An easy, affordable resort getaway: The Dominican Republic

by , SmarterTravel Staff
Editor's Note: This story was originally published on October 16, 2006. To see the most recent SmarterTravel articles on related topics, please click on any of the following links: Bermuda, Bora-Bora, destination, Dominican Republic, Greece, Hvar, island, Martha's Vineyard, Molly Feltner, Nova Scotia, Sabah, vacation package.

An easy, affordable resort getaway: The Dominican Republic

If you're set on a tropical resort getaway for your next vacation but don't want to blow a ton of cash, the Dominican Republic can offer better value for your money than other resort destinations in the Caribbean and Mexico. Although the "DR" has for years been regarded as a cheap destination, it offers a full spectrum of accommodation options, including numerous upscale resorts in its two most popular beach areas, Puerto Plata and Punta Cana.

Many of the of DR's big chain resorts cost less than comparable chain properties on other Caribbean islands and Cancun and the Riviera Maya. For example, for a seven-night all-inclusive stay during the high season, rates start at $1,722 per couple at the Iberostar Costa Dorada in Puerto Plata and $2,646 per couple at the Iberostar Bavaro in Punta Cana. In contrast, rates at Iberostar resorts in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, are significantly higher. For the same vacation, rates start at $3,752 per couple at the Iberostar Paraiso Lindo and $4,508 per couple at the Iberostar Paraiso Maya.

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In another instance, for a seven-night all-inclusive stay during the high season, rates start at $1,568 per couple at the ClubHotel Riu Bambu in Punta Cana in contrast to a starting price of $1,946 per couple at the ClubHotel Riu Ocho Rios in Jamaica.

Trip planning

Start planning your trip by visiting the official website of the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism, which has information about the different regions of the islands. This site doesn't link directly to DR hotel websites, so you may find the hotel listings with web links on the unofficial Debbie's Dominican Republic Travel Page more helpful. On TripAdvisor, average hotel rates range from $105 to $626 per night in Punta Cana and $22 to $610 per night in Puerto Plata.

Several major U.S. carriers offer nonstop service to both Punta Cana and Puerto Plata. For midweek travel in January (the high season), round-trip flights on Delta from Atlanta start at $560 to Punta Cana and $585 to Puerto Plata. Prices include taxes and fees.

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