five round golf package, which also includes greens fees, dinner at the clubhouse. For travel January 1-April 9, it's priced at $1289 and goes down for springtime months, April 17-July 16 to $1159 plus tax.
eLeisurelink.com (tel. 800/801-8808; www.eleisurelink.com) is running an all-inclusive special to the four-star Iberostar Bavaro Suites on the beach of Playa Bavaro, priced from $979 for five nights. The hotel contains several restaurants -- buffet, gourmet and ethnic (including Japanese and Brazilian), a disco, professional entertainment, a lounge bar, supervised children's programs, all the water sports you'd expect from a Caribbean vacation and, oddly, air rifle shooting. It's valid for travel up to December 14, though and the booking deadline is November 30. The price is based on round-trip airfare midweek to Punta Cana, meals, snacks and beverages, activities and non-motorized sports, round-trip transfers between airport and hotel. The rate is based on Miami departures but New Yorkers can leave from JFK for $1079, and Boston and Atlanta ($1129), Houston, ($1259) are also available among others.
eLeisurelink works best if you have specific hotels in mind, say for example in Puerto Plata, because it's sometimes tricky to find what you're looking for unless you have specific search parameters. You can search for rates based on the departure city, dates of travel, and so forth -- there's a select number of all-inclusive, weekly and other vacation specials and other specials. A quick search for a three-night stay in January revealed rates from a little over $100 at least a dozen hotels or resorts.
Orbitz (tel. 888/656-4546; www.orbitz.com) lists a few last-minute deals to Dominican Republic and provides a handy window that shows the average nightly rate and a separate price for round-trip airfare on American Airlines and a three night-stay. Choose from the Riu Naiboa all-inclusive resort, priced from $108; the package price starts at $467 per person, or the Breezes Punta Cana Beach Resort, Spa & Casino, priced from $220 and estimated at $634 per person. Prices that include airfare are based on Miami departures and are on sale through November 30 for travel now through March 10, 2006.
Cheap Caribbean (tel. 800/915-2322; www.cheapcaribbean.com) currently has a deal to Puerto Plata from $499 per person for travel until December 22. The deal is good for the Viva Windham Tangerine and it's a five-night, all-inclusive package that covers all meals, beverages, tips and gratuities, and non-motorized water sports. You must book by November 23 and the price is based on Miami departures only: Orlando ($549), New York and Boston ($599) airports are the next-cheapest cities. If you're unable to jet off at a moment's notice, the deal is available for wintertime, but the price jumps up to $839 per person for travel between January 2-April 15. The same November 23 booking deadline applies and the price reflects departures Miami or all New York-area airports; others are available for additional cost.
Head to our Dominican Republic Message Boards to talk with other travelers.