What does the name Dominican Republic mean to you? Most would answer a tropical paradise, with beautiful beaches and being the perfect spot for a vacation. Several all-inclusive hotels and some of the best Dominican Republic villa rentals attract over four million tourists each year. But what makes this nation covering eastern Hispaniola Island such an appealing spot for a holiday? Keep reading and find out all about traveling in the Dominican Republic.
There are beaches and incredible accommodation choices around the Dominican Republic, especially along the northern and eastern coast. But head a little further inland, and you’ll find mountains, rainforests, waterfalls, rivers and the Caribbean’s tallest peak: Pico Duarte at 3087 metres. Expect an abundance of wildlife, birds and marine creatures as you explore the island. When you combine everything, you have much more than a beach holiday in the sun.
The Dominican Republic’s capital, Santo Domingo, has several Spanish colonial buildings, churches and a cobblestoned historical centre. Santo Domingo is one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean founded in 1496 by Bartolome Colombus, Christopher Columbus’s brother. As you walk around, you’ll enjoy the façades and historical charm.
If you’re into natural beauty, check out Damajaqua Waterfalls a short drive from Puerto Plato. A total of 27 waterfalls cascade over the rocky cliffs making it one of the Dominican Republic’s most famous attractions. Tourists and locals come to swim in one of the many pools to cool off in the afternoon heat while the braver ones climb up the rocks and dive down. If you want to enjoy the natural beauty for longer, follow the trails which will take you through the forests and along the canyons. Most people typically spend a few hours or more at Damajaqua Falls.
The variety and styles of food combine the very best of Spanish, African and Creole flavours, which are available in all towns and cities at affordable prices. Many of the regional dishes have a staple of rice, meat and beans with various spices to give a mouth-wateringly good meal. Regardless of your budget, you’ll find everything from street food costing a few dollars all the way up the gourmet food served by the island’s best chefs. And it’s not just about the food. If you’re thirsty, grab a fresh coconut from one of the street side vendors for a refreshing drink that suits the tropical paradise you’re standing in.
Península de Samaná on the eastern part of Dominican Republic hosts a special annual event captivating both tourists and locals alike. Migrating Humpback Whales, totalling around 2000, make their way to the warmer waters for reproduction between December and March. If you’re lucky, you may see the whales from the coastline. It’s also common to witness the gigantic creatures jumping out of the water. Males often sing hypnotic songs to attract mates that can you can hear on the land.
An Active Nightlife
The locals love to party, and holidaying tourists like to let their hair down and have a good time. Everything from beachside pubs to cocktail bars and nightclubs that stay open until dawn are all around the island. You can find anything from a relaxing place with an excellent view to an affordable place to drink with the locals. You might not find the best beers in the world, but they are still pretty delicious and refreshing after a long, hot day. Santa Domingo is the perfect spot for a night of entertainment and partying boasting hundreds of different pubs, bars and lounges. There are casinos and international standard restaurants around the city too.
Puerto Plata, the tourist hotspot, has a very active nightlife. The hotels and resorts often have bars with an adjoining nightclub and live entertainment for guests. If you don’t want to leave the resort, drinks and fun await inside the walls of the compound.
Apart from the natural beauty, there’s another kind of splendour that attracts tourists and keeps them coming back to the Dominican Republic. And that’s the luxury and high standard of holidays. Some of the Caribbean’s best resorts, beachside vacation rentals along with great restaurants and romantic spots to watch the sunset are just a few of the highlights. The island caters to the wealthy who demand the very best. Tourists looking to have a luxury and unforgettable experience can find what they’re looking for here. Whether you want to spend your days lounging around your private pool or sipping cocktails on the beach, the Dominican Republic will have it.
You’ll find friendly and smiling locals around the Dominican Republic from the waiter and hotel receptionist to the people relaxing on the beaches. Dominicans, both living in the tourist areas and rural parts of the island, tend to welcome visitors and have an infectious happy go lucky approach to life. It’s never too difficult to strike up a conversation with someone who’s usually more than glad to offer you tips, suggestions and listen to your stories.
The only downside is that not everyone speaks English. Most will talk decent English in the tourist parts. But when you venture further inland, the number is much less. Learn a few phrases in Spanish if you don’t already know some and make a smiling local smile even more when you make an effort with their language.
People Love the Dominican Republic
After reading this article, you should now know why so many people around the world want to take a holiday in the Dominican Republic. Natural beauty, beaches and hospitable locals combine with the excellent food, active nightlife and luxurious resorts to make the perfect travel destination. So why not join the millions of satisfied tourists and head here on your next family holiday?