15 Reasons To Visit The Dominican Republic

A view of Bahía Luperon, located in the North Coast. Photo credit: Courtesy of the Tourism Ministry of the Dominican Republic.

A view of Bahía Luperon, located in the North Coast. Photo credit: Courtesy of the Tourism Ministry of the Dominican Republic.

When you think about Caribbean destinations, it is impossible not to envision yourself indulging in some decadent cocktail while looking at a white sand beach. That’s probably what comes to mind when you think about visiting the Dominican Republic, and I can assure you that if you are looking for a piece of beach paradise, unparalleled luxury, and service, you can get it there for sure.

However, while the Dominican Republic offers travelers the ultimate beach and resort destination, there is much more to it than one can imagine. I must confess, as a Dominican from the island I’m somewhat biased in my assessment. Having lived there most of my life, I was fortunate enough to travel and get to know almost the whole island and I can assure you, once you drive away from the beach, the Dominican Republic will pleasantly surprise you.

The way I see it, it’s all a matter of what kind of tourism you are looking for. From white water rafting, whale watching, and waterfall climbing to ecotourism, parasailing, surfing, and windsurfing, there is no end to the offerings of this small island located on the path of the sun. After all, it has been called a continent in miniature.

Santo Domingo, the capital of the country, is the host of the first Spanish settlement in the Americas, Zona Colonial, with beautiful colonial buildings and more than 500 years of history. The City of Santo Domingo is also a vibrant, urban city, the largest in the Caribbean, known for its active nightlife and wide variety of bars, clubs, restaurants, and hotels to please the expert and novice travelers alike.

Having said all of that, I’m confident to say the best value the Dominican Republic has to offer is the kindness and warmth of its people. You’ll experience the joy, music, and colorful demeanor of Dominicans no matter where you go in the country. Like I mentioned before, I’m biased. That’s why I prepared this slideshow to let you be the judge. Something tells me you’ll have to agree.

 

  • Where it all began 1 of 15
    La Catedral-3

    Visiting the city of Santo Domingo will open the doors to more than 500 years of history as you tour the historical Colonial Zone. Visit the first Spanish settlement of the Americas during the day, and fine dine in one of the local spots after the sunset.

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Amazing beaches 2 of 15
    Isla Saona Beach- #1

    If you like white-sanded beaches and picture-perfect views, the East Coast of the Dominican Republic has plenty of options for you. Add to that the wide-variety of hotels and luxury resorts in the area for a remarkable experience.

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Surfing waves 3 of 15
    Kitesurfing Cabarete-2

    Heading North of the island, you can enjoy the world-class windsurfing beach of Cabarete. If you are into kite surfing, this is the spot for you as well. And after all that fun under the sun, the nightlife will not disappoint.

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • White water rafting 4 of 15
    Rafting-4

    If you are an adventurer seeking to explore nature and raise your adrenaline, Jarabacoa offers amazing excursions to go down the river and brave the waters of some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the Caribbean.

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Dominican gastronomy 5 of 15
    Gastronomy-5

    Colorful and flavorful, a taste of the island will awaken your palates and excite your appetite with unusual, delightful combinations. 

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Enjoy local arts 6 of 15
    Dominican dolls-6

    Check out markets where you'll find pieces from local artisans. There are plenty of colorful, handmade, ceramic, carved wood, and paintings to add to your souvenirs list. In the picture are the traditional faceless dolls that represent Dominican women. They are faceless to represent the mixing of races you can find in the country. 

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Stunning South 7 of 15
    Barahona-7

    If you think the East Coast is impressive, I invite you to visit the Southern Coastal towns of Barahona and Pedernales. Here you'll experiment a desert-like environment with stunning ocean views, exotic animals, and colorful trees.

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Ride the cable car 8 of 15
    Mountain views

    In Puerto Plata, you can ride the cable car to the top of Isabel de Torres Peak, a 793-meter high mountain. This is the only aerial tramway in the Caribbean, and once you get to the top, you can enjoy the botanical garden and a replica of Rio de Janeiro's Christ the Redeemer statue. 

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Ziplines in Bavaro 9 of 15
    Zip Lines. Anamuya, Bavaro 3-M

    Again, experiencing the Dominican Republic from the top, you can get your dose of adrenaline while enjoying the lush surroundings. Just another option you have in the East Coast without sacrificing the beautiful beaches. 

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Raw beauty 10 of 15
    Flamingo

    With an area of 145 square miles, Lake Enriquillo is the largest lake and lowest point in the Caribbean, being also the lowest point on any ocean island. This is one of only a few saltwater lakes in the world where crocodiles live. You can also see beautiful flamingos and dozens of other birds. 

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Whale watching 11 of 15
    Whales in Samana

    If you are planning a trip from December to April, you should definitely visit the Silver Bank in the region of Samana where humpback whales go every year to calve. A beautiful spectacle, whales come to the surface and you can appreciate them in plain sight. 

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Go underground 12 of 15
    Cueva de Las Maravillas

    Have you ever been to an underground cave? You should! Cueva de las Maravillas is located near Juan Dolio, driving towards the East Coast and offers visitors beautiful surroundings, ancient drawings, and even some flying bats. 

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • A diver’s paradise 13 of 15
    Snorkeling

    From caverns to reefs to signature dives, the Dominican Republic offers a wide array of diving opportunities off each one of its coasts. The year-round warm waters and great visibility make it and excellent destination for divers of any skill level. 

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Reach the mountaintop 14 of 15
    Pico Duarte-M

    Hiking to the highest peak in all of the Caribbean is the experience of a lifetime. Pico Duarte lies in the Cordillera Central, the largest mountain chain in the Dominican Republic. Visiting Pico Duarte is very popular among locals; the peak has an elevation of 3,087 meters and an unusual climate for a being in the Caribbean. Cool temperatures can be enjoyed year round, and it even reaches freezing temperatures on winter nights.

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

  • Unparalleled beauty 15 of 15
    Bahía de las Águilas

    I could not finish this roundup without a personal favorite, Bahía de las Águilas (Eagles Bay). As a Caribbean, you must know I have the highest standards when it comes to beaches, and this one is the most beautiful one I have ever seen. Located by the southernmost part of the border with Haiti, this bay is considered by many (locals and tourists alike) as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. As part of the Jaragua National park, a protected area, Bahía de las Águilas has great seal activity right off the beach, within its crystal clear waters. I've been there. It's life changing.

    Photo credit: Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism

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