Dominican Republic Vacations
Located just two hours south of Miami, the Dominican Republic feels worlds away. Surrounded by translucent turquoise seas and covered with lush mountains and rainforests, this second-largest Caribbean country offers almost 1,000 miles of tropical coastline.
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Considered the No. 1 destination for golf in the Caribbean and Latin America, the country boasts 25 top courses. Offering plush accommodations and romantic scenery resorts in the Dominican Republic are the perfect choice for destination for weddings and honeymoons.
Discovered by Christopher Columbus, the nation shares the Island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The capital city, Santo Domingo, is the oldest in the New World. Its Colonial City, with its charming cobblestone streets and historic stone architecture, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The country’s official language is Spanish.
Play a round of golf in La Romana on the east coast or explore its recreated 16th-century Mediterranean village of Altos de Chavón. Visit La Costa del Coco, or the Coconut Coast, of Punta Cana on the country’s easternmost tip for ziplining, sailing, windsurfing, kayaking or simply lounging on one of their long stretches of sand and watching the world go by.
What To Do
Take a safari tour in Punta Cana to a 200,000-acre sugar cane plantation and learn how local chocolate, coffee, and cigars are made.
Horseback-ride through lush mountains and visit the area’s sugary-sand beaches. Drive an ATV through crystal-clear lagoons and visit one of the Caribbean’s most pristine ecological reserves, the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve.
Navigate a speedboat through azure blue waters in Punta Cana and amid palms in Bavaro. Zipline through the rainforest or experience the Dominican Republic’s rugged outback via Jeep.
Snorkel or dive amid a multi-colored coral reef as schools of tropical fish float past. Sail to nearby Sanoa Island. Ride a catamaran to a protected natural pool for starfish viewing amid clear turquoise seas and get away completely.
See more of the incredible activities that await you in the Dominican Republic.
What To See
Several museums showcase the diverse heritage and artistic talents of the Dominican people. The Museo Bellapart in Santo Domingo houses a vast collection of renowned 19th and 20th-century Dominican artists, many of whom fled Franco in Spain.
Visit the Museo Alcázar de Colón, a museum built in the Gothic-Mudéjar transitional style, and the former residence of Columbus’ son, Diego, and his wife, Doña María de Toledo, in the early 16th century.
View the impressive El Limón Waterfall, one of the country’s highest, surrounded by lush rainforests.
There’s plenty of shopping throughout the Dominican Republic in cities such as Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, where you’ll find leather goods, authentic arts and crafts and designer fashions.
Visit the Blue Malls in Santo Domingo and Punta Cana, with their upscale, international stores. Shop at Palma Real Shopping Village, located in Bàvaro, next to Punta Cana, for name-brand clothing and local goods.
You’ll find plenty of ways to party into the night during your festive Dominican Republic vacation. Start off with a local rum drink called the “Cuba Libra,” meaning “Free Cuba.” In Punta Cana, you can even party in a cave at Mangu.
If you’re visiting the Dominican Republic during February, enjoy the pre-Lent, countrywide celebration of Carnival every Sunday of that month.
Dominican Republic with Kids
Explore the vast sea life surrounding the coral reefs with pirates! Kids love interacting with these legendary figures onboard the Hispañola.
Enjoy friendly families of indigenous squirrel monkeys as descend from their homes in their trees to greet lucky guests at Monkeyland. Visit the lovely botanical gardens nearby.
Off the Beaten Path
Walk in the footsteps of the first Spanish conquistadors in Santa Domingo’s Calle de las Damas, and discover the area’s charming cafes and shops housed in colonial-era buildings.
View sugarcane fields and mango trees as you explore the more rural side of the Dominican Republic on a three-hour drive west of Punta Cana to Los Haitises National Park.
Go spelunking in Fun Fun (pronounced “Foon Foon”), the largest cave in the Caribbean, for a memorable excursion.
Food and Drink
One of the region’s best-loved dishes is Mangú, made with mashed plantains, usually served with eggs, fried Dominican salami and delicious queso frito (fried cheese).
Another local dish is sancocho, considered the national soup or stew, made with longaniza, a type of pork, and rice, beans and other meat, such as chicken. The dish is prepared in various ways throughout the Caribbean, Canary Islands and Latin America.
Empanadas, tostones, re-fried plantains are usually served as side dishes, and flan is a popular dessert.
All-inclusive resorts, offering an attractive vacation option in the Dominican Republic, offer vast selections in both local specialties and global cuisine.