The Dominican Republic: you’ve in all probability heard of it, perhaps heard of the baseball gamers it has given Main League Baseball. Perhaps even been there already, however it doesn’t matter what you already know (or don’t), the Dominican Republic is a spot with somebody for everybody from solo vacationers to these with households. So whether or not you’re searching for a calming seashore, an evening out within the metropolis or kite boarding in the most effective locations on Earth, there are numerous unbelievable locations to go to within the Dominican Republic.

Earlier than we delve into what you are able to do within the Dominican Republic, you first have to know when is the perfect time to go to. The Dominican Republic is a tropical island, situated simply south of the Tropic of Most cancers. This implies the summers might be heat and brutally humid, whereas the winters dip all the way down to the proper, low-humidity temperatures for having fun with all the pieces it has to supply.

See additionally: Tips for Travel to the Dominican Republic

The beach is one of the many incredible places to visit in the Dominican Republic.
The seashore is without doubt one of the many unbelievable locations to go to within the Dominican Republic.

When to go to the Dominican Republic

Summers (verano e infiernosummer season and hell) within the Dominican Republic aren’t as heat as you would possibly anticipate, with averages reaching round 80-85˚ F (27-29˚ C), however the humidity can attain as a lot as 90-100% making being open air troublesome at instances. Nevertheless, it is best to word that the majority locations to remain will supply air-con. As a nation within the Caribbean, the DR can be beneath Hurricane Watch from June-November and whereas it has been spared from giant hurricanes in recent times, it’s one thing to have in mind in your journey planning. All of that stated, the months of March – October are the off-season within the Dominican. Nevertheless, costs of lodging and aircraft tickets drop off and it’s nonetheless an exquisite time to be within the nation!

Winters within the Dominican run from roughly November by way of March when humidity reaches far more manageable ranges, whereas temperatures stay within the low to mid 80’s. That is the perfect time to go to the Dominican, although be warned, it’s additionally “excessive” season when costs for lodging, aircraft tickets and all the pieces else peak. But, you’ll nonetheless be capable to discover nice offers on locations to see and issues to do throughout the Dominican winter.

Getting across the Dominican Republic

Getting across the Dominican Republic is greatest finished by automobile. All the key automobile rental corporations are current within the DR and driving there, whereas intense, can usually be finished with ease. While you’re driving within the Dominican, particularly in cities, you’ll want to concentrate to motos (folks on motorbikes) as they will take over the roadways, particularly outdoors Santo Domingo. You may additionally must have a eager eye out for potholes. Go away a serious roadway and potholes may find yourself being the bane of your journey. There are velocity limits, that are principally obeyed by different drivers as are cease lights and indicators. When you’re comfy driving usually, you’ll be a lot comfy right here. 

Finest locations to go to within the Dominican Republic

Though there are numerous extra locations to go to within the Dominican Republic, a few of that are extra “off the crushed path”, we’re focusing right here on a few of the locations within the Dominican Republic which may be higher identified, or simpler to entry due to having worldwide airports, and providing you with some choices of issues to do outdoors of the standard seashore trip most individuals have a tendency to think about the Dominican Republic for. 

Let’s begin with Santo Domingo, the primary metropolis of the Americas, for these of you who suppose you’ll be able to’t see something “previous” on this facet of the world.

1. Santo Domingo

Attending to Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is just second to Punta Cana in airline site visitors. Relying on the place you’re, it could be kind of simple to discover a direct, reasonably priced flight, nevertheless it’s definitely not not possible. The airport code for Santo Domingo is SDQ. 

Flights to Santo Domingo sometimes come from the next locations: 

From North America

Lots of the largest cities on the East Coast of the US, reminiscent of New York, Boston, Altanta, and Washington, D.C. supply nonstop flights to Santo Domingo. To get to Santo Domingo from the West Coast, you will have a layover someplace within the East to hop down. The three largest US-based airways (Delta, American, United) all supply nonstop flights to Santo Domingo from the East Coast, along with a few of the main lower-cost airways (Spirit, JetBlue). 

