Caribbean Travel Guide: Dominican Republic

Caribbean Travel Guide: Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is referred to as the land of contrasts, and not without a reason. The physical settings here range from one extreme of the rainbow to the other, and so do the cultures. Santo Domingo in DR, or the Dominican Republic, is a melting port of several cultural spices and gives New Yorkers a whiff of their homeland with its multi-faceted lifestyles. The Dominican Republic is one outstanding Caribbean pearl and a tourism magnet for the region.

As with most Caribbean islands and cities, beaches and water bodies are at the heart of the geography of Dominican Republic. In fact, real estate has progressed appreciably in the recent past, and at the centre of attention have been the sprawling facilities of lodging that have erupted along the beach sides. These resorts are fully loaded with all imaginable contemporary facilities and amenities. The good part about this real estate boom is that it has not translated into congestion on the island and not resulted in any cluttering, helping the island retain its historic charm and yet managing to provide all luxuries sought by tourists.

Dominican Republic is a lot more than vast white sandy beaches. There are several small villages that you can head on to and enjoy days up close and personal with the real Dominican culture. Drive along the expansive sugar plantations that carpet the island and unearth some hidden tourism wonder on your own, and there are ample chances that you’ll find one! The mountains of Jarabacoa and Constanza provide for an almost anti Caribbean rendezvous with weather as the gentle sunshine gives way to some chilling winds. Mount Isabela de Torres in close vicinity of the Puerto Plata offers overwhelming sights of the ocean and a perfect place to relax and get in ouch with the inner self in the soul stirring silence. In stark contrast, Cabarete on the North Coast is an irresistible offer to adventure lovers from the world over. And if the rushes of Adrenalin become too intimidating, you can relax in the PenĂ­nsula de SamanĂ¡ amidst the unmistakable European influences.

If you have your pockets loaded, waste no time in fixing up a visit to Casa de Campo, your one stop shop for everything related to adventure and entertainment. Ride horses, enjoy a game or two of tennis, catch some fish and relax while you try your hands at golf in this all inclusive resort. And if your visit happens to be planed in the October TO January season, you can be rest assured that you will have a superb time at the local bars that are set afire with the cheers and hollers of baseball freak locals. The Columbus Lighthouse houses the remains of arguably the world’s greatest explorer in Christopher Columbus. Exercise no restraint in sight seeing on this wonderful island, and accompany your evenings with a generous helping of the cuba libre servicio. Dominican Republic is all about letting the dynamic environment take over and immerse oneself in the ecstasy.

Hotel & Resorts

Hotels Dominican Republic

Accommodation in Dominican Republic is never a problem because of the fact that the region is a tourism hub and the industry has flourished like anything in the past decade or so. As a consequence, a huge number of great hotels and resorts have been opened in Dominican Republic where tourists from all corners of the world find a menu of interesting services that add a different life to their tours to the Caribbean. With comfortable accommodation, these hotels and resorts also offer a range of activities and amenities to their guests. This article lets you explore a few options before you actually hit the scintillating Dominican Republic and book rooms with a renowned hotel or resort.

Being a tourism hub and a popular getaway among the tourists to the Caribbean its own rights, Dominican Republic is home to some of the region’s most luxurious and beautiful resorts and hotels. It is almost inconsiderate to leave out some of these from the Toppers lists. This article introduces you to some such propositions.

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Casa Veintiuno, Sosua

Casa Veintiuno, Sosua

If you want home like comfort in the exotic locales of Dominican Republic, think no more and pack your bags for the relaxed luxury of Casa Veintiuno where everything is done for you with a personal touch. Order your meals custom prepared to your tastes and preferences and live like the owner of the place in the comfortable rooms. Casa Veintiuno is one great accommodation option in Dominican Republic.

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Tortuga Bay, Punta Cana

Hotel Tortuga Bay, Punta Cana

With rooms fully loaded with all modern amenities, bathrooms housing Jacuzzis, and sights that will leave you mesmerized just past the windows, there is hardly any more that one can ask for from a hotel. Tortuga Bay in Punta Cana comes good on all these and emerges as a simply irresistible accommodation facility for you on your vacation to Dominican Republic.

