Tropical beaches, surf breaks, magnificentmountain landscapes and a friendly welcome await visitors to this islanddestination in the heart of the Caribbean Sea.
Situated in the Caribbean Sea, the Dominican Republic shares its idyllic island setting with Haiti. Find striking mountain peaks, verdant rainforests and colonial heritage cities bordered by gorgeous beaches. It is believed that the Taíno people inhabited the island since the 7th century. In 1492, Christopher Columbus established the Americas’ first European settlement here.
Santo Domingo is the Dominican Republic’s fascinating capital. Explore colonial landmarks, shop for semiprecious stones, visit museums and watch passionate baseball games. Stroll along the waterfront in Malecón, home to cafés, live music bars and traditional “merengue” clubs. Just under a 2-hour drive from the capital is Concepción de la Vega, a city famous for hosting the country’s liveliest carnival.
Many visitors go directly to the beach resorts, with good reason. On the southeast coast are Bávaro and Punta Cana, both home to white-sand beaches, all-inclusive hotel complexes and superb golf courses. Visit the Jaragua National Park, on the island’s southwest Barahona Peninsula, to discover secluded beaches.
On the north coast you’ll find Playa Dorada, a complex of hotels, swimming pools, restaurants and bars. Nearby, find Puerto Plata, where the beach meets Victorian-era architecture. The beaches of Cabaretepresent excellent windsurfing and kite-surfing conditions. Some of the island’s most appealing coastline is at SamanáPeninsula, including the palm-fringed Playa Rincón. Spot humpback whales from the peninsula in winter or swim with the majestic mammals at Silver Bank.
There’s more to the Dominican Republic than beaches, though. Hike to the summit of Pico Duarte in the Cordillera Central mountain range. Spot crocodiles and iguanas at Enriquillo Lake. Ride on horseback to the waterfalls of Jarabacoa.
Reach the Dominican Republic via one of six international airports on the island. Get around using public buses or taxis. Cars, scooters and bicycles are available for rent. The country has balmy average temperatures of 77°F (25°C), although hurricanes are possible from August to September. Adventure, history and relaxation with year-round sunshine make the Dominican Republic a popular vacation choice.