You can even fly nonstop to Santo Domingo from Toronto, Canada, and Mexico Metropolis, by way of their flagship airways.

From Central and South America

There are every day nonstop flights from Bogota, Colombia, and Panama Metropolis, Panama. Panama can be a terrific layover possibility for those who’re flying from the West Coast, because it’s solely a two hour flight to Santo Domingo from there. 

From Western Europe

You’ll be able to fly nonstop to Santo Domingo from Madrid, Paris, and Frankfurt. From Europe, nevertheless, you’ve gotten a a lot higher supply of flights for those who fly to Punta Cana as a substitute, which is a two and a half drive to Santo Domingo.  

You can even go to Santo Domingo as a part of a Caribbean cruise itinerary. Main cruise traces reminiscent of Carnival, Ponant, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Seaborn are stopping on the Santo Domingo Port in a few of their itineraries, which permits you, normally, no less than sufficient time to go to the Colonial Metropolis. As the primary metropolis within the Americas, the Colonial Metropolis is the crown jewel of Santo Domingo. When you solely do one factor within the metropolis, do that.

The Spotlight of Santo Domingo: the Zona Colonial

Based in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus (Christopher Columbus’ brother), Santo Domingo was the founding capital of the Spanish Empire within the Americas. As such, it boasts a lot of “the firsts” of its type by way of authorities buildings and infrastructure, together with the primary fort, the primary courthouse, the primary hospital, and the primary cathedral. The entire Colonial Metropolis was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990. 

Simply walkable regardless of the cobblestone streets, the Zona Colonial options remarkably preserved examples of Gothic and Renaissance structure, most notably current within the Catedral Primada de America. 

Begin your journey on the Colonial Zone at Plaza España, an open sq. dealing with the port, which provides you entry to landmarks such because the Alcazar de Colon (the Palace of Diego Columbus), and the Calle Las Damas, the place many of those “first of the Americas” buildings are. Give your self no less than a morning to discover and luxuriate in one of many a number of cafes or eating places unfold throughout the totally different streets of the Zone.

The Highlight of Santo Domingo: the Zona Colonial in Dominican Republic
The Spotlight of Santo Domingo: the Zona Colonial

A Seasonal Spotlight: Winter Baseball

Whereas many, if not most, folks don’t go to the Dominican Republic to look at baseball, it is without doubt one of the most enjoyable actions you are able to do whereas visiting. Baseball is the nation’s nationwide sport, one thing evident by the big variety of Dominican gamers that find yourself taking part in professionally. Working from late October to mid-January, the video games are held in venues across the nation. Tickets are extraordinarily reasonably priced and also you’ll have the possibility to see some massive names from the MLB come down and play winter baseball in addition to glimpse future up and coming stars. In contrast to video games within the US, baseball video games listed below are a bit wild with an enormous array of drinks and cheerleaders. That’s proper, cheerleaders! All in all, Dominican video games are a spotlight when visiting the nation and for those who get the chance, it’s one it is best to take. Weekday video games are normally within the night and weekend video games begin within the late afternoon. 

Watching baseball in the Dominican Republic is a popular activity for visitors
Watching baseball within the Dominican Republic is a well-liked exercise for guests

2. Punta Cana

If you’re accustomed to the Dominican Republic, or have been earlier than, chances are high you visited Punta Cana or that got here up as an possibility to your trip. And whereas Punta Cana is the prime vacation spot for resort holidays within the Dominican Republic, there’s extra to it.

Attending to Punta Cana

Punta Cana is well the Dominican’s high vacation spot. With the island’s busiest airport (and 2nd busiest in the whole Caribbean), getting there may be not troublesome. Punta Cana has year-round flights from everywhere within the Western Hemisphere; you would possibly wish to arrive from both jap North America, South America, or Europe. With a brand new freeway constructed, Punta Cana can be solely a brief 2.5 hour drive from the capital – Santo Domingo do you have to select to lease a automobile.

