Tourism October 28, 2016 | 10:43 am

Dominican vacation prospects rise as harsh winter looms

Dominican Republic, /PRNewswire/.- With the2017 Farmer’s Almanac predicting an exceptionally cold and snowy winter for theNorthern Plains, Midwest, Middle Atlantic and Northeast this winter, thesun-soaked weather in Dominican Republic is calling sun seekers planning anescape from the cold. Winter retreats in Dominican Republic range fromluxurious spa days to heart-pumping active adventures, but all come with thepromise of rejuvenation and some much-needed vitamin D.

"In Dominican Republic, relaxation canmean much more than a day at one of our world-class beaches," said MagalyToribio, Marketing Advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism."From yoga workshops to water sports to bird watching, no matter how youprefer to unwind, Dominican Republic has the perfect winter vacation to suitany traveler."

Yoga getaways combine mindfulness and adventure

Yogis say "namaste" to DominicanRepublic’s adventurous north coast — a hub for kitesurfing and ATVing and alsoa beloved haven for yoga and wellness buffs. Several hotels and resorts aroundCabarete, in the Puerto Plata province, offer yoga classes or even dedicatedweek-long yoga getaways. Set your intentions while keeping up with yourpractice along the vibrant coastline. The area is replete with activetravelers, and ample opportunities for surfing, kiteboarding and stand-uppaddleboarding. For an added adrenaline rush, take up a tour operator on acliff jumping, canyoning or rappelling adventure. These activities are certainto fulfill the mind, body and soul.

To the northeast in the lush SamanáPeninsula, travelers come to connect with nature: yoga escapes, organic spasand meditations are plentiful, as are adventures into the area’s surroundingwaterfalls, hills and protected natural reserves. Visitors to Samaná candiscover remote, untouched beaches accessible only by a friendly fisherman’s boat– the perfect setting to disconnect from the distractions of daily life andarrive at inner peace.

Reconnecting with Mother Nature

For a tranquil getaway, Dominican Republic’smany miles of unspoiled nature and nine distinct ecological zones providerespite from northern winters for hikers, bird watchers and nature enthusiastsalike.

Many visitors are surprised to learn thatsome of Dominican Republic’s central regions are characterized by a cool,mountain climate. The municipality of Constanza, nicknamed the"Switzerland of the Caribbean," is bordered by four national parks aswell as the Ébano Verde Scientific Reserve, a spectacular hiking destination.The parks and nature reserve throughout Constanza offer more than 600 differentspecies of flowers and plants and more than 100 different types of birds.

Nearby Jarabacoa is set against abreathtaking mountain backdrop in the Cordillera Central range. The area ishome to picturesque waterfalls, including Salto de Jimenoa and Salto Baiguate(often explored on horseback). Pico Duarte, the highest peak in the Caribbeanat 10,125 feet (3,087 meters), is accessible from Jarabacoa through two- tofour-day trips where travelers can take in astounding panoramas from the top.For less rigorous exploration, a nearby garden hosts Dominican Republic’s firstbutterfly exhibit. The region is home to lodges and accommodations that offer aunique taste of rural life in Jarabacoa.

Beach retreats, spa luxury and cosmopolitanhotspots

World-famous and most recently frequented byjetsetters like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, Marc Anthony, Lupita Nyong’o and numerousinternational supermodels, La Romana’s coast in the southeastern corner of thecountry provides a luxurious, private escape. Offering warm azure waters andpeaceful golden sands, the area’s luxury resorts and designer golf courses area favorite hideout of celebrities and tourists looking to rejuvenate and unwind.

Punta Cana, the crown jewel of Caribbeanbeach destinations, does not disappoint. A seemingly endless list of resortsoffers all-inclusive luxury alongside affordable options to suit any type oftraveler, with hotels ranging from family-friendly to opulent. Many resortsfeature on-site spas where guests can book relaxing treatments just steps awayfrom their rooms, or even an ocean-side massage along the picture-perfect whitesand beaches.

Escape to Santo Domingo, the capital ofDominican Republic and the country’s most cosmopolitan city, for anunforgettable experience that brings together old-world charm and modernamenities. Relax in a local cigar club to experience one of DominicanRepublic’s fine cigars with a rum drink in-hand, or shop from high-end brandssuch as Armani Exchange, Massimo Dutti and Carolina Herrera. It’s impossiblenot to fall in love with the Colonial City, a UNESCO World Heritage sitecharacterized by cobblestone streets that date back to Christopher Columbus’sarrival to the island at the end of the 15th century.

Ready to plan your winter escape to DominicanRepublic? For more information on warm-weather attractions and destinations inthe country, visit www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.

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