Eastern part of the Haiti Island
Best Time to Visit: December to April
Time Zone: Atlantic (UTC-4)
Driving Side: Right
Main Attractions: Tour to Cayo Levantado, Monster Truck Safari, Caberete, Santo Domingo, Whale watching in Samana, Wind and water surfing, Alcazar de Colón, Parque Nacional del Este, Mountain-biking, Fun-Fun Cave, Jaragua National Park, Plaza de la Cultura
Dominican Republic or the island of ‘endless summer’ is a remarkable island featuring dazzling green landscapes, mountain ranges studded with waterfalls, exotic traditional cuisines and an option of sports and entertainment for the tourists. Dominican Republic is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. It is the second largest Caribbean nation both with regard to the area and its population. The territory of Dominican Republic was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, after which it became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, namely Santo Domingo, the country’s capital and Spain’s first capital in the New World. The best known area of Dominican Republic is the Southern coast which is the home to rich flora and fauna and the sandy beaches that attract tourists all year long. .
Thing To Do In Dominican Republic
Tour To Cayo Levantado
Cayo Levantado, located at the entrance of the Samana bay is a perfect island to take a day off to idle around in the beautiful turquoise waters of the two beaches of white sand. It is an island of just one square kilometer of the tropical Caribbean where one can spend the most personal time of their life and practice swimming and snorkeling once tired of relaxing. You can also enjoy the native food, beverages and water activities. You can walk across the end of the island in just 15 min enjoying the beautiful vegetation and stunning scenery around.
Bumpy Island Experience
Experience the Dominican Republic lifestyle and let their simplicity surprise you on a ride into the heart of the island on board the biggest 8x8 all terrain trucks of the city. It is a full day tour with professional guides that departs daily from Puerto Plata and Punta Cana Resorts through Dominican Republic country side. The procession will take you into the small and colorful villages and the local Dominican Republic farms. The ride will give you an opportunity to actually mingle with the local people, get introduced to their families, enjoy the traditional cuisine, an open bar experience and a refreshing swim in the secluded river. A visit to a “rum shack” is also part of the tour where you can buy cigars, rum, and souvenirs.
The night life at Caberete is a legendary one and should not be missed. Caberete offers you a chain of restaurants, bars, clubs, shops, cafes and lounges. Most of these rocking places are right on the beach, making the whole experience an unforgettable and a persistent one.
Santo Domingo gives you an opportunity to follow Columbus’ footsteps down the Cobblestone streets of the oldest city in the “New World”. The city provides an array of famous places like the first cathedral, the first hospital to visit. Once you are done, you can settle into one of the fantastic restaurants and sit back and ponder over the historic symbolism of the place and relive the moments you just visited.
Whale Watching In Samana
If you happen to be in Dominican Republic somewhere between December and early March, you should not miss visiting the Samana Bay. You can be a part of the tour along with a tour guide to get close to the giant humpback whales that migrate into the Bay of Samana to calve or mate. It is a lucky opportunity for a tourist to get to see the large aquatic mammal.
Tiger Wood’s Experience
The Dominican Republic is a golfer’s heaven providing its tourists a professional experience with 22 professional golf courses designed by greats like Pete Dye, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus. Golf is one of the main tourist drives of the island with players taking advantage of the varied terrain and moderate climate of the Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic also has something for the sports freaks. The resort of the Cabarete is the international windsurfing capital of the Americas which hosts two major world competitions. There are dozens of clubs providing tourists with an opportunity to experience wind and water surfing. Kite surfing is also an exhilarating sport, and Dominican Republic train the beginners who within no time can be seen surfingg along the waves at Playa Cabarete and Playa Encuentra.
Alcazar de Colón
Alcazar de Colon serves as the center of the Spanish court and is the only known home of the family of Christopher Columbus. 22 of its original 55 rooms are open to public to sprawl along the hallways and explore the rooms and the open air loggias and can enjoy viewing the decorative antique paintings, period tapestries and Columbus family’s artifacts. It is an experience in itself to walk in the house of someone so important from the historical pages.
Parque Nacional del Este
It is one of the major tourist attractions of Dominican Republic and is located on the San Rafael del Yuma south peninsula. It has a picturesque view of isolated beaches, pre-Columbian paintings in an array of caves. Parque Nacional del Este is also the home of the ‘paloma coronita’ or the ‘white headed dove’ and the rhinoceros iguana along with an assortments of turtles.
Are you an adventure person? Dominican Republic is the best place to try out all kinds of adventure sports. The geographical diversity of the country makes its interiors a great spot for mountain-biking and many other adventurous and thrilling activities.
The popular fun-fun cave which is located in the Punta Cana on the eastern shore of the Dominican Republic provides an excursion for tourists at the Rancho Capote which is an intensive day-long journey through the Los Haitises National Park. Start your day with a tropical breakfast to gain all the energy for a 40 min horse ride and a 35 min walk through the park to the mouth of the fun-fun cave. This is where the actual adventure starts. Tourists rappel down 20 meters into the cave and then follow the guides for a 2 km walk through the cave’s spacious corridors to come across stalactites, stalagmites, underground rivers and Aborigine Indian cave paintings. Once you experience all the adventure it’s time for you to get back home to a traditional Creole brunch.
Lap Up The Elegance Of Nature
The beautiful 1,374 sq meter Jaragua National Park in the extreme southwest of the Dominican Republic is the largest preserved area of the country. The terrestrial portion of the national park accounts only for the 1/3rd of the park’s area while the remaining 2/3rd covers 905 sq km of protected waters. The park accounts for an array of terrestrial, dry forest, coastal and marine environments. It is home to many endemic Dominican Republican reptiles, amphibians and birds, sea turtles, West Indian manatees and bottlenose dolphins. The national park is worth paying a visit to enjoy the unique flora and fauna of the Dominican Republic.
Plaza de la Cultura
Plaza de la Cultura is located in the heart of Santo Domingo and is the cultural home of many of the city’s top attractions: the National Library, Museum of the Dominican Man, Museum of History and Geography, Museum of Modern Art and the National Theatre.