Tag: Dominican Republic Travel

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Punta Cana International Airport: There's an App for That!

February 17, 2015 at 3:36 PM | by | ()

We wrote about the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) in 2010 but a recent trip left us oh-so impressed we decided to revisit the beauty and efficiency of this flying experience again. Five years later, it still puts most other Caribbean airports to shame (I’m talkin’ to you, Saint Thomas!)

Punta Cana is the Dominican Republic's leading destination, and with more than 5.9 million international arrivals in 2014, it is the second busiest Caribbean Airport surpassed only by San Juan, Puerto Rico. Yet despite the heavy traffic it appears pristine.

The airport’s thatched roofs are breathtaking and tropical – and the airport is not only cool looking, it is literally cool. Although open-aired, massive ceiling fans are located throughout the airport, making it breezy and comfortable.

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How Oscar de la Renta Made Punta Cana's Paradise Possible

October 21, 2014 at 10:56 AM | by | ()

Above: the beach at Tortuga Bay

Flying to the resort town of Punta Cana, Dominican Republic? You have more than just nature to thank for its beauty.

Fashion designer Oscar de la Renta, who passed away last night at the age of 82, was one of the major partners behind developing the area. de la Renta, who was born in Santo Domingo and grew up in the Dominican Republic before leaving for Paris at 18 to pursue art, first made Casa de Campo famous and then moved on to develop his own enclave at Punta Cana.

Here's three places Oscar's legacy lives on, in tropical style:

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How to Volunteer With the Peace Corps, Without the Yearlong Commitment

May 15, 2013 at 3:46 PM | by | ()

The National Peace Corps Association is now offering all-inclusive, 10 and 14-day travel programs to the Dominican Republic and Guatemala for those who want to help out, but can't take a year off to do so.

MPCA's Next Step Travel program features small group travel, hands-on service projects, and educational programs. Projects include connecting with returned Peace Corps volunteers to learn about their work firsthand, spending time volunteering in a Haitian batey (a sugar worker town) to improve the health of the community, and implementing ecologically sustainable projects in rural areas.

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Emmys Winners (and Losers) All Scored Swag Trips to the Caribbean

September 24, 2012 at 1:58 PM | by | ()

After last night's Emmy Awards, nominees, presenters, and winners were invited to visit the Emmys Gifting Suite, where companies like Aquaswiss, Tivo, and even Black & Decker were happy to exchange their products for some publicity.

Clare Danes, Damian Lewis, Hugh Bonneville, Tina Fey, Glenn Close and Ed O'Neill all took advantage of the gifting suite to score free gold and diamond pendants from the Hot Rock Jewellery, toys made by Beanpatch, New Balance running shoes, Matrix One Tablets, and lots more free swag.

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Make Your Own Grand Slam at the Very First Airport Denny's

July 5, 2012 at 10:58 AM | by | ()

A popular restaurant chain just made its very first airport debut, but if you were expecting something upscale you might be a little disappointed. The first ever airport Denny’s has stated to flip pancakes and scramble eggs for the first time, and it’s all going down at Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo—that’s in the Dominican Republic.

We're wondering how well their "Grand Slam breakfast" translates into Spanish?

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Where to Go with Your Tax Refund: the Dominican Republic

March 29, 2011 at 1:31 PM | by | ()

Tax day is coming, and you are excited not because you look forward to sifting through receipts and credit card statements, but because you're getting a fat refund...probably. The economy may be on its way back up, but you should try to stretch that tax refund as far as you can.

If you crave a beachy retreat, treat yourself to a tropical trip to the Dominican Republic when that big fax tax refund comes in the mail.

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Foreign Grocery Friday: Peel 'Jelly Bananas' in the Dominican Republic

June 4, 2010 at 3:05 PM | by | ()

When we travel, one of our favorite things to do is to pop into a local grocery store and check out the food products and candies we'd never find anywhere else. So we're trying out this new feature, Foreign Grocery Friday, where each week we'll feature some of our (and your) favorite overseas treats. Got a recommendation? Let us know!

