Punta Cana

Día de la Altagracia or “Day of Our Lady of Altagracia” is a feast day and annual public holiday celebrated on January 21. This holiday is based around a portrait that is kept in the “The Basilica of Our Lady of Altagracia” in the city of Salvaleón of Higuey or just Higuey which is located near Punta Cana in the DR.

Thousands of devotees make the trek to Higuey to visit the idol making offerings and to ask favors using the portrait for their worship. This celebration is now a blend of African religions and Catholicism. Dominicans recite prayers, play African influenced music, sing hymns and dance. (more…)

Image complements of AA

One of the major airlines flying into the Dominican Republic announced that it will be filing for bankruptcy.

AMR American Airlines and American Eagle

AMR is the parent company for both American Airlines (AA) and American Eagle so problems affecting one of the airlines will be affecting both. AMR has stated that it has $4.1 Billion dollars in cash to pay to keep services going for the two airlines so at this time it would appear your tickets for American Airlines of American Eagle to and from the Dominican Republic will remain valid. That includes if you have frequent flyer miles under the AAdvantage program of American Airlines and OneWorld Alliance.

In the press release issued by American Airlines today it was stated that they and American Eagle “EXPECT TO CONTINUE” normal services, and flight schedules as well as make reservations, exchanges and offer refunds under its normal rules.

Thomas W. Horton, Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of AMR and American Airlines, said, (more…)

Tropical Storm Maria

Image Credit: www.nhc.noaa.gov

We seem to have a rather busy storm systems this year, as soon as one passes the Dominican Republic the next puts its sights on us. Tropical Storm Maria is expect to pass through the Lesser Antilles tonight and is currently head directly toward Punta Cana and the northern portion of the DR. The center of the storm is expected to be near Punta Cana Sunday morning.

While it is too early to say whether it will really affect us there is already a tropical storm watch for St. Barthelemy, St. Martin and Marinique. There is a tropical storm warning in affect for Guadeloupe, St Martin, Saba, Steustantius, Antigua, Anguilla, Burbuda, Montserrat, Nevis, Saint Kitts, the British Islands, Dominica, the US Virgin Island, and Puerto Rico.

The maximum sustained winds are near 45 mph and tropical force storm winds are extending 154 miles outward from the center, mostly in the North East direction. (more…)

Last night tropical storm Katia was upgraded to a category 1 hurricane causing concern to residents to many the Northern coastal cities of the Dominican Republic. Having just cleaned up the mess caused by Hurricane Irene many are concerned about possible temporary affects to the tourism in the area.

While it does look like Katia will be continuing to gain strength over the next few days, possible even reaching the status of major hurricane by the weekend, (more…)

As expected Hurricane Irene inflicted quite a bit of damage to the DR. Irene slowly moved past Puerto Plata as a category 2 hurricane lashing the area with sustained winds up to 95 mph. More than 100 families were evacuated from the Puerto Plata area and moved to improvised shelters. At least 14 houses were destroyed by the sea. A canal also overflowed in the LA Javilla area engulfing several houses and causing the evacuation of at least 15 families.

Landslides caused by the heavy rain were found on the Luperon Highway connecting Santiago and Puerto Plata causing traffic issues on this heavily used route.

Schools reopened

Both public and private schools were closed yesterday due to the hurricane. While for the most part they were reopened this morning, in some areas there are still hard rains and winds keeping schools in a few areas of the country closed.

Santo Domingo

Two of the rivers in Santo Domingo burst their banks (more…)

American Airlines has announce it will wave change fees for passengers affected by Hurricane Irene. This allows passengers to rebook their flights to specific location from specific dates.

Flights from these locations can be rebooked.
La Romana/Casa de Campo, Dominican Republic (LRM)
Port-au-Prince, Haiti (PAP)
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic (POP)
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ)
San Juan, Puerto Rico (SJU)
Santiago, Dominican Republic (STI)
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (SDQ)
St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands (STX)
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands (STT)
Tortola, Beef Island, British Virgin Islands (EIS)

These are the applicable dates. (more…)

Customers traveling through Tuesday, August 23 to/from Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic may rebook flights through August 27 —

NEW YORK, Aug. 21, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ —

Jet Blue


Due to inclement weather forecasted to impact the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico areas, JetBlue Airways (Nasdaq: JBLU) will waive change/cancel fees and fare differences for Customers traveling through Tuesday, August 23, 2011 to/from the following cities:

  • Puerto Rico
    • San Juan (SJU)
    • Ponce (PSE)
    • Aguadilla (BQN)
  • Dominican Republic
    • Santo Domingo (SDQ)
    • Santiago (STI)
    • Puerto Plata (POP)
    • Punta Cana (PUJ)

Customers may rebook their flights for travel through Saturday, August 27, 2011 by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583) prior to the departure time of their originally scheduled flight. Customers with cancelled flights may also opt for a refund to the original form of payment by calling 1-800-JETBLUE (538-2583). Original travel must have been booked on or before Sunday, August 21, 2011. (more…)

The Dominican Republic is increasingly becoming the vacation destination of choice for many Hollywood stars. Known for its beautiful white sand beaches and year around good weather, the DR is taking it’s place as one of the Caribbean “Hot Spots”.

One of the latest celebrity sightings is “Dancing with the Stars” Cheryl Burke. Mrs Burke was recently seen on the Punta Cana beaches and allowed the paparazzi a photo shoot. You can follow this link for some of the pictures. (more…)

As the number of flights my family has made back and forth to the Dominican Republic increases we’ve started to develop preferences in airlines. At first our flights were mostly with American Airlines due to the greater number of checked in bags that they allow.

This was pretty important during our moving process. Now that our trips are more to visit family and friends our criteria has changed and so has our preference in airlines.

Our recent experiences with Jet Blue has made it a clear favorite with my family, making the news that Jet Blue is added another Dominican city, Punta Cana, to its list (Santo Domingo, Santiago, and Puerto Plata) welcome news.

While prices vary by trip, Jet Blue seems to always be at least as good as American Airlines. But even if they were slightly higher we would now choose a flight with Jet Blue when going from California to the Dominican Republic. There are several reasons why: (more…)

Punta Cana Hotel Map

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Punta Cana is on the east coast of the island of Hispaniola in the Dominican Republic. It is part of the district of La Altagracia along with the nearby towns of Bavaro, Veron, and Macao. The main beaches from North to south are Uvero Alto, Macao, Arena Gorda, Bavaro, Elcortecito, Cabeza de Toro, Cabo Engano, Punta Cana and Juanillo.

Punta Cana has its own International airport, and it is often cheaper to fly in and out of here then is it to use the International airports in Santiago and Santo Domingo. You will also find shopping malls, restaurants, banks and almost anything else you will need.

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