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New to the Caribbean: A theme park like it’s never seen before

<i>Falcon's Beyond LLC</i><br/>Challenge of the Mad Mage is one of the marquee attractions at Katmandu Punta Cana.
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Falcon's Beyond LLC
Challenge of the Mad Mage is one of the marquee attractions at Katmandu Punta Cana.

By Forrest Brown, CNN

When you think of the Caribbean, you likely think of water. The crystalline sea, of course. Fancy resort pools. And spectacular water parks. You probably don’t think of modern, land-based theme parks.

But one park is taking a big step outside the usual H2O-oriented offerings in the Caribbean with a park inspired by a high-altitude, landlocked city halfway around the world in Nepal.

Katmandu Park Punta Cana opened this week in the Dominican Republic. It’s the second installment of the “The Hidden Realms of Katmandu” franchise.

The DR park is a bigger sister park to the smaller Katmandu Park Mallorca, which is on the popular Mediterranean Island off the coast of Spain.

What you’re gonna do at Katmandu

While this park is focused on mostly indoor rides where you stay dry, Katmandu isn’t about space-eating coasters looping around for a mile or more.

Instead, the park is offering what it calls a “big experience / small footprint” concept, with compact immersive and dark rides set on a smaller plot of land, which is precious in the Caribbean.

Four of the park’s marquee attractions, with heavy Himalayan themes, are:

• Challenge of the Mad Mage: This ON!X Theater attraction features a character who challenges guests to a blaster duel. The park said the ride gives every player to chance “to direct the outcome of the action and even affect the narrative that unfolds before them on the massive, cinema-style screen.”

Electric motion seats will give guests sensory feedback “in the form of poking, tickling, vibration, wind, air blast, water mist, scent, localized speakers in headrests, and more.”

• EtherQuest: This is an interactive, walk-through attraction in which guests try to defeat a powerful foe with various interactive props.

The park said the “guests are really the main characters of their own adventure.”

• Legend of the Desirata: This is a 4D dark ride attraction that “tells the Katmandu origin story.”

Guests will follow an explorer in “a dynamically moving vehicle,” and the attraction features multiple projection screens, lighting effects, wind effects and “stunning scenic elements.”

Voyage of the Fathom Wanderer: This is a “suspended theater” attraction, where guests will join an underwater mission to fend off a sea monster.

The park said visitors will be “swiftly but elegantly lifted through the air” and placed in front of a “giant, compound curved screen, ushering them inside the story.” The park promises the attraction “delivers the unique sensation of flight in a whole new way.”

What else is on tap

Fans of mini-golf will find a new challenge in Expedition Golf, a 36-hole course spread over a mountainous setting and inside caves.

There is also an outdoor ropes course and something called “The Quadagon,” which has four indoor climbing courses for children and adults.

The Wheel of Infinite Wonder, a Katmandu-themed carousel with custom figures, is centerpiece of the park’s plaza.

Get ready to shell out some money for these high-tech experiences. The least expensive tickets are $85 for children and come in three package options.

Falcon’s Beyond, a global entertainment company that operates Katmandu, told CNN Travel that an adjacent retail, dining and entertainment complex is being planned for early 2025.

The park is located on the island’s far eastern shore, just minutes from the ocean for those who still want a water adventure, too.

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