Best Places to Visit in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic: you’ve in all probability heard of it, perhaps heard of the baseball gamers it has given Major League Baseball. Maybe even been there already, however it doesn’t matter what you realize (or don’t), the Dominican Republic is a spot with somebody for everybody from solo vacationers to those with households.

So whether or not you’re on the lookout for a calming seaside, an evening out in the metropolis, or kiteboarding in considered one of the finest locations on Earth, there are a lot of unbelievable locations to go to in the Dominican Republic.

Before we delve into what you are able to do in the Dominican Republic, you first want to know when is the finest time to go. The Dominican Republic is a tropical island, situated simply south of the Tropic of Cancer. This means the summers could be heat and brutally humid, whereas the winters dip down to the good, low-humidity temperatures for having fun with everything it has to supply.

See additionally: Tips for Travel to the Dominican Republic

The beach is one of the many incredible places to visit in the Dominican Republic.
The seaside is considered one of the many unbelievable locations to go to in the Dominican Republic.

When to go to the Dominican Republic

Summers (verano e infiernosummertime and hell) in the Dominican Republic usually are not as heat as you may count on, with averages reaching around 80-85˚ F (27-29˚ C), however, the humidity can attain as a lot as 90-100% making being open-air troublesome at instances.

However, it’s best to be aware that almost all locations to keep will supply air-con. As a nation in the Caribbean, the DR can be below Hurricane Watch from June-November and whereas it has been spared from giant hurricanes in current years, it’s one thing to have in mind in your journey planning.

All of that stated, the months of March – October are the off-season in the Dominican. However, costs of lodging and aircraft tickets drop off and it’s nonetheless a beautiful time to be in the nation!

Winters in the Dominican run from roughly November via March when humidity reaches way more manageable ranges, whereas temperatures stay in the low to mid-80s.

This is the splendid time to go to the Dominican, although be warned, it’s additionally “high” season when costs for lodging, aircraft tickets, and everything else peak. Yet, you’ll nonetheless have the opportunity to discover nice offers on locations to see and issues to do throughout the Dominican winter.

Getting around the Dominican Republic

Getting around the Dominican Republic is the finest achieved by automobiles. All the main automobile rental corporations are current in the DR and driving there, whereas intense, can typically be achieved with ease. When you’re driving in the Dominican, particularly in cities, you’ll want to concentrate on motos (individuals on motorbikes) as they’ll take over the roadways, particularly exterior Santo Domingo.

You may additionally have to have an eager eye out for potholes. Leave a significant roadway and potholes and may find yourself being the bane of your journey. There are pace limits, that are largely obeyed by different drivers as are cease lights and indicators. If you’re comfy driving usually, you’ll be loads comfy right here.

Best locations to go to in the Dominican Republic

Although there are a lot of extra locations to go to in the Dominican Republic, a few of them are extra “off the beaten path”, we’re focusing right here on a few of the locations in the Dominican Republic that could be higher identified, or simpler to entry thanks to having worldwide airports, and supplying you with some choices of issues to do exterior of the typical seaside trip most individuals have a tendency to consider the Dominican Republic for.

Let’s begin with Santo Domingo, the first metropolis of the Americas, for these of you who suppose you may see something “old” in this aspect of the world.

1. Santo Domingo

Getting to Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is simply second to Punta Cana in airline site visitors. Depending on the place you might be, it might be roughly simple to discover a direct, inexpensive flight, however, it’s definitely not unattainable. The airport code for Santo Domingo is SDQ.

Flights to Santo Domingo usually come from the following locations:

From North America

Many of the largest cities on the East Coast of the US, reminiscent of New York, Boston, Atlanta, and Washington, D.C. supply nonstop flights to Santo Domingo. To get to Santo Domingo from the West Coast, you’ll need a layover someplace in the East to hop down. The three largest US-based airways (Delta, American, United) all supply nonstop flights to Santo Domingo from the East Coast, in addition to a few of the main lower-cost airways (Spirit, JetBlue).

You may fly nonstop to Santo Domingo from Toronto, Canada, and Mexico City, via their flagship airways.