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Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel, Punta Cana

Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel, Punta Cana

You get a dash of Caribbean traditions in your stay at Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel in Punta Cana. Local craftsmen have toiled hard to create a special decor for the hotel. The staff is a mix of enthusiastic hotel management graduates and veteran hotel service experts, so you can be sure that your whims and fancies will be attended to.

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Velero Beach Resort, Cabarete

Velero Beach Resort, Cabarete

 

For uncompromising and luxury seeking visitors, the Velero Beach Resort comes up with exclusive facilities and super comfort rich living. Funky bars and cool boutiques close to the hotel will keep you engaged throughout your stay, and the beach that lies a minute’s walk away is also a magnetic influence on you. You are definitely going to fall in love with the atmosphere at Velero Beach Resort.

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Albachiara Hotel, Las Terrenas

Albachiara Hotel, Las Terrenas

Head over to Albachiara Hotel for a hassle free, comfortable and fulfilling stay in Dominican Republic. You are served free breakfast throughout your stay. The elegance and cleanliness of the hotel makes a strong case with even the most demanding of visitors. The staff is dedicated to ensuring your satisfaction.

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Casa Colonial Beach & Spa, Puerto Plata

Casa Colonial Beach & Spa, Puerto Plata

 

Here’s another great place to live in if you happen to be touring Dominican Republic. Great dining is just a small part of the menu of activities and indulgences that await you in the hotel. The beach activities that await you nearby are world class, and frequent features of local and international travel magazines. The hotel also excels in its interior decor.

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Balcones del Atlantico, A RockResort, Las Terrenas

Balcones del Atlantico, A RockResort, Las Terrenas

You’ll find it hard to get away from the magnetic swim-up bar of Balcones del Atlantico. 2 outdoor swimming pools add to the activities that you can indulge in at the resort. The rooms are comfortable, as you’d expect from a resort of this repute. You can have breakfast, lunch and dinner at the restaurant here. The facilities provided are worthy of your attention.

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Hotel Alisei, Las Terrenas

Hotel Alisei, Las Terrenas

In-house swimming pool with bar to keep you engrossed, and great sights of nature all around to keep you in the holiday mood; there is hardly anything amiss in Hotel Alisei. The rooms so well furnished and tastefully designed, thus ensuring that you’ll not face any hassles during your stay here. This is an ideal retreat for you if you happen to be looking for a hotel that lets yo enjoy the natural beauty of Dominican Republic without much noise.

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Casa Coson, Las Terrenas

Casa Coson, Las Terrenas
Casa Coson, Las Terrenas

This wonderful red and white building hosts several delighted guests every year in the El Prado District. The rooms are spacious and come with impressive furnishing. The guest house also gives you free Wi-Fi connectivity and parking space, two facilities that take the accommodation facility to a different league. Guests have room service and breakfast options as well.

 




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Major Cities

Boca Chica

Boca Chica

The moment you land at the Las Americas International Airport of Santo Domingo, you are barely a quarter of an hour’s drive away from the mesmerizing town of Boca Chica. The history of the town is associated to the Taino civilization, and that was before Columbus set his feet upon Dominican Republic. In the middle of the 20th century, the town made rapid leaps up the popularity ladders among wealthy Dominicans. Slowly, the gates to outside tourism opened up and there has been no looking back for the town of Boca Chica ever since.

The most beautiful part of this town is, without a shadow of a doubt, the vast white sand beach located in a cove overlooked by a protruding reef. The result is an awe inspiring swimming pool which could easily belittle the largest pools in the world.

The water of the cove is perfect for water sports owing to the fact that the shallow depth keeps it crystal clear and ever inviting for adventure seekers. The cove is a wonderful place for families as one can easily let children enjoy themselves in the safe waters rather than keep an eye out all the time. Swimmers, windsurfers and snorkelers find a great destination in Boca Chica. And when you are not in the water, there is a bustling city culture to enjoy in the numerous eateries and night spots. Diving at diving at La Caleta Submarine National Park, Saona or Catalina Island and engaging activities like horse riding are also staples for tourists in Boca Chica.

