Its tourist strapline happily exclaims the nation has it all. Sun, sand, sea, surf the Dominican Republic is a land of incredible beauty, contrast and appeal. Yet for the visitor it can be quite problematic. After all if the country has it all where do you start going about trying to take it all in?
Highlighted beneath in no specific order is a recommendation of 5 Dominican Republic hotspots you simply must on any trip to this wonderful Caribbean paradise island. Plan your holiday to incorporate any of these destinations and you will surely have an amazing time.
Located in the north eastern region of the country, Samana is widely perceived as one of the most beautiful parts of the Dominican Republic. Incorporating a wonderful range of features including tropical forests, coconut groves, remote alcove beaches with translucent waters, raging waterfalls, protected national parks, a protected natural bay and a striking peninsula it is actually surprisingly quiet for most of the year which means you get to enjoy it in all its glory. Its busiest period is between mid-January to mid-March when whale watching season commences when thousands flock to the area to catch a glimpse of the beautiful North Atlantic humpback whales that can often be spotted.
2. Santo Domingo
A rather under-rated city often used as a stopover point for bigger and better things Santo Domingo is a city that is well worth lingering in for a couple of days. Of profound historical significance and relevance, the city’s Zona Colonial District is a UNESCO World Heritage listed site that contains several New World firsts including its oldest church, street, surviving fortress and building. History aside, Santo Domingo also offers plenty of world class shopping opportunities, as well as a number of excellent dining options, hip nightlife and lots of beautiful parks and gardens to explore.
If city life is not for you then you might fancy heading to Jarabacoa. Nestled in the low lying foothills of the Central Highland mountains at around 500 metres the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ offers visitors the option of white water rafting, horseback riding, canyoning or hiking up the grand Pico Duarte. Providing a more enriching Dominican Republic experience than most people usually partake in Jarabacoa offers the chance to get at one with nature whilst still allowing you to top up your tan.
Previously a farming hamlet, Cabarete is now firmly planted as the Dominican Republic’s adventure sports capital on account of it having by far and away the best winds and waves in the country. A hub for all lovers of surfing, kitesurfing, windsurfing, jet skiing, sailing and diving if you are an adrenaline junkie then this is definitely the place for you. Out of the water, the standard of restaurants and nightlife is pretty good too.
5. Punta Cana
The gem of the Dominican Republic, Punta Cana is the epicentre of the nation’s luxurious all inclusive resort sector. If you are the kind of person who likes nothing more than relaxing by the swimming pool, gorging on all-you-can-eat buffets, pampering yourself with spa treatments and generally not having to worry about anything this place is a must for you. A popular haunt for golfers who flock to the area’s many great championship courses, the region’s average annual temperature of 86 °F, soft white beaches and crystal clear waters are something you will find difficult to leave behind.
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