From Central and South America

There are day by day nonstop flights from Bogota, Colombia, and Panama City, Panama. Panama can be an important layover possibility in the event you’re flying from the West Coast because it’s solely a two-hour flight to Santo Domingo from there.

From Western Europe

You can fly nonstop to Santo Domingo from Madrid, Paris, and Frankfurt. From Europe, nevertheless, you will have a lot better supply of flights in the event you fly to Punta Cana as a substitute, which is a two and a half drive to Santo Domingo.

You may go to Santo Domingo as a part of a Caribbean cruise itinerary. Major cruise traces reminiscent of Carnival, Ponant, Norwegian Cruise Line, and Seaborn are stopping at the Santo Domingo Port in a few of their itineraries, which permits you, in most circumstances, not less than sufficient time to go to the Colonial City.

As the first metropolis in the Americas, the Colonial City is the crown jewel of Santo Domingo. If you solely do one factor in the metropolis, do that.

The Highlight of Santo Domingo: the Zona Colonial

Founded in 1496 by Bartholomew Columbus (Christopher Columbus’ brother), Santo Domingo was the founding capital of the Spanish Empire in the Americas. As such, it boasts a lot of “the firsts” of its sort in phrases of presidency buildings and infrastructure, together with the first fort, the first courthouse, the first hospital, and the first cathedral. The complete Colonial City was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1990.

Easily walkable regardless of the cobblestone streets, the Zona Colonial options remarkably preserved examples of Gothic and Renaissance structure, most notably current in the Catedral Primada de America.

Start your journey at the Colonial Zone at Plaza España, an open sq. going through the port, which provides you entry to landmarks reminiscent of the Alcazar de Colon (the Palace of Diego Columbus), and the Calle Las Damas, the place many of those “first of the Americas” buildings are. Give your self not less than a morning to discover and luxuriate in considered one of the a number of cafes or eating places unfold throughout the completely different streets of the Zone.

The Highlight of Santo Domingo: the Zona Colonial in Dominican Republic
The Highlight of Santo Domingo: the Zona Colonial

A Seasonal Highlight: Winter Baseball

While many, if not most, individuals don’t go to the Dominican Republic to watch baseball, it’s considered one of the most enjoyable actions you are able to do whereas visiting. Baseball is the nation’s nationwide sport, one thing evident by the giant variety of Dominican gamers that find themselves taking part professionally.

Running from late October to mid-January, the video games are held in venues around the nation. Tickets are extraordinarily inexpensive and also you’ll have the probability to see some huge names from the MLB come down and play winter baseball in addition to glimpse future up and coming stars.

Unlike video games in the US, baseball video games listed below are a bit wild with an enormous array of drinks and cheerleaders. That’s proper, cheerleaders! All in all, Dominican video games are a spotlight when visiting the nation and in the event, you get the alternative, it’s one it’s best to take. Weekday video games are often in the night and weekend video games begin in the late afternoon.

2. Punta Cana

If you might be conversant in the Dominican Republic or have been earlier than, chances are high you visited Punta Cana or that got here up as a possibility in your trip. And whereas Punta Cana is the prime vacation spot for resort holidays in the Dominican Republic, there’s extra to it.

Getting to Punta Cana

Punta Cana is well the Dominican’s high vacation spot. With the island’s busiest airport (and 2nd busiest in the whole Caribbean), getting there maybe not be troublesome. Punta Cana has year-round flights from everywhere in the Western Hemisphere; you may want to arrive from both Japan North America, South America, or Europe. With a brand new freeway constructed, Punta Cana can be solely a brief 2.5-hour drive from the capital – Santo Domingo do you have to select to lease an automobile.

What to do in Punta Cana

Punta Cana is the Dominican’s high vacation spot, boasting a lot of the finest actions and lodging on the whole island and probably in the whole Caribbean. Punta Cana boasts all-inclusive resorts in addition to themed resorts, reminiscent of the Nickelodeon Resort, the place everything, from the rooms to the eating places and rides, is themed after a few of Nickelodeon’s hottest exhibits.