What to do in Punta Cana

Punta Cana is the Dominican’s high vacation spot, boasting lots of the greatest actions and lodging on the whole island and probably in the whole Caribbean. Punta Cana boasts all-inclusive inns in addition to themed inns, such because the Nickelodeon Resort, the place all the pieces, from the rooms to the eating places and rides, is themed after a few of Nickelodeon’s hottest reveals. You’ll be able to even keep in a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed pineapple suite, which is a townhouse formed like a pineapple on the skin. Or the Hard Rock Hotel, which hosts a few of the high live shows and reveals within the nation, together with world-famous Cirque du Soleil in recent times. 

Punta Cana additionally boasts pristine, in depth seashores for each seashore style. Listed here are some examples: 

  • Macao Seashore is the popular vacation spot for these searching for journey in Punta Cana, with its buggy rides and surf-friendly waves. 
  • Juanillo Seashore in Cap Cana, a postcard-perfect seashore of white sand sprinkled with palm bushes, is ideal for swimming and water sports activities like kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), in addition to lounging beneath good blue, breezy skies. 
  • Cabeza de Toro is a seashore space northeast of Punta Cana the place you’ll be able to exit fishing and snorkeling. This space of the nation usually sees aggressive fishing tournaments, so fishing is a few of the greatest you are able to do. You’ll be able to e-book a fishing, snorkeling, or crusing tour by way of most inns. 

Final however not least, the Ojos Indigenas Reserve in Punta Cana is a welcome respite from the beach-heavy setting Punta Cana can carry throughout at instances. The Ojos Indigenas Reserve consists of 12 freshwater lagoons in 1500 acres of land. The reserve consists of species endemic to the Dominican Republic and intends to protect the pure habitat of the realm because it was skilled by the Taino folks, the indigenous inhabitants of the island. 

Top places to visit in Dominican Republic - Punta Cana
Aerial view from the aircraft over Punta Cana, Dominican Republic –

3. Dominican Republic’s North Coast

Subsequent, let’s speak concerning the authentic vacationer vacation spot of the Dominican Republic: the North Coast. The north coast is residence to lots of the hottest locations to go to within the Dominican Republic.

Attending to the Dominican Republic’s north coast

The North Coast of the Dominican Republic affords an exquisite reprieve from the resorts of Punta Cana and the enterprise of Santo Domingo.  Getting there may be as simple as flying into Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperón Airport with a variety of seasonal flights from the jap US, Europe and Canada in addition to a number of 12 months spherical flights from the US East Coast and Canada. Puerto Plata is a few 10 minute drive from the airport, whereas Cabarete is a few 20 minute drive.

Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata is the Dominican Republic’s largest metropolis within the north, with a inhabitants of round 330,000. Based in 1502, Puerto Plata affords an entire host of websites to see and do. You’ll be able to go to Fort San Felipe (accomplished in 1577) as the principle colonial remnant on the North Coast of the DR.

Puerto Plata is a popular place to visit in the Dominican Republic
Puerto Plata is a well-liked place to go to within the Dominican Republic

You can even take a cable automobile up Mount Pico Isabel de Torres to see a smaller Christ the Redeemer Statue than Rio, however a taller mountain and absorb resplendent views of town and ocean. If you’re there on the finish of February to early March, you can too get pleasure from Carnivál in Puerto Plata when Dominicans exit and have fun with masks, parades, and far more.

High attraction in Dominican Republic’s north coast: The 27 Waterfalls

One of many most important points of interest within the space, nevertheless, are the Damajagua Falls or 27 Waterfalls (Veintisiete Charcos), however consider you’ll should be 12 or older. If visiting within the winter when water ranges are greater, you’ll be able to go to this glorious pure marvel and luxuriate in a very expertise. You’ll have a guided tour and two choices to make your method up. You hike (faster and simpler) or swim and climb up by way of deep, attractive caverns. You’ll be able to go as much as the primary stage (7 waterfalls), 2nd stage (12 waterfalls) or the third and most troublesome stage, all 27 waterfalls, however be warned it’s a troublesome swim up. Upon reaching your vacation spot, you’ll be capable to bounce and slide your method again down with falls touchdown from 5 ft as much as round 15-20 foot jumps. When you’re prepared and in a position, the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua might be one of many highlights of your journey!

