An escape to the Dominican Republic should be one of the relaxation and rejuvenation treatments doctors prescribe yearly. With just a simple glance at the endless powdery beaches and turquoise waters, you’ll forget all about your daily routine and worries. A country that abounds in affordable all-inclusive resorts and promises best-value beach holidays, the Dominican Republic has seen a change of approach in the last years, catering to the preferences of the rich and famous too, with stunning luxury resort hotels and excellent facilities. Moreover, the Dominican Republic is a favorite destination of independent travelers, especially if their passionate kite-surfers and windsurfers.
Beaches in the Dominican Republic
Everybody comes here for the beaches! While golfing, surfing, snorkeling, scuba diving, hiking, and historical sights are bonus treats for travelers who choose to escape to the Dominican Republic, the main attraction is the 32 km-ribbon of soft, flawless sand caressed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south.
The most popular beaches in the Dominican Republic are the beaches in Punta Cana, the number one resort destination in the country. Framed by a tropical setting reigned by lush swaying palm trees, the Playa de Arena Gorda, Bavaro, Playa Blanca, and Playa Juanillo are some of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic.
While Playa de Arena Gorda is a blue flag beach, ideal for families, Bavaro is the picture-perfect stretch of powdery white sand that you expect to find during your escape to the Dominican Republic. Bavaro is an excellent destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, and sailing too, and the favorite resort of travelers who prefer to spend their exotic holiday in five-star adults-only resorts.
Playa Blanca invites tourists to relax, snorkel or swim on a pristine stretch of soft sand blessed with shallow and calm waters, while Playa Juanillo combines the peace and quiet of a lovely beach with elegant all-inclusive resorts and a posh ambiance. If you’re up for a surfing session, head to Macao Beach, a spectacular beach listed by UNESCO as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
The resort town of Puerto Plata has its share of magnificent beaches too, while the nearby city of Cabarete is a fun playground for water sports aficionados who want to spend their days surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Mass tourism hasn’t yet found its way to the Samana area of the Dominican Republic, which only means more beautiful beaches for you to enjoy in solitude. The hidden gem and one of the best-kept secrets of the Dominican Republic is Pedernales, a magical place that welcomes travelers with one of the most beautiful beaches in the country and hypnotic crystal clear waters dressed in all shades of blue.
Things to see and do in the Dominican Republic
Not many know this, but the Dominican Republic has a fascinating and rich history. It was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492, and its capital city, Santo Domingo, illustrates the country’s fascinating past. A trip to Santo Domingo should always include a visit to the Fortaleza Ozama that dates back to 1502 and colonial-era churches that seem untouched by time. For more Christopher Columbus history, visit the Columbus Lighthouse which is both a beacon of light that can be seen all the way to Puerto Rico, but also an interesting museum.
The city is vibrant and lively and houses an impressive collection of restaurants, bars, and nightclubs, many of them resounding with rhythms of merengue and bachata. Because if there is one thing the locals love the most is dancing…and rum, and baseball! You’ll find most of the popular nightclubs in along the Malecón boardwalk, as well as in the Zona Colonial, known for its jazzy and Latin rhythms.
Spend the day in Zona Colonial, a World Heritage Site, for a chance to admire superb historic buildings, like the Alcazar de Colón, the 1514-impressive residence of Columbus’ son, Diego Columbus, and the Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, the oldest cathedral in Americas and the resting place of Christopher Columbus.
Enjoy the splendid landscape of the Dominican Republic, one of the most geographically diverse areas of the Caribbean, blessed with everything from lush rainforests and majestic peaks to semi-deserts. The scenery is ideal for active travelers who want to leave the soft sand behind for a few hours and engage in some mountain-biking, hiking, and climbing. For fabulous views and exciting climbing adventures, head to Mount Isabela de Torres, situated close to Puerto Plata. If you’re not up for the hike, a cable car ride to the top is always a great idea. The Dominican Republic is a great place for whale watching. Whales make their annual winter appearance off the Samana headland, on the northeastern tip of the island.