Got Kids? Don’t Fret. The Dominican Republic Offers a Fantastic Family Getaway; Six Reasons the DR is the Perfect Vacation Spot for Mom, Dad and the Kids
March 10, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Travel NewsAs the chilly winter weather carries on, more than 170 million families sick with spring fever are planning and impatiently awaiting a mid-winter getaway. Regardless of the destination (although most prefer tropical in contrast to the cold), the components involved in planning a family vacation prove to be frustrating when seeking out a spot that combines entertainment, education and a safe environment for the kids with relaxation for the adults, affordability and convenience for the family. Fortunately, the Dominican Republic (DR) meets the family criteria. As one of the hottest kid-friendly destinations, the DR offers lots of characteristics that families search for, making it the ideal place for everyone to kick back, seek adventure and even get a history lesson.
Spring Break Destination without the “Spring Breakers”
The DR has yet to catch the interest of the college spring break crowd. As a result, the DR offers spring break destination perks without the stereotypical spring break partying atmosphere. Parents can feel confident their children are not exposed to the events and activities typically associated with the annual festivities held in many southern U.S. cities as well as Mexico and Jamaica.
One of the quickest and easiest Caribbean islands to reach
Located in the northern Caribbean, the DR is only a two hour flight from Miami, making it one of the closest international destinations for Americans. It’s also one of the easiest to reach thanks to seven airlines that offer daily flights out of most U.S. cities, some with non-stop options. Don’t have passports for the family? Not a consideration until January 2008 when passports will be required for visits to all Caribbean nations.
All-inclusives of all kinds
The DR is recognized for its surplus of all-inclusive resorts, especially in the ever-popular beach-lover’s paradise, Punta Cana. Regardless of a family’s budget, the DR provides a large number of activity-packed resorts with some taking the kid-friendly theme to an extreme with favorite cartoon characters, skateboard ramps and teen-only lounges. The majority of these family-focused, all-inclusive resorts have flexible dining hours and offer kid-friendly cuisine. One of the advantages of an all-inclusive resort for families is that beyond souvenirs, there are no additional or surprise costs upon arrival to the destination.
Kids love beaches
The DR is the second largest Caribbean country and with that comes 1,000 miles of sandy coastline and some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches. Three of these stand out as exceptional family spots featuring relaxation, education and adventure.
Slower-paced eastern Punta Cana welcomes families to its ultra-fine white sandy shore scattered with swaying coconut palms and thatched-roof sun huts. A little further south and Bayahibe’s pristine beach includes an educational lesson. This special area makes the DR one of only 33 countries to receive the international Blue Flag Award for its sustainable preservation efforts from the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE). Adventure-seeking families will find the golden sand of northern Cabarete, one of the world’s best locations for windsurfing, kiteboarding and surfing, the perfect vacation destination
A history lesson on vacation? (Yes, and they’ll thank you for it.)
The DR serves as an extraordinary background to a history lesson featuring none other than Christopher Columbus. When the famous explorer discovered the Americas in 1492, the DR was not only his first stop, but his favorite. This is the only country in the Caribbean where families can visit the New World’s first cathedral, university, hospital and other monumental achievements, in addition to Columbus’ gravesite at the Lighthouse in Santo Domingo.
As one of three Spanish-founded Caribbean countries, the DR’s primary language is Spanish and is an essential part of the Dominican culture. While visitors will have no problem finding English-speaking staff at the resort areas, they will find that resort staff and the friendly locals are more than willing to engage in Spanish conversation with tourists. This makes the DR a perfect place to practice Spanish, especially for the three million American children currently learning the language.
Activities that make memories
The DR is one of the most diverse destinations in the Caribbean due to numerous national parks, a 10,000 foot mountain peak, waterfalls, rivers and other elements that create a playground of natural wonder. All of the DR’s resorts can arrange day trips that will take the family on an adventure, such as monster truck safaris through the DR’s sugar cane fields, whitewater rafting through canyons, fishing for 300 pound marlin, snorkeling off calm waters of uninhabited islands, personal encounters with sharks and sealions, and horseback riding to a 150-foot cascading waterfall which drops into a refreshing swimming hole. And that’s just a sampling.
For more information on booking at trip to the DR, contact your local tour company or travel agent or contact the country’s tourism bureau at 888-374-6361 or www.dominicana.com.do.
Rich in history, the Dominican Republic’s first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, it has developed into a diverse destination offering both Dominican and European flavors. At 10,000 feet, the Dominican Republic is home to the highest point in the Caribbean. It also features some of the best golf courses and beaches in the world, the largest marina in the Caribbean and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families.
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