When planning, you’ll discover a host of lodging for everybody from boutique inns to all-inclusive resorts. Choices inside the metropolis can be found for these searching for a extra low-key, genuine Dominican keep, however all-inclusive resorts across the metropolis and surrounding space. When you’re unfamiliar, all-inclusives cost by particular person (not room) and embody room, meals, and drink. We suggest doing all of your analysis as a few of the all-inclusive have seen higher days.

4. Cabarete

A brief drive from Puerto Plata and about 20 minutes from the airport, yow will discover your self in Cabarete, a thriving seashore city the place many younger folks and snow-birds alike find yourself. Cabarete is without doubt one of the high kiteboarding areas on the earth and simply west of the city (1-2 miles) you’ll discover a whole lot of surfers within the winter months.

Cabarete has many nice meals choices together with an entire slew of fantastic seashore bars. There are fewer resorts obtainable right here, however loads of wonderful choices on the town and subsequent to the seashore. Many locations obtainable to remain have full kitchens obtainable as properly and the grocery retailer is stocked properly sufficient to fulfill all vacationers. Cabarete can be certainly one of, if not the, greatest spot on the island to seek out giant sweets for boogie boarding and browsing. Like all over the place else within the Dominican Republic, Cabarete has one thing for everybody: seashores, outside actions, and nice foods and drinks. 

Kite surfing in Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Kite browsing in Cabarete, Dominican Republic

5. Samaná Peninsula

Persevering with on the Atlantic coast, Samana is a particular change of tempo from what we see within the largest resort locations within the Dominican Republic.

Attending to Samaná Peninsula

Whereas one of the stunning components of the Dominican Republic, it can be one of many tougher to reach at Samaná does have an airport with a number of 12 months spherical flights (all from Canada – Toronto & Montreal and Europe – Madrid) with seasonal flights from these similar locations, however Miami within the US. As such, many vacationers lease a automobile and drive. From Santo Domingo it’s a 2.5 hour drive on simple going roads. There are a number of tolls alongside the way in which, however the various route shouldn’t be price avoiding these prices because the roads are far worse and it takes far longer. 

Las Terrenas

Las Terrenas is one the principle locations you’ll wish to go to on the Samaná Peninsula. With a inhabitants hovering round 15,000, it has develop into a go-to spot for expats, particularly from France, searching for a extra relaxed life-style. Regardless of its measurement, nevertheless, Las Terrenas has a lot to supply for everybody! Like many locations to go to within the Dominican Republic, Las Terrenas is surrounded by stunning seashores. When you’re staying within the metropolis, the seashores are only a quick stroll away. Playa Las Terrenas and Punta Pops are proper there and supply loads of shade with crystal clear blue waters. In contrast to different locations within the Dominican Republic, the seashores listed below are going to be far much less crowded as Las Terrenas offers a quieter time (although nonetheless with a terrific nightlife, extra on that later!).

When you’re staying outdoors town, the seashores aren’t almost as huge, however are much more peaceable with loads of locations to chill out and benefit from the heat waters, whether or not its Playa Carolina Portillo to the east or Playa Bonita to the west. Playa Cosón, a brief drive additional east from Playa Bonita, affords huge swaths of attractive golden sand seashores, with towering palms. It’s also as remoted a seashore as chances are you’ll ever discover. 

Las Terrenas in Dominican Republic
Las Terrenas in Dominican Republic

Whereas Las Terrenas shouldn’t be as full of life as say Cabarete or Punta Cana, it nonetheless affords an thrilling nightlife. A row of eating places and bars alongside the waterfront in downtown Las Terrenas affords a slew of locations to go for households and singles alike. As with the seashores, simply outdoors town to the East and West, many small bars and eating places additionally exist, many as a part of inns for these searching for a quieter night time out.

Remaining ideas

That is, on no account, an exhaustive journey information on the Dominican Republic. Hopefully, it offers you some concepts to your subsequent trip. Because of its pure magnificence and wealthy historical past, the Dominican Republic is a chief Caribbean vacation spot for all vacationers. Able to go?

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