Wednesday,  September 30, 2020  7:29 pm

PAX on location in the DR for ACV's Mega FAM

PAX on location in the DR for ACV's Mega FAM
Hotel BlueBay Villa Doradas, where we'll stay for the first night of ACV's Mega FAM to the Dominican Republic.
Christine Hogg

Christine Hogg is the Associate Digital Editor at PAX Global Media. Prior to joining PAX, she obtained her Honours BA in Journalism from the University of Toronto. Upon graduating, she went on to write for several travel publications while travelling the world. Her longest trip was a three-week stint in Europe, and the shortest was a 16-hour adventure in Iceland. Get in touch:

So long, freezing Toronto, and hello, sunny south!

PAX is On Location in the Caribbean this week, as part of Air Canada Vacations Mega FAM to the Dominican Republic, which has agents taking in the news and views of some of the island's hottest all-inclusive resorts in the northern cities of Samana and Puerto Plata.

READ MORE: Sneak peek: Here's what the new Senator Puerto Plata will look like

ACV has already held several Mega FAMs this fall; two in Cuba (Cayo Coco and Cayo Santa Maria), one in Mexico (Puerto Vallarta) and one in St. Lucia. Now, it's time for the company to show off some of its best all-inclusive offerings down in the DR.

This action-packed FAM runs from tomorrow (Nov. 27) through Nov. 29, during which the group will conduct site inspections at 14 properties in both Samana and Puerto Plata. For now, we'll jog your memory on the current product offerings that ACV has for the Dominican Republic in its portfolio, one of which includes Hotel BlueBay Villas Doradas, an adults-only property which is hosting the group for the first night.

Discover the DR with ACV

Air Canada Vacations currently serves five destinations in the Dominican Republic: La Romana and Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, and Samana.

On this Mega FAM, we'll be getting a closer look at the northern side of the island, where Puerto Plata and Samana are located.


From Toronto, Air Canada Rouge serves Puerto Plata from Oct. 30, 2018 through Apr. 30, 2019:

  • Tuesdays from Oct. 30, 2018 to Apr. 30, 2019
  • Thursdays from Dec. 20, 2018 to Mar. 28, 2019
  • Saturdays from Nov. 3, 2018 to Apr. 20, 2019

From Montreal, Air Canada Rouge serves Puerto Plata from Oct. 28, 2018 through Apr. 29, 2019:

  • Sundays from Oct. 28, 2018 to Apr. 21, 2019
  • Mondays/Wednesdays from Dec. 17, 2018 to Apr. 29, 2019


From Toronto, Air Canada Rouge serves Samana from Oct. 28, 2018 through Apr. 28, 2019:

  • Sundays from Oct. 28, 2018 to Apr. 28, 2019
  • Wednesdays from Oct. 31, 2018 to Apr. 17, 2019

From Montreal, Air Canada Rouge serves Samana from Nov. 3, 2018 through Oct. 26, 2019:

  • Saturdays from Nov. 3, 2018 to Oct. 26, 2019
  • Tuesdays/Thursdays from Dec. 18, 2018 to Apr. 18, 2019

Hotels in the DR

Air Canada Vacations currently offers 15 hotels in La Romana and Santo Domingo, 11 in Puerto Plata, 62 in Punta Cana, and seven in Samana.

In Puerto Plata, PAX will take part in site inspections at the soon-to-be-opened Senator Puerto Plata, the Iberostar Costa Dorada, the Be Live Collection Marien Adults Club, the VH Atmosphere, the VH Gran Ventana Beach Resort, the Viva Wyndham Tangerine, Sunscape Puerto Plata, and Grand Bahia Principe San Juan.

In Samana, we'll take a closer look at the Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo, the Viva Wyndham V Samana, the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado, the Grand Bahia Principe Cayacoa, and the Luxury Grand Bahia Principe Samana.

Why go north in the DR?

Many first-time vacationers come to the Dominican Republic because they've heard of Punta Cana, and the sugar-white beaches it's known for. And, sure, if relaxing by the ocean is what you're after, then Punta Cana will more than deliver— but Puerto Plata and Samana have their share of fine beaches to offer, and then some.

Unlike Punta Cana, which is crawling with fellow tourists in the cold months of a Canadian winter, Samana is, and continues to remain, one of the least known spots in the DR. Its unspoiled beauty not only includes views of the North Atlantic Ocean, where humpback whales are known to pass by, but also the Samana mountain range. If sitting by the pool all week doesn't sound like the ideal vacation, opting to stay at one of ACV's Samana resorts ensures close proximity to the town and all of its charming features. 

Over in Puerto Plata, authentic Dominican culture is alive and well. If it's a steaming bowl of sancocho you're after, you'll find it here, in any of the mom n' pop restaurants throughout the city. It's the ninth largest city in the country, and historically impressive— Christopher Columbus stopped here on his first trip in 1496.

 Due to war, the original Puerto Plata was completely destroyed, and only rebuilt starting in 1865. Because of that, visitors will notice the unmistakable Victorian architecture, a symbol of the times. Any ACV travellers to Puerto Plata can count on exploring this vibrant city, whether that means having a beach day at some of the Dominican's best playas, visiting museums and famous landmarks, like the Fortaleza San Felipe, a pirate-shielding fortress, or simply sit back and enjoy ACV's all-inclusive offerings.

Stay tuned for more coverage throughout the week, as we show you some of ACV's best all-inclusive properties in Puerto Plata and Samana. Don't miss a single minute: follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@paxnews).