Time and again, the Dominican Republic lures people in with its pristine powder-soft sand, swaying palm trees and glistening turquoise waters.
If postcard-perfect beaches are what your dream holidays are made of, head to Punta Cana, the Coconut Coast. This eastern province is known for its 20 miles of breathtaking white sandy beaches and crystal-clear waters. Bávaro Beach and Playa Blanca are two of the best beaches on the island, while Macao Beach is UNESCO listed and a great spot for surfing.
No holiday to the Dominican Republic is complete without visiting its capital, Santo Domingo. Most of the city was built in the 16th century, so it’s the oldest European city in the Caribbean. Head to Zona Colonial (colonial zone) and wander its pretty cobbled streets, admiring the distinctly Spanish architecture. You can also visit the Caribbean’s first cathedral, Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor; delight in the splendour of a magnificent fortified palace, the Alcázar de Colón; and stand by the ruins of the San Francisco monastery, which was ransacked by Sir Francis Drake. History buffs will delight in seeing the statue of Christopher Columbus pointing north in Columbus Park. Alternatively, try a Segway tour of the Zona Colonial for a fun and informative way to see this beautiful city.
Explore the wilder side of the Dominican Republic
Besides the breathtaking beaches and historic Spanish capital, the Dominican Republic is also home to deserts, mountains and dense rainforests. Put The Three Eyes National Park top of your holiday must-see list. Here, you can explore the expansive open-air caves with their spectacular mythical looking aqua-blue lakes.
Another natural wonder not to be missed on your Dominican Republic holiday is the Damajaqua Cascades (also known as the 27 Waterfalls) in the hills of the Northern Corridor mountain range. Take a tour and explore the cascading waterfalls, canyons and bright azure pools. You can even trek to the top of the 27th waterfall with a local guide and then jump, swim and slide your way back down.
Why not pair your adventurous holiday to the Dominican Republic with the fast-paced fun of a city like New York or Toronto? Whatever you’re looking for, call us today and our Destination Specialists can help you plan your dream holiday.
Great sample itineraries
Our Destination Specialists can create a bespoke holiday in the Dominican Republic, tailored to include your dream tours, visits and must-sees. Almost anything is possible, so please call to discuss all your options.
Our favorite hotels
Here are some of our favourite all-inclusive hotels and luxury retreats in the Dominican Republic. If you can’t see something you like, please call us to chat to our Destination Specialists who will be more than happy to help.
Casa de Campo Resort & Villas
Secrets Cap Cana Resort and Spa
Excellence El Carmen
Explore Dominican Republic
This mountainous country occupies the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola and is one of the most bio-diverse places in the Caribbean. For you, that means remarkable diving opportunities, superb bird-watching and wondrous whale-watching opportunities off its breathtaking coast. There are plenty of opportunities to relax too. After all, you’re in the Caribbean - this island promises almost 800 miles of sugar-white sand.
When you visit the Dominican Republic you may not think of a city and beach holiday combination. If you are visiting, a few nights in Santo Domingo is a must - it's a thriving cosmopolitan with gleaming skyscrapers, shopping malls neighbouring 15th century cathedrals, fortresses and plazas. Recognised for its heritage, we recommend spending a few nights in this fascinating city exploring before heading to the beach resorts of Punta Cana or Playa Bayahibe for a relaxing end to your trip.
Explore Dominican's natural beauty
The Dominican Republic is known for its stunning white sand coastline, however it is also home to a wide selection of natural beauty that is just waiting to be explored. From the mountains in the east, the humpback whales that migrate pass, to tiny islands dotted along its coastline - there is so much to see and do across this vast country.
Take a day trip to an island that is postcard perfect, board a catamaran and depart from Playa Bayahibe and head across the waters. As you approach you will see the inviting white sands and towering palm trees. A trip here is a day of relaxation, enjoy a massage on the beach, a cocktail that comes inside a pineapple or swim in the crystal blue waters. Part of the protected East National Park, it is government protected ensuring this stunning island is protected for generations to come.
Taste the Cuisine
Like all islands in the Caribbean, the Dominicans are passionate about their food. If you are in downtown Punta Cana, Bavaro or Santo Domingo, venture into a family-owned and run restaurant and try one of their signature dishes such as la banderaa. The cobbled streets of Santo Domingo are home to some of the best restaurants in the country, take a stroll and see if you can make the difficult decision of which restaurant to eat in - there are so many great ones to choose from.
Best time to visit Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic’s tropical climate means that it is warm and sunny all year round, with average temperatures of 26°C to 28°C. The high season falls between December to April, when there is the least amount of rainfall. The hurricane season runs from June to November, peaking in September.
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“Santo Domingo is a fantastic city, rich in history and culture, which is waiting to be explored. Our two-day Discover Santo Domingo tour showcases the best this city has to offer."
“The Dominican Republic is the Caribbean’s most popular holiday destination for whale spotting. Thousands of humpback whales migrate to Samaná Bay on the north-east coast every year. The best chance of spotting them is during the breeding season which runs from January to March. If you're quite active, hiking to the summit of Pico Duarte on holiday in the Dominican Republic is an amazing adventure, not only for the breathtaking mountaintop views, but also because of the physical challenge. Reaching the summit, knowing you’re standing atop the highest peak in the Caribbean, makes it all the more satisfying."
“On holiday in the Dominican Republic make a visit to the delightful Altos de Chavón in La Romana. Its narrow cobbled alleyways lined with lanterns and window shutters is actually a replica medieval Mediterranean village perched high above the Chavón River. Pop in to see the St Stanislaus Church with its plaza and sparkling fountain and admire the 5,000 seat Roman-style amphitheatre which has hosted music acts like the Pet Shop Boys and Frank Sinatra!"
Events & Festivals
The Dominican Republic offers a selection of fun events throughout the year and you can plan your holiday to ensure you experience them! Here are a few of our favourites:
National Coconut Festival
The Dominican Republic is one of the world’s largest exporters of dried coconuts, so it’s only fitting that the island should have a festival to celebrate the fruit. The National Coconut Festival celebrates the gastronomical, economical and environmental qualities of the coconut. Every November you can join in the celebrations. There are stands filled with coconut-themed products, coconut art and crafts, tasty coconut-based cuisine as well as fun beach activities.
Santo Domingo De Fiesta
Every Friday and Saturday you can enjoy a free outdoor show with Dominican folk dancers at the Plaza de Espana in Santo Domingo. In December, the event will be held in different locations throughout the city due to the Christmas festivities.
Cabarete Kite Festival
Cabarete is a small town on the north coast of the island. It has become a hotspot for kitesurfing drawing professionals and beginners alike to its shores. Celebrating watersports and the ocean, this week-long annual festival is filled with kitesurfing, surf sessions and sunset music on the beach. A highlight of this July festival is seeing some of the world’s best kiteboarders compete.
The Dominican Republic’s food is largely inspired by its Spanish heritage, but other countries such as Africa as well as the indigenous Taíno people have also strongly influenced its cuisine. Here are a few of our favourite dishes to try on holiday in the Dominican Republic:
This is a very rich and thick meaty stew made from seven different types of meat and mixed with root vegetables and plantain. Its flavour is unlike anything you’ve ever tried before!
Chicken is a popular meat in the Dominican Republic and Pollo Guisado is tender fall-off-the-bone chicken served in a strong delicious sauce. The chicken’s tenderness is a result of braising - where the meat is lightly fried and then stewed over a low heat.
These are made from twice-fried flattened plantains slices and usually served as a side dish to meat and fish dishes.
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