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Caya Levantado Holidays

If you are looking for a genuine island paradise, then Cayo Levantado in the Dominican Republic should be at the top of your list. This exclusive luxury holiday destination is stunning and impressive in every way.

Travelling to this island getaway isn't easy, as you might expect, but the journey is worth the effort. The flight from Britain is just over eight hours and it arrives at the tiny Samana International Airport. The transfer by mini bus or coach is about an hour and fifteen minutes to the port along very bumpy, but typical Dominican Republic winding narrow roads and a further ten minute boat ride from the mainland to Cayo Levantado and your hotel.

First time visitors may find themselves thinking that their destination looks strangely familiar, but Cayo Levantado is also nicknamed 'Bacardi Island' as it was featured in the television adverts for the drink in the 1970s.

There is one five star hotel on the island and three beaches, two of which are privately owned by the hotel, so you are guaranteed exclusive access to some of the most amazing white sandy beaches in the world and irresistible crystal clear waters.

The public beach is rarely busy and many holidaymakers seem to rate this as the best beach of the three. The universal rule of towels on the sun lounger by 5am certainly doesn't apply here, as sun beds on the beach and by the hotel's three pools are usually still available by lunchtime. Snorkelling here is just fantastic, as you never know what you are going to come across. Jellyfish and starfish are common and shoals of fish come very near to land so you can actually swim quite close to them.

This is a beautiful relaxing place to spend your holiday and particularly popular with couples and honeymooners due to the romantic location and all out extravagance that Cayo Levantado offers in abundance.

Nightlife on the island is very laid back and not very lively at all. The hotel provides on site evening entertainment for guests with nightly performances and shows. The bars have a relaxed attitude of staying open as long as there are customers so that could be 11pm or 3am.

One of the advantages of staying on an island is that the mosquitoes are not as much of a problem as they can be on the mainland in the Caribbean although you should still use a repellent as they do come out more at night.

There are plenty of trips to the mainland but do be warned that they are mostly along the same bumpy tracks that you travel along from the airport in Samana. If swimming with dolphins and watching the sharks at Ocean World in Cofresi is worth the pain of four hours each way in a truck then go for it – it's a once in a lifetime experience that you will never forget.

You can only access Cayo Levantado by boat but that doesn't mean you are cut off from the rest of the world – unless you want to be of course. There are free shuttles to and from the island should you want to come and go and it's only ten minutes on the boat followed by a mini bus or coach ride.