The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular vacation spots in the Caribbean. Whether you're looking for a relaxing beach getaway, a night out in the city or an adventurous adventure, there's something here for everyone!
The best time to visit the Dominican Republic is during the dry season. It's still warm but the humidity is a lot less extreme.
1. Santo Domingo
If you're planning to visit the Dominican Republic, don't miss Santo Domingo, a city of superlatives. It's home to the first church (Catedral Primada de America), the first stronghold (Fortaleza Ozama) and the oldest street in the Americas, which you can stroll along while you soak up the city's colonial history.
Another of the best places to visit in Santo Domingo is the National Botanical Gardens, which are considered to be among the world's finest. This 400-acre garden offers beautiful views of the city below, as well as a chance to see a huge range of tropical plants and birds.
While visiting Santo Domingo, you should take the time to visit the various museums that focus on the history of the Dominican Republic and its culture. While some of these museums are free, others may cost money to enter, so check before you go!
Bayahibe was once a small fishing village, now it’s becoming a popular stopover for tourists who enjoy a sun and water adventure. This charming enclave is a paradise for snorkeling, diving and swimming.
Its pristine beaches and untouched natural beauty make this the perfect spot for an unforgettable holiday. You can choose between a variety of resorts and hotels.
You can also book an excursion to see the Eastern National Park. This park is home to 112 different bird species.
This is a perfect place to relax and unwind, with plenty of trees and shade to spend the day without feeling exposed to the strong Caribbean sun. Its pristine beach is perfect for off-the-beach snorkeling, with lots of corals and other marine life to explore.
In addition to its countless water sports and activities, Bayahibe has some great restaurants to dine in. You can try delicious local cuisine or international dishes.
Jarabacoa is the second largest city in La Vega province and has plenty of things to do for all kinds of travelers. It’s a great base for hiking, mountain biking, river rafting and more.
The most famous activity here is paragliding, which you can do with a professional pilot who will take you up the skies above the valleys. You can also try canyoning, which is a popular activity in the area near the Baiguate and Salto de Jimenoa waterfalls.
Another adventure that’s worth considering is a hike to the summit of El Mogote, a beautiful 1163-metre (3432-foot) mountain that’s just an hour’s drive from the town. Hiking to the top is a strenuous but rewarding experience, and you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the surrounding green mountains and valleys.
For something a little more relaxed, you can visit one of the many restaurants in town or stay at a nearby hotel. The Parador Corazon de Jesus, for example, is a popular spot that attracts locals and travelers alike, especially meat lovers.
4. Las Terrenas
Las Terrenas is a beautiful beach town on the Samana Peninsula. It has a unique charm with pretty landscapes and white sand beaches. It’s popular with tourists and Santo Domingo residents since it’s only a two-hour drive from the capital.
The town was once a fishing village but has grown into a well-developed tourist destination known for its pretty landscapes, stunning beaches and clear ocean water. There are plenty of activities to do, including swimming with dolphins and whale watching.
Besides the beautiful beaches, Las Terrenas has plenty of restaurants that serve delicious local cuisine. There are options for fine dining, fresh Italian dishes and fusion cooking.
If you’re looking for more adventure, there are hiking and waterfall tours to choose from. You can also take a day trip to Los Haitises National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Salto del Limon waterfall is another must-see. It’s a gorgeous 130-foot (40-meter) waterfall that flows into a small pool of natural waters, making it a great place to swim.