You may even keep in a SpongeBob SquarePants-themed pineapple suite, which is a townhouse formed like a pineapple on the exterior. Or the Hard Rock Hotel, which hosts a few of the high live shows and exhibits in the nation, together with the world-famous Cirque du Soleil in current years.

Punta Cana additionally boasts pristine, intensive seashores for each seaside style. Here are some examples: 

  • Macao Beach is the most well-liked vacation spot for those on the lookout for journeys in Punta Cana, with its buggy rides and surf-friendly waves.
  • Juanillo Beach in Cap Cana, a postcard-perfect seaside of white sand sprinkled with palm timber, is ideal for swimming and water sports activities like kayaking and Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP), in addition to lounging below good blue, breezy skies.
  • Cabeza de Toro is a seaside space northeast of Punta Cana the place you may exit fishing and snorkeling. This space of the nation typically sees aggressive fishing tournaments, so fishing is a few of the finest you are able to do. You can guide a fishing, snorkeling, or cruising tour via most resorts.

Last but not least, the Ojos Indigenas Reserve in Punta Cana is a welcome respite from the beach-heavy setting Punta Cana can deliver throughout instances. The Ojos Indigenas Reserve consists of 12 freshwater lagoons on 1500 acres of land. The reserve consists of species endemic to the Dominican Republic and intends to protect the pure habitat of the space because it was skilled by the Taino individuals, the indigenous inhabitants of the island.

Aerial view from the aircraft over Punta Cana, Dominican Republic –

3. Dominican Republic’s North Coast

Next, let’s speak about the authentic vacationer vacation spot of the Dominican Republic: the North Coast. The north coast is house to a lot of the hottest locations to go to in the Dominican Republic.

Getting to the Dominican Republic’s north coast

The North Coast of the Dominican Republic provides a beautiful reprieve from the resorts of Punta Cana and the enterprise of Santo Domingo.  Getting there may be as simple as flying into Puerto Plata’s Gregorio Luperón Airport with quite a few seasonal flights from the Japanese US, Europe, and Canada in addition to a number of 12 months-spherical flights from the US East Coast and Canada. Puerto Plata is a few 10-minute drives from the airport, whereas Cabarete is a few 20-minute drive.

Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata is the Dominican Republic’s largest metropolis in the north, with inhabitants of around 330,000. Founded in 1502, Puerto Plata provides a complete host of websites to see and do. You can go to Fort San Felipe (accomplished in 1577) as the fundamental colonial remnant on the North Coast of the DR.

You may take a cable automobile up Mount Pico Isabel de Torres to see a smaller Christ the Redeemer Statue than Rio, however a taller mountain and take in resplendent views of the metropolis and ocean. If you might be there from the finish of February to early March, it’s also possible to take pleasure in Carnivál in Puerto Plata when Dominicans exit and rejoice with masks, parades, and way more.

The top attraction on Dominican Republic’s north coast: The 27 Waterfalls

One of the fundamental points of interest in the space, nevertheless, is the Damajagua Falls or 27 Waterfalls (Veintisiete Charcos), however, hold in thought you’ll want to be 12 or older. If visiting in the winter when water ranges are greater, you may go to this glorious pure surprise and luxuriate in real expertise.

You’ll have a guided tour and two choices to make your method up. You hike (faster and simpler) or swim and climb up via deep, beautiful caverns. You can go up to the first stage (7 waterfalls), 2nd stage (12 waterfalls), or the third and most troublesome stage, all 27 waterfalls, however, be warned it’s a troublesome swim up.

Upon reaching your vacation spot, you’ll have the opportunity to leap and slide your method again down with a fall touchdown from 5 toes up to round 15-20 foot jumps. If you’re prepared and in a position, the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua could be considered one of the highlights of your journey!

When planning, you’ll discover a host of lodging for everybody from boutique resorts to all-inclusive resorts. Options inside the metropolis can be found for those on the lookout for an extra low-key, genuine Dominican keep, however all-inclusive resorts around the metropolis and surrounding space. If you’re unfamiliar, all-inclusive cost by a particular person (not room) and embrace room, meals, and drink. We suggest doing all your analysis as a few of the all-inclusive have seen higher days.

