Dominican Republic Holidays Guide

The Caribbean

caribbean accommodation guide

The island of Hispaniola in the Caribbean is part of the Greater Antilles, and is shared by The Dominican Republic (DR), with two-thirds of the eastern side of the island, and Haiti, which occupies the western third. By both area and population the Dominican Republic is the second largest country in the Caribbean.It is here you will find the city ofSanto Domingo, the first permanent European settlement in the Americas, as well as the country's capital and Spain's first capital in the New World. Santo Domingo is significant for firsts in the Americas, including the first university, first cathedral, and first castle, the latter two in the Ciudad Colonial area, a UNESCOWorld Heritage Site.The Dominican Republic is itself a place of extremes… it is now the Caribbean's largest tourist destination,and the year-round golf and surfing are two of the top attractions.The mountainous region is the location of the Caribbean's highest mountain, Pico Duarte, and the Caribbean's largest lake and lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo. It is also famous for its whale watching -tens of thousands of marine lovers and eco-tourists flock to the small DR Municipality of Samaná between mid-January and mid-March, following the migration of the North Atlantic humpback whale

Dominican Republic Highlights

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Although a popular Caribbean destination, and despite the striking terrain, coral cliffs, beaches and old Spanish towns, and many tourists from around the world, the islands unspoiled natural beauty remains largely unexplored. They call the north coast of the DR the Amber coast, for the numerous amber fossils found there, and the southern coast the coconut coast, as it is the more tropical, well-known for its all-inclusive hotels and resorts and more than a million visitors annually.

You will find all sorts of facilities and activities to keep you occupied on either of the Dominical Republic's coasts: tennis, golf, spas and gyms, horseback riding, parasailing, kayaking and the usual other water sports (snorkeling, diving, surfing, etc.), plus a healthy choice of night clubs, restaurants, and lounges with live entertainment. Music and sport are important parts of Dominican culture; themerengue comes from here and is the national dance and song, and baseballis the favorite sport.It's also famous for its hassle-free holidays and hundreds of affordable all-inclusive resorts that dot much of the country's prime beachfront property, somehow without it looking congested and commercial. There are somewhere in the neighbourhood of 1,650 hotels, resorts, and villas, from low-budget to 5-star all-inclusives, some of which are among the finest in the world in areas like Punta Cana and Bavaro on the eastern corner of the island.

Dominican Republic Accommodation Guide

For those looking for calmer ways to spend the balmy days, fabulous architectural wonders abound here, including Alcazar de Colon which is the Columbus family palace; built by Christopher Columbus's son, Diego;the Catedral de Santa Maria La Menor, the first Cathedral built in the Americas and the most important building in DR; and the Basilica de Nuestra Senora de Altagracia,located in Higuey, a town that was governed by the famous Ponce-De-Leon between 1502-1508.The basilica contains a 16-century portrait of the Virgin of Altagracia, has the tallest carillon in the Americas, and is lauded by locals as being able to bring about miraculous cures.For a break from the Carib vibe, you can go up to the Península de Samaná, where the European feelis prevalent and you can find an excellent espresso.The winds of Cabarete in the north attract extreme surfers and other adrenaline junkies from around the world. And to just cool off for a while without the need for air conditioning,the beautiful mountain retreats of Jarabacoa and Constanzaare high enough where you'll need to pull on a jumper

Dominican Republic Holiday Tips
Dominican Republic Travel Info
AeropuertoInternacional El Catey, on the highway between Nagua and Sánchez, takes flights from San Juan, Puerto Rico and various cities in Europe. Two other airports – AeropuertoInternacional El Portilloandcharter-only AeropuertoInternacional Arroyo- also serve the peninsula. Domestic flights use the former, and whale-watching fans the latter. The Punta Cana International Airport in the southeast corner of the country accepts flights from European and North America countries. Cibao International Airport in Santiagomainly serves Dominicans who live in the United States, Cuba, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Puerto Rico and Panama.