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The specific promotions described in this article have now passed, but it remains online so that the resources named will be of future use to travelers.


There was a time when the Dominican Republic was a haven for Cuban political refugees looking for a quiet but similar place to settle in a post-Castro world. The tourist scene hadn't put the D.R. on the map, yet. Enter Casa de Campo (tel. 800/877-3643; www.casadecampo.com.do), one of the biggest golf, beach, and tennis resorts in the world with its own air strip, horse back trails, polo grounds and of course, championship golf course. With hotels, rental condos, more than ten on-site restaurants, and more water activities than the Summer Olympics, Casa de Campo shook up the Caribbean tourism market and put the Dominican Republic on the map as a major leisure destination.

Now, attracting more tourists than any other Caribbean destination per year, and heralded as one of the Caribbean's most affordable fun in the sun getaway spots, this spells great travel deals for you.

Funjet Vacations (tel. 888/558-6654; www.funjet.com) has special deals to Punta Cana, one of the Dominican Republic's more popular vacation areas with over one million visitors per year, twenty miles of white sandy beaches and full-service all-inclusive vacation resorts. From Washington D.C., a three-night round-trip air-inclusive trip with accommodations at the beachfront Riu Naiboa starts at $599.99. All meals, beverages and non-motor water sports are included as well. This package departs March 2, 9, 16, 2006 and April 6, 2006. From Chicago, a similar three-night package with accommodations at the full-service Allegro Punta Cana resort costs approximately $649.99 with airfare, accommodations and the all-inclusive meal and beverage plan. That's all the Dominican rum and ice cold El Presidente beer you can drink. This trip departs March 10 and 17, 2006.

Cheap Caribbean (tel. 800/915-2322; www.cheapcaribbean.com), a discount travel provider, has a five night book by February 8, 2006 special all-inclusive package to the four-star Sun Village Beach Resort and Spa on Puerto Playa starting at just $499. Travel for this extended sale package is good through April 30, 2006. The large resort has many on-premise bar and restaurants as well as seven pools. This package also includes free admission to the Caribbean's largest marine park. All meals and beverages are also included in the price of the package. The only thing not included is airport transfers (taxis are inexpensive in the Dominican Republic) and air taxes, departure fees, and hotel service charges. You can add to the length of your stay for a minimal fee.

For options on three to seven-night packages to the Dominican Republic, the Vacation Travel Mart, better known as VacMart, (tel. 800/288-1435; www.vacmart.com) offers several air/land all-meal and drink inclusive specials to the Dominican Republic. A seven-night package out of New York with accommodations at the Occidental Grand Flamenco Puerto Plata starts at $749. The beachfront hotel containing seven restaurants is surrounded by a world-class golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones. The large swimming pool is the center of the attention where people of all ages from all over the world mingle. Rooms are spacious and many have suite-type living with separate sleeping and living areas as well as balconies overlooking the quiet property. A five-night package with accommodations at the Tropical Princess in Punta Cana starts at $649 from New York. The same package for three-nights out of Atlanta starts at $569. If you want to book summer travel now and enjoy nig savings, a VacMart ¿Summer Sale¿ to Punta Cana puts seven-night specials with round-trip airfare from Miami at a starting cost of only $529. Travel for the summer specials is good from May 1 till June 15, 2006 with a booking deadline of February 28, 2006.

For airfare to the Dominican Republic, Jet Blue (tel. 800/538-2583; www.jetblue.com) has deals to Santiago, Dominican Republic for $74 one-way from New York's JFK Airport and $86 back from New York to the Dominican Republic. A seven-day advanced purchase is required with travel good through April 4, 2006. Spirit Air (tel. 800/617-3325; www.spiritair.com) recently announced new routes from Fort Lauderdale to Punta Cana starting at around $84 one-way and going up to only $114 for bigger business class seats. A Caribbean sale from Spirit puts flights from Fort Lauderdale to Santa Domingo in the Dominican Republic at $69 each way.