Cabarete

Cabarete Dominican Republic

The Caribbean is a lot about relaxing on beaches and bathing in the caressing waters, followed by long hours of sunbathing on a comfortable beach chair. If this definition of the Caribbean fits you, then Cabarete is the place you can’t afford to miss out on, especially if you happen to be close to Puerto Plata in Dominican Republic. This amazing city is merely 40 km east of Puerto Plata, and its tourism menu has several exciting offers.

Water sports enthusiasts will not need a second invitation to visit Cabarete once they get a whiff of the ideal windsurfing conditions of the Cabarete Bay. Windsurfing competitions of international appeal are held at this place, and this has really catapulted the status of Cabarete as a great tourism getaway.

Over the past years, kite-boarding has also picked up steam and adventure seekers pack their bags in groups before they head off to Cabaret. Apart from these, there are several other exhilarating activities awaiting you in Cabarete, including mountain biking and canoeing. And even if you don’t quite count yourself a water sports enthusiast, there is still a lot to look up to in Cabarete. The laid back lifestyle of the place is a sure shot winner with the unconventional tourist. And of course, the beach vibes of Cabarete are a guaranteed magnet that one cannot get over.

La Romana

Your visit to Dominican Republic is incomplete without a visit to Santo Domingo. And your visit to Santo Domingo is incomplete without a sincere thought given to the buzz that beckons you from a few miles away in the form of the lively town of La Romana.

Historical anecdotes claim that the city has a lot to thank the sugar industry for, and there are evidences to support this assertion till date. A 7000 acre property called Casa de Campo remains the major magnetizer for tourists in La Romana, and is was developed by Gulf & Western, a very large sugar company. The sprawling property hosts two 18 holes golf courses and tennis courts. Apart from these, there are swimming pools, stables and polo grounds to provide for the wholesome entertainment and engagement of all those who step on these paths.

Dientes de Perro is any golfer’s delight as 8 holes dot the edge of the Caribbean coast in a wonderful pattern designed by Pete Dye. Overlooking Río Chavón is he art and cultural centre of Altos de Chavón where tourists get a good view of the roots of the culture of this place. The Taino artifacts museum is another great attraction here. One could also consider a day trip to Isla Cataline, a small and secluded island close to La Romana. The coral reef of the island is extremely popular with water sports lovers.

Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata

Without a doubt, tourism adventures attain their pinnacle as you step in Puerto Plata. Regarded the mass tourism capital of the Caribbean, Puerto Plata has something to offer to and please every category of tourists. From those seeking a dash of history to their travels to those seeking uncompromising luxury along with unmatched water sports, the city of Puerto Plata succeeds at keeping everybody engaged.

There is a certain flavour of history about everything in the town, and it gets simply overwhelming as you come across buildings embracing architecture styles from the yester years. The town is a real delight for those who know their history! The Old City, a network of intertwined streets, is a superb place to be in for an unplanned day of adventures in Puerto Plata.

The New City warrants a more organized look with all its tourism packages that take you to all the attractions of the area. The Atlantic Coast province is also pretty highly regarded among tourists owing to the fact that the region is host to some absolutely awe inspiring resorts and hotels. Living in one of these resorts is like living a luxurious dream in Puerto Plata. The Playa Dorada complex is another irresistible attraction in Puerto Plata and is said to witness more than half a million pairs of amazed eyeballs every year. Puerto Plata is one crazy cocktail of tourism activities in Dominican Republic, and it is time you saw it for yourself!

Punta Cana

Punta Cana, DR

Beaches are definitely on the top of your mind as you hit the sands of Punta Cana. The white sands will definitely leave you spell bound and asking for more as you come across some of the most special sights of the Caribbean in Punta Cana. The beaches here are highly regarded among regular vacationers owning to their pristine beauty and the unending lines of towering palms the line the coasts. Punta Cana is best known for its luxurious resorts and comfortable hotels nearby the beaches where families, couples and newly wedded people turn up to enjoy some days of breathtaking beauty and sheer joy.

These resorts are more like small towns rather than big hotels! The best way to enjoy your stay in Punta Cana is to book with a renowned hotel suiting your budget and then making the most of your time to soak in the vibes of the mesmerizingly beautiful beaches, apart from the odd burst of adrenalin through the huge number of water sporting activities that await you. Apart from the beaches and the magnificent resorts of Punta Cana, there is a lively city culture to be attended to. The numerous restaurants and eateries of Punta Cana will definitely serve you great food and great atmosphere along with some unforgettable moments with friends and family.

