A day trip to Altos de Chavon, Dominican Republic

Trevor Smith on 30 September 2013
The village of Altos de Chavon (City of Artists) is a must see in the Dominican Republic if you are based in La Romana or Punta Cana. I was fortunate to go here on a recent visit with a group of UK Travel Agents.

The name of this little village is dedicated to the arts and has become one of the most visited places by tourists in the Dominican Republic. A luxuriant and rocky mesa in the province of La Romana was chosen by the visionary North American entrepreneur Charles Bluhorn as the site for an extraordinary promise that is today an amazing reality.

It appears to be a 16th century Mediterranean village, but its construction actually began in 1976. The village owes its name to its location on the heights, 50 metres above sea level, of the river that borders the village; the Chavon, a name thought to be derived from the indigenous name for the river, Quaibon. Altos de Chavon is part of the prestigious Casa de Campo tourist complex and offers visitors to the village a wide variety of restaurants and shops.

Today, a stroll down any of the Altos de Chavon's cobblestone paths reveals in every corner the evocative architecture of another era converging with the 21st Century. In the Central plaza of the village stands the Church of St Stanislaus, consecrated in 1979 by Pope John Paul II.

Today, the village of Altos de Chavon is a vibrant hub of artistic creativity, enthusiastic learning, professional activity and cultural expression in the Dominican Republic and for the World.