Gummis. They are just so awesome. Like 'em or not, it's hard to deny that gummis are some of the cutest, easiest gifts to bring home from a trip, especially if we're talking unique Haribo shapes straight from Germany. But outside of Europe, gummis can adapt the local tastes too, which we discovered on our recent trip to the Dominican Republic, where we uncovered some Jelly Bananas from the back of a Gummi rack.

The taste: Ignoring the lascivious leer of the cartoon banana pictured on the package, we gave our tastebuds over to the addictive sweetness of these shockingly yellow treats. Sparkling with sugar crystals, they're very pretty to look at and luckily a heck of a lot tastier than the little Runts bananas.

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Some of the Best Caribbean Plane Spotting is in Mikhail Baryshnikov's Backyard

May 13, 2010 at 5:20 PM | by | ()

Typically when you talk about going plane spotting, it usually involves some stealth tactics like parking far away or camping out on a barren hillside for the perfect picture. Never do you dream that plane spotting could instead involve chilling beneath a palm tree, with a Cinnabon in hand, but it does if you're hanging out at Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic.

Since the majority of the airport is open-air and thatched-roof, you have a view of the tarmac from almost every angle, but no better place than at the outdoor viewing area. It's a quick walk away from the food court (with its Wendy's, Cinnabon, Nathan's Famous and other more local chains), but it's close enough to the gates so that you can stand out there almost the whole time before your flight without missing the boarding announcements.

So how does Baryshnikov enter the pictures? Find out after the jump!

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The Best Resort Amenity in the Dominican Republic is an Eco-Park

May 11, 2010 at 11:25 AM | by | ()

If there is one thing you don't expect from a large Caribbean resort property, it's eco-consciousness. Large resort chains love to overdo it with gluttonous wastes of resources all for the pleasure of their guests, without regard for the environment in which travelers find the beauty of an area. Thus, on our recent trip down to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, we were thrilled to discover that a couple resorts are putting preservation and eco-travel efforts first, and even cultivating their own organic gardens for their restaurants.

We visited one resort in particular, the PUNTACANA Resort & Club, which has added an eco-park onto the list of their amenities, and it's become quite popular. The park, Ojos Indigenas, with lush vegetation, natural freshwater pools and residents like giant crabs, was discovered by accident and immediately given official protection. It is only open to guests of the PUNTACANA Resort, Tortuga Bay Resort and those with vacation homes in the resort, but if you're visiting the Punta Cana area and want to dive into the cool, fresh waters of one of the pools, you can also access it by taking the resort's segway tour, one of the only such tours in the Dominican Republic.

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Visiting Punta Cana Airport: Among the Most Unique Airports in the World

Where: Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
May 10, 2010 at 3:43 PM | by | ()

Video of our plane taking off from PUJ, back to JFK

Only a few days ago, we gave you a quick peek into Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic, after landing on the inaugural Jetblue flight direct from New York. But now we have a comprehensive look at this extremely unique airport which, when it opened in 1984, was the world's first privately-owned international airport.

Now, with over 3 million visitors landing here per year, the airport is the third busiest in the Caribbean region, after Cancun and San Juan. Often Caribbean airports get a bad rap for having ugly terminals, out-of-date technology or just for being small and hot. You'll realize upon landing at Punta Cana however, that his airport is the complete opposite of those things. In fact, it gives major international airports around the world a run for their money.

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Do You Know That Julio Iglesias and Oscar de la Renta Own a Thatched-Roof Airport?

May 6, 2010 at 5:21 PM | by | ()

This morning, we walked off a flight and into airport paradise. You know we love a good airport with excellent facilities, and nothing could have surprised us more than what we found at Punta Cana Airport (PUJ) in the Dominican Republic. Thatched roofs of cana leaves arch over the baggage claim, Dominican dancers greet arriving flights, and the entire airport is open-air with no air conditioning (huge fans take care of that).

The Punta Cana Airport was only opened in 1984, and since then, passengers traffic to its breezy terminals has risen from some 3,000 per year to over 3,000,000. And—believe it or not—it's a privately owned airport, by the PUNTACANA group, whose chairman is designer Oscar de la Renta. Julio Iglesias also had a huge hand in the deal, but most of the credit goes to PUNTACANA President Frank R. Rainieri, a Dominican who started working on the airport in his 20s, and who obviously has a thing for thatched roofs.

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