In our opinion, the cruise lines are having a hard time, the city La Romana as a goal to "sell". La Romana is just "Big Sugar" and nothing more! This is revealed to everyone who steps onto the outside deck of their cruise ship.
The organizers then like to move to the hinterland. As if there were the artists' village built more than 30 years ago based on authentic Spanish models Altos de Chavón for example. Boat tours on the Chavón River are also offered. The inevitable canopy tour through the tops of the rainforest is also available, as are ATV or buggy tours. Not to mention a cave tour.
If all of this doesn't "sparkle" enough, you and women could do one beach day insert. There are enough reasons for this after a hard German winter. You can choose from a hotel beach approx. 20 km away Bayahibe, the small bathing island south of La Romana Catalina Island and that belonging to the Parque Nacional del Este isla saona, which measures about 110 km².
We decided before we started our trip Saona Island and made the appropriate agreements with the local Dutch organizer via the Internet. Pick-up takes place on the day of arrival, as agreed, punctually at 7.30 am from the ship. The minibus takes us to Bayahibe in a wide bay where many speed boats are waiting. Equipped with one of the boats and equipped with life jackets, we set off to Isla Saona, about 40 km away. At the beginning it is a leisurely ride along the partly rocky coast.
La Romana - Speedboats in Bayahibe
A stop will be made at the Natural pool inserted. This is a sandy plateau lying in the sea, which is apparently an attraction for tourists. The boats head for this place. The guests get out, have their picture taken, have a drink and grab the big red starfish lying at their feet in waist-high water. Each starfish is torn from its surroundings several times to be portrayed with its new mistress or master. You don't want to be a starfish here. At least the tour guides make sure that the animals stay in the water as much as possible.
La Romana - Piscina Natural
The boat then drives back to the coast. The skipper finds his way past mangrove forests and through canals. After a long time we drive abeam Saona and stop at the fishing village Hand Juan to. After reaching our destination, we are amazed to find that the entertaining journey took about 1 ½ hours.
La Romana - Saona Beach
The boat is unloaded and now the crew is preparing a proper barbecue with lobster and all sorts of things. In the meantime, we, the guests, let us be guided through the village. To say it in advance, it's pretty easy here. Small brightly painted houses lie on the unpaved road. No impression of beautiful living. Tropical green around us. Particularly noticeable, as the tallest trees in the local area, are coconut palms, mango trees and banana trees. Otherwise the vegetation tends to grow slowly. We visit the only grocer in the village. Everything that is necessary for life is there. Only one type of each product can be bought. Oil is oil, beans are beans and rum is rum. There is nothing to choose from. There are large open spaces within the village, the origin of which cannot be identified.
La Romana - The island shop
On the outskirts there is a modern low-rise building that identifies itself as the local health station. The school house for the little ones is nearby. The older children go to school on the mainland. There they are housed in the boarding school. They only see their parents on weekends. We are allowed to see the classrooms and disrupt the class. We think the children really like the variety. The place also has a little church. Above the gate it says: God is the source of life.
La Romana - The school
After returning, we have lunch prepared by the team. Then it goes to the nearby beach. The landscape is uniquely beautiful. The palm trees cast pleasant shadows. Every now and then we swim in the clear, warm water. In front of us the coral reef, on which the waves break. Here you can endure the afternoon.
La Romana - Caribbean moments
Unfortunately the skipper finally gives the signal to leave. The crew stow the utensils they brought with them on board and then - after the boat has reached the open sea - the skipper shows us why the boat is called "speedboat". Now the two tuned 400 hp engines are running at full power. The boat shoots across the water at high speed. Still, it takes a good ¾ hour to get back to Bayahibe. At the end of the journey we are wet as cats and happy to have solid ground under our feet again.
The minibus brings us to Mein Schiff back. There we have to get back in shape first. After this boat trip, a little styling is good.
Before we forget, we booked the 8-hour boat tour from Germany via the Internet seavistours for US $ 99 (or € 73). My ship offers Saona for 89 euros. An expensive but worthwhile investment.