Disclosure: This post is part of my all expense paid trip to Dominican Republic. However, typos, misspelled words and opinions are 100% mine.
Extremely honored to have been part of the USA delegation to attend the Santo Domingo, Destino Capital Convention for the second time in a row! This annual event in which 125 Media representatives of over 100 nations of the world, came together to promote Santo Domingo, one of the world most attractive destinations for tourism. Also to position the Dominican capital as a shopping destination, events and businesses, complemented with local beach destinations. Coordinated jointly by the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic and its different representatives abroad. Of course the Dominican Republic holds a special place in my heart because it’s my homeland.
The event started with a gorgeous welcome cocktail reception sponsored by the Association of Hotels & Restaurants, along the pool area of the Hilton Embassy Suites, centrally located in the Dominican capital, one of the tallest buildings in the area with a fabulous décor, view and ambiance.
A Meeting of Minds
This annual event brings together the best of the best in travel, tourism, entertainment and more, with representatives of the tourism industry of countries like Venezuela, Mexico, China, Puerto Rico, Colombia, USA and so many other nations. As the Dominicans do, we were treated as royalty. Usually, I’m hanging out with other bloggers, which is fun, but at this convention, I got to meet travel agents, tour operators, TV and radio personalities, and more. It’s an experience like no other, because I have the opportunity to meet other Dominicans in fields that are similar to my own but at the same time quite different. The delegation from the People’s Republic of China was the first time attending! So cool!
A Perfect City for Travel and Business
A very distinctive characteristic of this country is the warmth of its people. Dominicans are very festive, happy people always ready to have fun! in full swing this city is hopping, and it’s a perfect hub for tourism and business, offering amazing spaces, accommodations, and technology for the business minded. Historical attractions, dining, a wide variety of entertainment, artistic and sports facilities, shopping, to name a few more.
If your trip includes enjoying in a more luxurious way, in Santo Domingo you can find exclusive brands like Cartier, Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera and even Jaguar so you can do serious shopping as well.
For business it is amazing. The island has the perfect geographic location to meetings and conventions. It’s practically half way through the whole continent.
An Event to Remember
Like the last convention I attended in Santo Domingo, the Destino Capital convention is one that made memories that will last a lifetime. From being back in my home country, to seeing delegates from a country half a world away to experiencing the pure joy of the city, the Destino Capital convention in Santo Domingo was easily one of the best I’ve ever attended.
Monte Plata, Juan Dolio and Punta Cana
This year we also visited Punta Cana, 20 miles stretch of beaches and clear waters. But before getting to Punta Cana, we made two stops, one in Monte Plata and one in Juan Dolio. An hour drive from Santo Domingo in the city on San Pedro de Macorís where baseball legends like George Bell and Robinson Cano were born. Juan Dolio is one of the most popular destinations when you visit San Pedro.
During the day, we visited Bayaguana, Monte Plata and we all loved it. Bayaguana is reinventing as a whole new experience for a hands on tourism, where you can actually learn about the culture and have an one on one experience with the locals, how they live and what holds the economy in the area.
We also got to refresh and relax on a stream of water so beautiful and inviting that it was hard to get out and keep going, río Boyá o Boyá river. We just wanted to stay floating there forever. We got complimentary towels which we all took as a souvenirs from an awesome experience.
We learned a lot about tobacco manufacturing with a demonstration of the most rudimentary yet effective way to handle the leafs so they can preserve all their purity and quality. Dominican tobacco is one of the finest in the world.
And of course, we got to taste a traditional and highly demanded beverage Mamajuana. It’s a mixed of rum with specific roots and aged for sometime to get a well balanced blend of flavors and aromas. For me, a shot was enough for tasting and it was interesting and delicious.
Our second stop of the day was Juan Dolio. As you may expect in the Caribbean Sea, Juan Dolio has gorgeous beaches, great hotel accommodations, and it’s very often considered as a great option to purchase beach properties along the shore.
Our third and final stop of the day! Wherever I go when I say that I’m Dominican people often think of Punta Cana. In fact this amazing piece of paradise is on the bucket list of many many people from all over the world.
Punta Cana is like the pinacle of the beaches in the Caribbean and even considered as one of the best of the world in many tourism publications. Located in the east side of the country is one of the top destinations for many travelers.
During our trip we stayed at the popular, distinguished and spectacular, Hotel Barceló Bávaro Deluxe. And let me tell you that at one point I truly felt like royalty. The following are just a few of the amazing amenities offered at this extravagant resort:
- 4 swimming pools, including swimming pools for children, swimming pool for adults and a semi-Olympic swimming pool.
- For kids: Barcy Water Park with water castles, slides and waterfalls located in the pool and
- New Pirates’ Island Water Park with wave pool.
- Free access to the daily show at the Gran Teatro, with drinks included
- Nightclub with drinks included from 23.00 – 03.00 for over 18s.
- VIP lounge exclusively for Club Premium guests There is an additional charge for the rest of the guests.
- Free train that runs from 08.00 to 04.00
The resort houses a Casino and it is opened 24 hours! Admission is for those 18 years old and over. With 150 gaming machines with the most up to date slot machines on the market.
The spa experience is out of this world and if you think about your surroundings or take the massage package on the beach you may actually think that you are in heaven. Couldn’t get any better than that.
The gastronomy is full of colors, flavors, with options from the top cuisines in the world. Of course, the Dominican breakfast is famous, for it’s Mangu (smashed plantains), salchichon, queso frito (fried cheese) and onions! Other traditional options are the puerco asao (roast pork), rice and beans, plantain and a lot of great food….and many new friends and relatives!