Things To Do In Dominican Republic

A Friendly Guide to the Dominican Republic: Your Gateway to Caribbean Bliss!

If you’ve chosen the Dominican Republic as your next travel destination, let me give you a virtual high-five! The Dominican Republic, or DR for short, is a treasure trove of natural beauty, historic charm, and vibrant culture. Whether you’re a beach bum, an adventurer, or a history buff, the DR has got something for you. Here’s my guide to making the most of your trip to this Caribbean gem.

Before You Go

Make sure your passport is up to date, and check for any travel advisories or entry requirements. The local currency is the Dominican Peso, but US dollars are widely accepted. It’s always good to have a mix of both. Don’t forget to pack your swimsuit, sunscreen, and a sense of adventure!

1. Explore the Beaches

a) Punta Cana

You can’t talk about the Dominican Republic without mentioning its stunning beaches. Punta Cana is the poster child for Caribbean beach vacations. The area is lined with all-inclusive resorts and has miles of pristine beaches. Bavaro Beach and Macao Beach are the top picks here. Don’t forget to sip on a piña colada while you’re at it!

b) Playa Rincon

If you prefer a more secluded experience, head to Playa Rincon on the Samana Peninsula. With its lush green surroundings and serene atmosphere, it’s perfect for a romantic getaway or just some alone time with nature.

2. Dive into Water Adventures

a) Kite Surfing in Cabarete

Are you an adrenaline junkie? Cabarete, a small beach town on the north coast, is known as the kiteboarding capital of the world. The winds here are perfect for both beginners and pros. Grab your board and let’s catch some air!

b) Humpback Whale Watching in Samana Bay

From January to March, Samana Bay becomes a haven for humpback whales. Taking a boat tour to watch these majestic creatures up close is an experience you don’t want to miss.

3. Revel in Dominican History

a) Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo

The Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo, the capital city, is the historic heart of the DR. Wander through the cobblestone streets, visit the oldest cathedral in the Americas, and soak up the rich history. Also, try “mofongo” – a delicious traditional dish made with mashed plantains.

b) La Isabela

History buffs should visit La Isabela, which is Christopher Columbus’s first settlement in the New World. Located in Puerto Plata province, this site gives you a glimpse into the early days of European settlement in the Americas.

4. Connect with Nature

a) Los Haitises National Park

This national park is an ecological wonder, with mangroves, caves, and a wide variety of bird species. Take a boat tour through the park and explore the ancient caves with Taino Indian drawings. Bring your binoculars for bird-watching!

b) Pico Duarte

For mountain enthusiasts, a trek to Pico Duarte, the tallest peak in the Caribbean, is a must. The trek is challenging but the views at the top are breathtaking. Ensure you’re physically prepared and hire a local guide for a safe and informed experience.

5. Engage in Dominican Culture

a) Enjoy Merengue and Bachata

When in the Dominican Republic, dance! The DR is the birthplace of Merengue and Bachata. Take a dance class or just join the locals at a club or bar. The infectious rhythms are bound to get your feet moving!

b) Carnaval Celebrations

If your trip coincides with February, don’t miss the Carnaval celebrations. Every city has its parade and parties. The most famous one is in La Vega. Wear colorful outfits and join the locals in celebrating their heritage with music, dance, and vibrant costumes.

6. Savor Dominican Cuisine

a) La Bandera Dominicana

‘La Bandera’ (The Flag) is a traditional Dominican dish comprising rice, beans, and meat, usually served with a side of salad or fried plantains. Simple but incredibly tasty, this meal is a staple in Dominican households.

b) Dominican Coffee and Cocoa

Love coffee? The Dominican Republic is known for its rich, aromatic coffee. Visit a coffee plantation in the mountains and see the process firsthand. Don’t forget to sample some Dominican cocoa while you’re at it. Bring back coffee beans and cocoa as souvenirs for your friends and family!

7. Go on a Shopping Spree

a) Mercado Modelo

Located in Santo Domingo, Mercado Modelo is the place to go for souvenirs. From local art and handicrafts to jewelry made of amber and larimar (a semi-precious stone found only in the DR), this market has it all. Remember to haggle!

b) BlueMall Punta Cana

For a more upscale shopping experience, head to BlueMall in Punta Cana. This mall offers a mix of international and local brands, as well as dining options when you need to refuel.

8. Wind Down with Dominican Spirits

a) Rum Tasting

The Dominican Republic is famous for its rum. Take a tour of a rum distillery, learn about the rum-making process, and enjoy a tasting session. Brugal, Barceló, and Bermúdez are some of the famous Dominican rum brands.

b) Mama Juana

Mama Juana is a traditional Dominican drink made by mixing rum, red wine, honey, and herbs. It’s considered to be a potent concoction, so sip it slowly and savor the flavors!

Final Words

So, there you have it – an extensive guide to immerse yourself in the wonders of the Dominican Republic. Just writing this makes me want to pack my bags and go! Remember to be respectful of the local culture and environment, and I guarantee the warmth of the Dominican people will make this trip an unforgettable one.