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Altos de Chavon: Stunning Mediterranean replica in La Romana

St. Stanislau Church in Altos de Chavon
St. Stanislau Church in Altos de ChavonLeslee Haralson

Altos de Chavon, located in La Romana, Dominican Republic is a stunning replica of a 16th century Mediterranean village. Designed by Jose Antonio Caro, its purpose was to be a cultural center for Dominicans and visitors alike. Construction began in 1976 and took several painstaking years to complete. Stone pathways, wooden doors and wrought iron work have all been carefully handcrafted to bring about this masterpiece.

Home to a design school with an affiliate in New York, there is certainly much to inspire students of design in this intriguing village recreation. On location are restaurants, museums, art galleries, the St. Stanislau Church, boutiques and an amphitheater not to mention spectacular views. Its location above the Chavon River on the edge of a cliff gives a commanding vantage point of the lush foliage of eastern La Romana Province.

A fascinating archeological museum, often overlooked by visitors, is housed on the Altos de Chavon property. It is a treasure trove of pre-Columbian artifacts found in the region. The chronological displays allow museum-goers to see the development and progression of the area culture through time.

A 5,000 seat amphitheater made from hand carved stones was inaugurated by Frank Sinatra in 1982. It is a popular venue for touring groups to perform at and is the location of the annual Heineken Jazz Festival.

Guests visiting Altos de Chavon arrive by taxi, rental car or tour bus and park just outside the actual village. A fee is collected and visitors continue on foot since motor vehicles are not allowed in that particular part of the town.

Leaving Altos de Chavon, visitors pass through part of Casa de Campo, an extremely upscale Caribbean resort. Large, impressive villas are available to guests. The resort offers many other attractive features such as a lovely golf course and horseback riding.TIP: Cruises offer shore excursions to Altos de Chavon, however consider hiring a taxi for a personal tour which can cost much less money and tailor a tour to your desires.

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