Hit the trifecta of sun, sand and surf with a vacation to St. Maarten or the Dominican Republic (DR). For fall and winter travel, global timeshare exchange company Resort Travel & Xchange (RTX) offers great escapes to these Caribbean hot spots.
“RTX members will find excellent value and availability at luxurious resorts,” says Justin Hunter, vice president of operations for RTX. “They’ll enjoy all the elements of a dream vacation, from world-class beaches, golf and outdoor recreation to vibrant nightlife, culture and cuisine.”
Whatever members’ vacation needs, chances are good they will find what they want at www.rtx.travel. RTX offers a full range of premium resorts in many of the world’s most sought-after destinations. There are family-friendly properties with private beaches, sparkling pools, kids’ clubs and restaurants with plenty of child-friendly options. Other resorts are ideal for romantic retreats. Couples can relax on secluded slivers of sand that rival the best in the world and sip piña coladas in open-air lounges, while taking in warm sea breezes and spectacular sunsets.
No matter what members’ view of paradise, RTX has a top-notch resort to suit their style. Ready to plan a warm weather getaway? The experts at RTX offer these recommendations below for a Caribbean vacation that speak equally well to total relaxation and fun in the sun.
St. Maarten/St. Martin
This dual-nation island blends Caribbean charm with European flair. The 37-square-mile island is ringed with white-sand beaches, perfect for diving, snorkeling, sailing and windsurfing. To the south, St. Maarten is an autonomous country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. On the northern side, St. Martin combines French and French West Indies influences.
The Dutch side is home to luxurious resorts and hip beach bars. The party capital of the Caribbean, St. Maarten is a mecca for night owls drawn to high-energy bars and clubs and Vegas-style casinos. St. Maarten’s capital city of Philipsburg offers duty-free shopping and seaside restaurants. While in Philipsburg, visit the St. Maarten Museum. This one-stop history shop invites visitors to retrace the island’s history, from the Arawaks to the present day.
Picturesque French St. Martin recalls a Mediterranean fishing village with its harbor full of brightly colored boats and houses built into cliffs. Thanks to its French heritage, visitors here ﬁnd some of the best food in the Caribbean. In Marigot, St. Martin’s cosmopolitan capital, boulevards are lined with boutique shops, cafes and trendy restaurants. Be sure to stop by one of the island’s lolos (small restaurants specializing in Creole cuisine) on the Marigot waterfront. Soak up the local culture at the Marigot Market, a melting pot of food, colors, aromas and hustle and bustle under open huts along the waterfront.
In addition to more than 1,000 miles of white-sand beaches, the DR boasts diverse terrain: the Caribbean’s highest peak — 10,700-foot Pico Duarte — and its lowest point, Lago Enriquillo, 130 feet below sea level. There are tropical rainforests, waterfalls, rushing rivers, mangrove jungles and caves with Taino pictoglyphs.
That landscape makes the DR perfect for outdoor adventures. Make the challenging climb up Pico Duarte in the country’s Cordillera Central Mountain Range. In the north, thrill to Class III whitewater rafting near Jaraboca, and enjoy world-class kite boarding at Cabarete, also a center for mountain biking, climbing and rafting tours. Add to that, extensive beach resort development in Punta Cana and other areas along the coast. It is no wonder this island attracts vacationers from around the world.
The capital city of Santo Domingo is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the New World. Founded in 1496, the Colonial City (Zona Colonial) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that spotlights European firsts in the Americas, including the first street, first hospital and first cathedral. Today, the city mixes its rich history with modern amenities: museums; opera; professional baseball clubs; and the lively bars, restaurants and sidewalk cafes on Plaza de España.
RTX members will find exceptional beaches, from secluded strands of silky white sand to local beaches, where the rhythms of merengue mix with the sounds of the ocean. Punta Cana, the DR’s vacation powerhouse, enjoys a reputation as one of the world’s greatest stretches of golden-white-sand beaches with luxurious all-inclusive resorts. Playa Rincón, in Samaná on the northeastern coast, is a secluded beach fringed with coconut palms and surrounded by jungles. Just 20 minutes from Santo Domingo, Playa Boca Chica makes for an easy and fun getaway, with beachside eateries and bars blasting merengue and bachata music.
Eco-adventure enthusiasts can swing, jump and swim their way through the DR. Take a jeep or truck safari tour to get in touch with Mother Nature in a way that would otherwise be inaccessible. Snorkel in the crystal clear waters of the Punta Cana coral reef system. While in Punta Cana, the 15,000-acre private Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve is home to nature trails and freshwater lagoons. Many believe these waters have healing powers. That, along with the gorgeous scenery and abundant wildlife, make the Reserve well worth a visit. While in the DR, be sure not to miss zip-lining. The island offers myriad tours where you can fly Tarzan-style over a tropical rainforest.
With more than 26 courses, golf is reason alone to vacation in the DR. RTX members can tee off at lauded courses by legends like Tom Fazio, Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, and Nick Faldo in Punta Caca and Casa de Campo in La Romana.
For more information on these and many other vacation opportunities available from RTX, visit www.rtx.travel.
Resort Travel & Xchange (RTX) is a timeshare and vacation ownership exchange company based in Asheville, N.C. RTX works with a number of resorts and developers throughout the world to provide the best exchange options possible to its members. In addition to exchange services, RTX offers numerous travel benefits to members, such as reservation protection, rebates, travel discounts and more. RTX has approximately 80,000 members.