When looking for last minute travel packages and cheap vacations, many people come across the Domincan Republic.

As a long time favourite destination for travel to the Caribbean, the island has had some ups and downs but have now played their trump card... Punta Cana is not only the fastest growing tourist destination in the Caribbean, but one of the most beautiful.

The Dominican Republic has always been a magnet for sun worshippers, party goers and sports minded tourists. This long time favorite among Canadians has been very popular over many decades but has not been without its ups and downs.

Through the mid '80s to early '90's, Santo Domingo was the place to go as beaches like Boca Chica started sprouting up hotels and infrastructure in order to accommodate the gaining popularity of the area. Boca Chica quickly became the place to go to party but the extensive nightlife and lively bars combined with easy access to the tourists by locals unfortunately turned things sour with large reports of prostitution and drug use which seemed to escalate through the years.

With the introduction of Jack Tar Village, the All-Inclusive boom started taking off in Puerto Plata and in particular, an area that would soon become the Dominican's destination of the '90's -Playa Dorada. Having seemed to have learned from mistakes that had arisen from Boca Chica, the Playa Dorada area is more of a complex situated along the beach of numerous all-inclusive resorts accessible mainly by a road allowing only tourists in. This is not to say it was without its faults as the beach was for the most part a public area and tourists would frequently be approached by vendors selling mostly local wares and jewelry and in general, the vendors were friendly, non-aggressive and would take a simple "no thanks" as a response and be on their way. In fact, the vendors were quite tame compared to the real problem with having so many hotels crowded into one complex... competition and in particular, the dreaded timeshare. I actually had many clients that frequented Puerto Plata say it was getting too much and decided to find another vacation spot. Having experienced this myself, I didn't blame them and so once again things started dropping off for the Dominican Republic.

In the movies, usually when it comes to a trilogy, they progressively get worse. As they say, "Practice makes perfect" and in the late nineties, he Dominican Republic got it about as perfect as it can get with Punta Cana. This resort area on the east coast of the island is set along 50 miles of incredible coastline boasting some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. White sand and turquoise waters greet guests staying in one of the many top all inclusive resorts. It is remote enough to keep the less than complimentary sides of travel away yet central to amazing eco-tourism, watersports, land adventures, and is self-contained enough to have excellent nightlife, and shopping. On top of that, Punta Cana is now one of the best places for a golf holiday in not only the Caribbean, but worldwide. The infrastructure to the area is constantly being upgraded and improved causing a "Boomtown" effect that the whole area just keeps getting better every year with bigger resorts, better amenities and a higher satisfaction to you, the traveler.

I have always had a great time every time I've gone to the Dominican Republic and have been to all three areas during their peak. Actually, I've only been to two during their prime... Punta Cana hasn't got there yet as it is still the fastest growing area in the Caribbean and the way things are going, and as hard as it is to believe, it'll only get better.

If you love spectacular beaches, first-class all inclusive resorts, golf, eco-tourism or excellent watersports, discover Punta Cana with these incredible vacations to Dominican Republic

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