Head off to this rollicking place and see for yourself as to why Punta Cana is so highly talked about among tourists. You are advised to take the direct flight to the airport here as the road links will take quite some time to get you to the city.

Samana

Samana, Dominican Republic

Samana is a perfect hideout for all those of you who are bowled over by nothing but the best of nature’s beauty. All colours of beauty find a place in this canvas called Samana. The green mountains lost under a translucent sheet of white fog and the turquoise waters of the beaches lashing against the earthly sands; there are so many great scenes and sights to experience in Samana that you are likely to be lost in a state of trance throughout your stay on this land of serenity.

This place is especially recommended for couples and people seeking a little privacy in Dominican Republic. The hotels and resorts of Samana are a treat for the uncompromising travellers and the hotels offer comfortable stay at reasonable prices.

Scuba divers also find their money’s worth in an extended trip to Samana. Naturalists have a lot of flora and fauna to discover. One could also witness the imposing presence of a whale in the sea in Samana! And just in case you wish to laze all day, depend upon a towering palm in the beach side to lend you its shade all day long as you read a novel or two and sip away at your packed drinks. And then, there are opportunities to get on a horse and enjoy a ride in the town. You could also get down to some serious water sporting in Samana.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

This Spanish colonial capital rests confidently along Rio Ozama’s western bank and boasts of a fascinating history that attracts several travellers to itself. This is arguably the liveliest place in the entire Dominican Republic, and a welcome change to the tourists who wish for more than the water sports activities and beach adventures of other Dominican Republic cities and towns. The very first of the European New World cities, Santo Domingo is a vital part of your Dominican Republic vacation, and a superb place to be in for the active traveller.

This is, without a shadow of a doubt, the new age face of Dominican Republic. However, that is not without a proper helping of history in the form of the stunning colonial architectures presented by the buildings of Zona Colonial which presents an ideal getaway for tourists in the city where they praise the structures and get to know the history behind each.

The barrios of Gazcue and Malecón also deserve your attention and time as they are central to some of the other offerings of tourist appeal in the city. There are several fine dining options in Santo Domingo, so you will have a memorable time eating out with families and friends. Of course you could head to one of the night spots and make good use of your night time in the city. The city of Santo Domingo is not one to be missed at any cost.

Sosua

Located centrally in the North Coast, Sosua is a riveting town with a lot of action and adventure. There are several destinations in and around Sosua that present tourists with a great incentive to get out of their resort rooms and take the unbeaten lanes that lead to these places. Like many Dominican Republic towns and cities, beaches remain the centres of attraction, and the small eateries lining these beaches retain their status as the second-in-commands. Snorkelling gets better as you approach Sosua and attains its peak here.

The Sosua Beach is a U-shaped beach peppered with white sands and guarded through a sheltered cove. Your visit to the beach is bound to be an introduction to some rather crazy and inviting water sporting activities. The reefs are congenial to swimming and are generally witnesses to excited water lovers. Off the beach, there is the Amber Museum and the cable car ride up to the Botanical Gardens on the top of the imposing Isabela de Torres Mountain.

The rum factory visit in Sosua is an unforgettable experience for tourists as they get over their tasting sprees and purchase some special rum bottles for their loved ones back home. The Columbus Water Park deserves an afternoon of your stay in Sosua, and so does the Go Kart/Bumper Car park where you could also go pretty late into the evening as it is open all night long.

Shopping Locations

San Juan Shopping Centre

When the feeling of being in an aquatic wonderland gets over you after you emerge out of the beaches of Dominican Republic, when the Caribbean hospitality that you get subjected to in the wonderful eateries and restaurants of the region leaves your mind for a moment, and when the luxurious comfort of your resort proves too much to tackle, you might just want to take an hour or two off and see what the charming sellers of Dominican Republic have up their sleeves for you. Surely, you would not like to pack your bags with nothing to take back for your kids, friends and family. Here is a sneak peek into the shopaholic’s version of Dominican Republic.

