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December 18, 2012
  • Six long weekends in 2013
  • Plenty of flights from Canada to Samana
  • DR positions itself as a Latin American air hub
  • Samana makes Fodor's 2013 Go List
Six long weekends in 2013
Rotating holidays and official holidays that fall on Monday or Friday will create six long weekends in the Dominican Republic next year. Four of them will be four-day stretches (Friday through Monday), and two will be Friday to Sunday vacation periods or three-day breaks. This is good to know in advance because these are dates when reservations are more likely to be necessary, and beach and mountain resort areas will have more than their regular share of visitors. The other advantage is that big-ticket shows and entertainment events are laid on for the domestic market in many tourist areas during these dates. It is also a time when there is likely to be company on what are usually secluded beaches. Take note that with more than 60,000 hotel rooms in the DR, vacancies will usually be available even for travelers making last minute bookings. The peak travel times, though, are Easter, Christmas and New Year holidays.
The long weekends in 2013 are:
18, 19, 20, 21 January. Our Lady of Altagracia Long Weekend. Dominicans may take off from Friday, 18 January, extending the holidays for a weekend dedicated to the family.
28, 29, 30, 31 March. Easter Long Weekend. Dominicans will take off from Thursday, 28 March as school is called off from the previous Monday.
26, 27, 28, 29 April. Labor Day Long Weekend. Dominicans are likely to take off from Friday.
30, 31 May, 1, 2 June. Corpus Christi Long Weekend.
16, 17, 18 August. Restoration Day Long Weekend. This marks the Restoration Day holiday that marks the end of school vacation period.
2, 3, 4 November. Constitution Day Long Weekend. Mercedes Day will be celebrated on a Monday creating the long weekend.
For more on holidays in the Dominican Republic, see http://dr1.com/travel/prepare/holidays.shtml
Plenty of flights from Canada to Samana
This winter season it is easier to get to Samana from Montreal and Toronto. Air Canada is flying nonstop from Toronto's Pearson International Airport but so are Air Transat, Canjet, Sunwing and WestJet. Travelers can also connect via the new JetBlue Airways flight that departs from New York City's JFK International Airport. Flights land at El Catey International Airport (AZS) a 20-minute drive from Las Terrenas, the Samana peninsula's leading hotel and restaurant destination. Guests staying in Samana city need to travel an additional half an hour, and for travelers heading for Las Galeras, it is about an hour-and-a-half drive from the airport. Taxis are expensive so it is best to arrange for transport beforehand or to rent a car at the airport.
Samana is also served by Orbest and White Airways direct from Lisbon and by XL Airways France, from Paris Charles de Gaulle International Airport.
For more information on Samana, see the Samana Guide at http://dr1.com/travel/samanaguide.pdf (4.6 MB)
DR positions itself as a Latin American air hub
Alejandro Herrera, director general of the Dominican Civil Aviation Board (IDAC) is optimistic the Dominican Republic will soon become a regional hub for air traffic between North America, Europe and Latin America. In an interview with Listin Diario, Herrera said that the Dominican Repblic already has the infrastructure in airports and air safety to receive the 10 million-tourist by 2022 target set by President Danilo Medina. Herrera says that the outlook is for international travel, now at 2.8 billion travelers, to continue to grow and double by 2030. Herrera said that the start of the Gol flight from Brazil is a significant step towards establishing the Dominican Republic as a regional hub. He said that Gol has carried out feasibility studies for a phased development of the project with the full backing of the Dominican government.
Gol begins flying to Santo Domingo's Las Americas International Airport (SDQ) on 15 December from Rio de Janeiro (Galeao) and Sao Paulo (Guarulhos). Airline spokesman Mauricio Emboaba Moreira told the press that the flights are part of the company's campaign to expand its presence in the region. The airline also will be flying to Orlando and Miami from SDQ.
The Dominican Republic is the Caribbean country with the most international open air agreements that facilitate airlines using the country as base.
Samana makes Fodor's 2013 Go List
With new regular JetBlue and Air Canada flights now arriving at Samana's International Airport (AZS), leading world travel publications are taking a new look at the Dominican Republic's northeastern beach, ecotourism and gastronomic destination, Samana.
Veteran travel guide publisher Fodor's has included it in its 25 Places to Go in 2013 list. It makes the point that Samana is not your usual all-inclusive destination, but is better known for its small inns. Fodor's also highlights the wonders of Los Haitises National Park.
www.fodors.com/go-list/2013/samana-peninsula/
For more information on Samana, also see the new DR1-Ministry of Tourism Guide that is now available online and will soon be available in print. The guide will be available for pick up at the Ministry of Tourism. For requests, write to: Evelyn Paiewonsky at [email protected]
See the guide online at http://dr1.com/travel/samanaguide.pdf (4.6 MB)

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