A province of contrasts, La Romana’s residents are mostly either sugar-cane workers or rich foreigners, many of whom live for all or part of every year in what is, inarguably, the most luxurious beach resort on the island, Casa de Campo, designed by Oscar de la Renta (a native Dominican) and filled with the mansions and condos of the rich and famous. Oh yes, there are apartments and rooms for non-millionaires at Casa de Campo, too, but you won’t find discount rates here—everything is first-class all the way.
Altos de Chavón is a city of artists that has a school of design, a pre-Hispanic museum, an amphitheater, restaurants, discos and bars. It is located at the mouth of the Chavón River; it is a replica of an Italian city and is made out of stone. The beautiful beaches of Catalina Island are used by tourists that visit the area and sailors who dock in its yellow sands and transparent waters.
Just outside Casa de Campo, built high on a cliff overlooking the Río Chavón, is Altos de Chavón, an artists’ enclave that was designed as a replica of a 16th-century Italian villa. It is a popular tourist stopover, with a delightful museum of regional Taíno artifacts and shops filled with original art and jewelry. Altos de Chavón also has a magnificent Greek-style open-air amphitheater where top-notch singers from all over the world perform their filled-to-capacity concerts.
La Romana is the most prosperous region in the east due to the tourism, sugar cane, cattle and production industries; the latter developed by the Central Romana Corporation, which greatly contributes to the local economy The weather is humid, very good in the winter and fair in the summer. The vegetation consists of humid forests and cactus towards Bayahibe, and sugar cane fields and grazing pastures towards the north.
The Central Romana Corporation was established in 1911 and has the largest sugar mill in the country. Its installations employ workers from the town and from Puerto Rico. In 1915 the Central Romana Corporation installed a field office in order to facilitate operations for the sugar cane industry. Two years later commercial activity had become more vigorous. The Guaymate community became a municipality on February 27, 1963 and electrical installations were inaugurated three years later.
The rapid development of this villa brought many men who played an important role in strengthening the town, including General Francisco Richez Doucodray, the first executive authority from the government. Due to the village's progress, the first city council is founded on July 31, 1901 and is presided by José R. Rojas, President, Emilio Bobadilla and John B. Rib, governors, Pedro A. Pereyra, Mayor, Miguel Saviñón, Secretary and Ramón Soñe, Treasurer. The first street was called Calle Real Francisco Richiez Ducoudray; this was the main road in the area.
There are two theories regarding its name, the first refers to the scale, or "romana", used by merchants in order to weigh products such as wax, cotton and wood that were brought and shipped in the area.
The second theory is more accepted. Historian César A. Herrera says that there is a document that referred to the LA Romana Port in 1809, years before the first merchants settled in the area. Cartographer Tomás López believes the area acquired its name from the Romana River.
The first park was built in 1929 and was called Duarte. It was built by an Italian named Alfredo Bompessier who collaborated with Andrés Sosa. This was one of the largest parks in the country during that time.
The telephone was officially in service in 1930 and in 1935 Trujillo ordered the construction of an aqueduct. At that time the Ramfis Park (named after Trujillo's son) was also built, it is now known as Palo Hincado Park. The development of La Romana during the end of the 19th century owes a great deal to H. Jhonsasset, who pushed for the construction of a railroad to El Seybo from 1887 to 1890. His influence and restlessness definitely marked the forwards, progressive development of the community. La Romana is one of the most cosmopolitan municipalities in the country.
This is due, in part, to the fact that the area has no outstanding cultural features, which distinguish it from other municipalities in the country; this according to investigations carried out in the 1950s. La Romana has two important docks, one owned by the State (and used for the Saona and Catalina Islands) and the other built by the Central Romana Corporation.
La Romana has three truly beautiful beaches:
The latter is frequented by many visitors during the summer since it is so close to the city. La Romana has become a prestigious center of tourism due to the development of Casa de Campo, owned by the Central Romana Corp.
La Romana was a community of the province of El Seybo, then became the head community of the Altagracia province and finally became the head municipality of the La Romana province on February 27, 1963.
La Romana’s Caribbean shoreline has magnificent beaches and is world renowned for diving and deep-sea fishing, or you can board a catamaran to sail out to beautiful Isla Catalina, is located to the south of La Romana