It is located on the island of Hispaniola, occupying more than two thirds of its extension, the other third belonging to Haiti. Normally associated with paradisiacal beaches of the Caribbean, an exceptional climate, its delicious rum or the friendliness of its people. However, it is a country that also hides much more, unknown places for great tourism where you can learn about culture and history. So you have to throw yourself into the adventure of driving on its roads, tasting its delicious juices and good food and enjoying the sympathy and authenticity of its people. In the Dominican Republic you will find much to do from adventure sports, culture and of course many kilometers of beaches but not all of them accessible. But if it’s a question of choosing, you cannot miss any of the following places:
From the only funicular in the Caribbean you can enjoy the view of huge places from high altitudes without the need to climb or climb narrow roads. In addition to the surfaces at sea level, Puerto Plata hides peculiar and quite high mountains that keep a surprise: I recommend keeping your eyes wide open, as you can discover hidden caves that lead to springs and streams that flow into the mountain.
If it’s a matter of going to the sea, from La Ensenada beach you can board a boat to go through the mangroves and reach Cayo Arena, a paradise in the middle of the sea, an impressive experience: a small piece of white sand in a totally isolated area and with a small population.
This beautiful place is a clear example of sustainable tourism, is located in the municipality of Imbert in Puerto Plata, there you will find a beautiful path that will surely surprise you with its magnificent 27 “pools” each with a different beauty, this place It ensures a connection with nature and the birds. Always by the hand of a local guide, who will teach you the origins of this fantastic place while admiring the crystal clear waters, cold and fresh, with beautiful caves, waterfalls, springs and huge molded rocks.
*Bahia de Aguilas
This beach has no hotel, no restaurants, no coffee shops, this is a place where pure nature is breathed without any pollution, one of the most crystalline in the world, highly recommended to share with family, walk, swim and let go by connecting with the Mother Earth. This bay is part of the Jaragua National Park and has portable toilets, shower cabins, all day surveillance, internet connection, trash receptacles, lifeguards and medical dispensaries for the safety and comfort of tourists. It was declared a World Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO, it is an ecological zone of global importance.
It boasts a large number of beautiful options, such as Dominicus, recognized as a Blue Flag beach that extends along the coastal area, or Catalina Island, located in front, a wonderful option for a day by boat, beach and practice snorkeling
Bayahibe, on the other hand, is at the end of the largest beach in the area, and is presented as a quiet area where you can swim and sunbathe. It is also the gateway to Isla Saona, located in the Parque Nacional Del Este, the most visited natural attraction in the country.
The magnificent Eastern National Park is known worldwide for its crystal clear waters and white sandy beaches. The most popular area is Saona Island, where the Caribbean Sea sparkles in the sun and captures perfect Caribbean memories. In addition to being the main tourist attraction, the island is the most important area for laying sea turtle eggs throughout the country. During the breeding season, from March to November, the hawksbill turtles, which are in critical danger of extinction, like the green turtles and the tinglar, lay their eggs.
In its surface of 110 km² you will find semi-humid forests, shrubs and mangroves. In addition, in its coastal lagoons and large expanses of coral reefs enjoy a great diversity of marine life, birds and reptiles, a great place to snorkel.
At lunchtime, I recommend you try what fishermen offer in the area, they can surely offer you the best fish you’re going to try in the Dominican Republic.
Although the beaches and forests capture most of the photographs of the country and the attention of travelers, among the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic stands out one that has nothing to do with it. The capital of the country, Santo Domingo, still preserves the buildings that were part of the first city founded by Europeans in the Americas, the so-called Colonial City, which is the oldest part of Santo Domingo.
Strolling through its cobbled pedestrian streets, full of cafes, restaurants, bars and souvenir shops, you will find the Alcazar de Colón (residence of the viceroy Diego Colón, son of the discoverer), the Cathedral Primada de América (the oldest in America and consecrated to the Pope Julius II in 1504), the Casa del Cordón (the first two-story stone house built by Europeans in America and which housed great personalities, such as Francisco de Garay, governor of Jamaica), the Monastery of San Francisco (first monastery of the New World, built by the Franciscan order in 1508), the Ozama Fortress (first defensive construction of the Americas, completed in 1508) and the Puerta de la Misericordia, the first gateway to the city of Santo Domingo.
There are many more churches, convents, fortresses, stone houses and ancient buildings that housed official organisms of the Spaniards in the Americas. You can spend many hours touring this area, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Stroll through the Colonial City of Santo Domingo and let the power of the time machine absorb you in this great place.
* Punta Cana and Bávaro
Its white sand beaches and unparalleled sea makes it one of the most recognized places in the world. This area is an ecological wonder, home to pristine beaches, cliffs and tropical forests, as well as large hotels, an exclusive golf course and a bustling marina. Playa Bávaro is the most developed point in terms of hotel supply, as it is equipped with restaurants and shops that combine perfectly with 48 kilometers of coastline.
Macao, on the other hand, is ideal for surf lovers, you can take classes, especially on weekends. The beach is highly recommended and also eat at the food stand next to the surf school, they serve fish, lobster and other varieties with excellent prices and very rich.
Playa Blanca, a zone full of coral reefs that create a wide area of shallow waters and quiet, the best in full tourist development for snorkeling.
Juanillo beach is located further south of Playa Blanca about 27 kilometers from Playa Bávaro just south of the Marina, in Punta Palmera. It is a quiet beach less frequented by tourism, has white sand, towering palm trees and turquoise waters.
In this area I recommend you to stay at the spectacular Hotel Eden Roc, a unique and secluded property located in the exclusive beachfront community of Punta Cana, with 60 luxurious rooms ranging from boutique villas with their own private pools to elegantly designed front beach suites. In this place luxury and glamor are surrounded by lush vegetation to enjoy with family or friends.
*Peninsula of Samaná
Its beaches are charming, for its turquoise waters and fine sand. Playa Rincon, for example, is considered one of the ten best in the world. It is a huge bay where one of its sides has calm and calm waters, while the other side has constant waves ideal for bore waves. Another paradisiacal place is Cayo Levantado, famous for its exquisite typical cuisine, here it is possible to practice kayaking, have a meeting with sea lions and rent water sports equipment. Los Haitises National Park is just one of the many natural gems of the Samaná Peninsula.
Its beaches are as beautiful, or more, than those of the Punta Cana area, but, unlike these, those of Samaná are less exploited touristically. Horseback riding, diving, hiking and zip lines are some of the activities you can do in Samaná. However, if you manage to balance your trip between the months of December and March, you can attend one of the best natural spectacles to see in the Dominican Republic: the passage of humpback whales through the waters of the Bay of Samaná.