Altos de Chavón – secret fairytale village

April 3, 2022

Sculpted entirely of stone, Altos de Chavón is a fairytale village inspired by mediterranean architecture. It sits 100 meters above the Chavón River. Built over a period of six years, the village opened in 1982 with Frank Sinatra performing live at the 5,000-seat Grecian style outdoor amphitheater, where numerous world artists have since performed. Today, the village is a delightful place to tour for its charming medieval feel, its architecture, a plethora of cigar, clothing, and jewelry shops, fine dining, bars, and arts and crafts. Its centerpiece, the St. Stanislaus Church, is a popular wedding site in the DR, with its unmatched views over the river. To boot, the Altos de Chavón Archaeological Museum houses one of the most comprehensive collections on indigenous culture in the DR.

The panoramic views over the Chavón River, and over the Dye Fore golf course which it borders on the east side, make Altos de Chavón a perfect photo stop on a journey through La Romana. There’s an entrance fee for non-guests of Casa de Campo, or you can book a tour of the village. At night, the setting becomes even more magical with romantic lighting on the stone plazas and dining verandas overlooking the river.

Designed like a Grecian amphitheater, this breathtaking 5,000-seat open-air facility hosts concerts and performances from major Dominican and international artists year-round. Aside from its 1982 inaugural event with Frank Sinatra live, past performances have included names ranging from Juan Luis Guerra and Shakira, to Sting and Elton John. Seeing a concert under the stars at Altos de Chavón is a bucket list item, whether visitor or resident.

The Altos de Chavón Archaeological Museum, tucked inside the Altos de Chavón complex, houses one of the most comprehensive displays on pre-Columbian and Taino indigenous culture in the DR. The well lit and labeled extensive exhibit dates from 4000 B.C. to 1492, and counts over 3,000 pieces. The museum also covers the history of Altos de Chavón, and of the DR, for added background.

Straight out of a medieval postcard, St. Stanislaus Church—sitting in the heart of Altos de Chavón —was consecrated in 1979, and is one of the most beautiful churches in the DR. The romantic stone structure hosts numerous weddings, not least for its setting overlooking the Rio Chavón. But it’s also special because Pope John Paul II—who visited the DR in 1979—left behind the ashes of St. Stanislaus, Poland’s patron saint, in order to commemorate the inauguration.

Masses continue to be held here on the weekends; schedules can be consulted online.