CoastRiders Surf + Sk8 Shop, Punta Cana

For simply the best offerings in surf and skate apparel the best branded equipments for all your water sports adventures, you don’t even need to think of any other place than CoastRiders Surf + Sk8 Shop of Punta Cana. You could also visit the store for a look at the latest equipment pertaining to water sports, and you could also purchase something like board-shorts and bikinis from here.

Mercado Modelo, Santo Domingo

The easiest way of getting ripped off on a foreign vacation is to buy souvenirs from some cunning shopkeeper who would sell you China made toys in the garb of local specialities at ten times the cost! To save yourself from shopping blues, go for your souvenir shopping at Mercado Modelo and get your hands upon anything from t-shirts to artificial jewellery. That said, do not forget to bargain!

San Juan Shopping Center, Punta Cana

A good bunch of shops and selling places keeps you engaged at the San Juan Shopping Center in Punta Cana. You are better off buying souvenirs from here than any hotel souvenir shop. There are some nice luxury items up for grabs as well. This place is also worthy of a visit if you happen to be looking for some local eatables and other cheap stuff.

Palma Real Shopping Village, Punta Cana

Get ready for a date with several international brands at the Palma Real Shopping Village. For a real shopping experience in Punta Cana, you can ill afford missing out on a visit to this place. There are several cafes, cinemas and showrooms at this place, and this means that you won’t have a dull moment even if you feel like spending hours here. Palma Real Shopping Village is one great place in Punta Cana where you will have a wonderful time shopping.

La Reyna Dominicana, Punta Cana

If you are in the mood of trying out a Caribbean cigar or two, just whisper jewellery in your wife’s ears and you have everything set and laid for a visit to La Reyna Dominicana, a place where you get some really impressive cigars and jewellery. You’ll have to be a really hard nut to crack if you emerge out of the store without a heavy bag of purchases!

Dominican Night Life

Night Life Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic is one place where fun never ends. Despite the fact that you are likely to have tiring days with all the sightseeing and beach activities to do, there is a lively sense of enjoyment that casts its influence over major cities in Dominican Republic as the shadows start to lengthen upon the sunset in the evening. There are some really popular nightspots where you can take your friends and treat them to a special dose of special cocktails with some special music playing in the background. And apart from these, some of the resorts in Dominican Republic ensure that their guests have a lot to look up t even after their dinners. Have a look at this article and get to know about some of the night time activities that you can indulge in while in Dominican Republic.

Mangu, Puerto Plata

There’s hardly any chance that you’ll not hear about a party or two happening at arguably the most buzzing night spot in Puerto Plata, called Mangu. Get ready for a crazy night of unlimited dancing and unlimited enjoyment at Mangu. Music knows no limits when it is played here, so you can be certain that you’ll have some aching eardrums when you come out of the place!

Hamaca Disco, Boca Chica

Surely, there are getaways for night time adventure seekers who do not quite like the concept of no holds barred dancing in most night clubs. Hamaca Disco is one such spot where people can enjoy controlled atmosphere of dancing, drinking and music. Couples find this place better than most other night spots which tend to get a little over crowded as the night progresses.

Imagine Punta Cana Disco, Punta Cana

For an experience of a life time in the night time, head over to one of the four caves of Imagine Punta Cana Disco, where you are only held back by your own imagination! The themed events held by the club are popular with locals and regular visitors, and it is time you got a taste of the magic of Imagine Punta Cana Disco. You have the option of 4 different worlds with the caves of Imagine Punta Cana Disco, so make your pick and open the gates to a time that you won’t forget for the rest fo your life.

Luna del Caribe, Punta Cana

Here is a different dose of nightlife in Dominican Republic with a seasoning of culture. Luna del Caribe is the perfect getaway for you and your family if the blaring speakers of night clubs are not your cups of tea. This Dominican cultural tour shall leave you mesmerized and thoroughly impresses. Get close to the roots of Dominican culture and make the best use of your night time in Dominican Republic with Luna del Caribe.

Casino at Cap Cana, Punta Cana

This is, without a doubt, a dreamland for the adventure seeking tourist who does not mind betting a wallet or two at the crazy games of casino. With an ambience that will leave you electrified, the Casino at Cap Cana is not for the faint hearted. Head over to this pulsating place and see the lively Caribbean atmosphere that you could only imagine till date.

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