4. Cabarete

A brief drive from Puerto Plata and about 20 minutes from the airport, you will discover yourself in Cabarete, a thriving seaside city the place many younger individuals and snowbirds alike find yourself. Cabarete is considered one of the high kiteboarding places in the world and simply west of the city (1-2 miles), you’ll discover lots of surfers in the winter months.

Cabarete has many nice meal choices together with a complete slew of great seaside bars. There are fewer resorts obtainable right here, however loads of wonderful choices in the city and subsequent to the seaside. Many locations obtainable to keep have full kitchens obtainable as effectively and the grocery retailer is stocked effectively sufficient to fulfill all vacationers.

Cabarete can be considered one of, if not the, finest spot on the island to discover giant sweets for boogie boarding and browsing. Like all over the place else in the Dominican Republic, Cabarete has one thing for everybody: seashores, doors actions, and nice foods and drinks.

Kite surfing in Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Kite browsing in Cabarete, Dominican Republic

5. Samaná Peninsula

Continuing on the Atlantic coast, Samana is a particular change of tempo from what we see in the largest resort locations in the Dominican Republic.

Getting to Samaná Peninsula

While considered one of the most stunning components of the Dominican Republic, it can be considered one of the tougher to arrive at Samaná does have an airport with a number of 12 months-spherical flights (all from Canada – Toronto & Montreal and Europe – Madrid) with seasonal flights from these identical locations, however Miami in the US. As such, many vacationers lease an automobile and drive. From Santo Domingo, it’s a 2.5-hour drive on simple going roads. There are a number of tolls alongside the method, however, the various route shouldn’t be price avoiding these prices as the roads are far worse and it takes far longer.

Las Terrenas

Las Terrenas is one of the fundamental locations you’ll need to go to on the Samaná Peninsula. With inhabitants hovering around 15,000, it has turned into a go-to spot for ex-pats, particularly from France, on the lookout for an extra relaxed lifestyle. Despite its measurement, nevertheless, Las Terrenas has loads to supply for everybody!

Like many locations to go in the Dominican Republic, Las Terrenas is surrounded by stunning seashores. If you’re staying in the metropolis, the seashores are only a brief stroll away. Playa Las Terrenas and Punta Pops are proper there and supply loads of shade with crystal clear blue waters. Unlike different locations in the Dominican Republic, the seashores listed below are going to be far much less crowded as Las Terrenas offers a quieter time (although nonetheless with an important nightlife, extra on that later!).

If you’re staying exterior the metropolis, the seashores usually are not almost as huge, however, are much more peaceable with loads of locations to loosen up and luxuriate in the heat waters, whether or not it’s Playa Carolina Portillo to the east or Playa Bonita to the west. Playa Cosón, a brief drive additional east from Playa Bonita, provides large swaths of beautiful golden sand seashores, with towering palms. It can be as remoted a seaside as chances are you’ll ever discover.

Las Terrenas in Dominican Republic
Las Terrenas in Dominican Republic

While Las Terrenas shouldn’t be as energetic as saying Cabarete or Punta Cana, it nonetheless provides a thrilling nightlife. A row of eating places and bars alongside the waterfront in downtown Las Terrenas provides a slew of locations to go for households and singles alike. As with the seashores, simply exterior the metropolis to the East and West, many small bars and eating places additionally exist, many as a part of resorts for those on the lookout for a quieter evening out.

Final ideas

This is, not at all, exhaustive journey information on the Dominican Republic. Hopefully, it offers you some concepts in your subsequent trip. Thanks to its pure magnificence and wealthy historical past, the Dominican Republic is the main Caribbean vacation spot for all vacationers. Ready to go?


We are the NomadicGregors! A pair of worldwide academics who dwell and work overseas! Our purpose is to share our experiences, images, ideas for the journey, and recommendations/insights on being a world educator – the good and the dangerous (it’s largely good!).


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