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Altos de Chavon – Disappointment in the Dominican Republic

Beach, sand and sun (and a few cocktails) – are all you need for a relaxing all-inclusive vacation in the Caribbean. The white-powdered beaches and turquoise waters of Punta Cana attract thousands of tourists every year including myself.

Prior to going to the Dominican Republic, I had been to Mexico and Cuba also staying in all-inclusive resorts and, in comparison, I can’t say the D.R. was my favorite Caribbean destination. Truth be told, I found it lacked quite a bit of charm and culture.

Although I enjoy wasting spending time lazying all day on a beach longue chaise with people-watching being the only activity I choose to engage in, I also need to get away from the predictability of resort life at least once during my vacation. I thought there weren’t any interesting historical sites on this half of Hispaniola (island comprised of the D.R. and Haiti) so I was delighted when I came upon an excursion to Altos de Chavon in La Romana. 

As described by Wikipedia:

“Altos de Chavón is a re-creation of a mediterranean style European village located atop the Chavon River in La Romana. It is the most popular attraction in the city and hosts a cultural center, an archeological museum, and an amphitheater. The project was conceived by the Italian architect Roberto Copa, and the industrialist Charles Bluhdorn.” 

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Okay – so there was nothing authentic about it and it didn’t even have a cultural or historical attachment to the Caribbean nation of the Dominican Republic but it was an outing away from the oil-lathered-bare-belly-beer-drinking patrons at the hotel. And for what it was worth – Frank Sinatra, Julio Iglesias and The Pet Shop Boys (throwback to the 80’s anyone?) had previously performed in the roman-style amphitheater. I’m not sure if that makes Altos de Chavon better or worse – I guess it depends on your musical tastes.

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For lack of authenticity, I’ll admit the setting with the Chavon River flowing through the valley below was very nice and the “recreation of a mediterranean style European village” was very well done and, to some extent, believable. But that didn’t lessen my disappointment so apparent in these pictures.

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After my disappointment with this lackluster excursion subsided, I came to the conclusion that I might as well just take advantage of the endless stretch of the palm-lined beach and the warm Caribbean Sea – after all, some places exist solely to cater to some much-deserved self-indulgent farniente.

Who was I to argue?

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A happier me with my feet in the sea!

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Has anyone else been to Altos de Chavon? Does anybody remember The Pet Shop Boys?

The post Altos de Chavon – Disappointment in the Dominican Republic appeared first on life untraveled.



This post first appeared on Life Untraveled, please read the originial post: here

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