Dominican Republic

Travel Guide
Cabeza de Toro which includes a beach

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.

Popular cities in Dominican Republic

Bayahibe Beach featuring a sunset, a beach and tropical scenes
Punta Cana
Enjoy long stretches of white-sand beaches, all-inclusive resorts and sunshine in abundance at one of the largest tourist destinations in the Caribbean region.

Reasons to visit

  • Punta Cana Beach
  • Macao Beach
  • Arena Gorda Beach
Fort San Felipe which includes heritage elements
Puerto Plata
Discover the beautiful windswept northern coast of the Dominican Republic, where fishing villages and luxury resorts coexist along interminable sandy beaches.

Reasons to visit

  • Playa Dorada
  • Puerto Plata Cable Car
  • Malecón De Puerto Plata
Samana featuring tropical scenes and a sandy beach
Samana
Delight in the simple charm of this port town that attracts tourists with a picturesque coastline and forests to be explored on horseback or by zip line.

Reasons to visit

  • Cayo Levantado
  • El Salto del Limon
  • El Limon Falls
La Romana featuring a coastal town and a bay or harbour
La Romana
Visit this destination famous for meals of fresh seafood, large caves and access to Isla Saona. 

Reasons to visit

  • Casa de Campo Marina
  • El Obelisco
Santiago featuring heritage architecture
Santiago de los Caballeros
Partake in lively festivals, view impressive monuments and witness authentic Dominican life in one of the oldest colonial cities in the New World.

Reasons to visit

  • Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration
Dominican Republic featuring a sunset and general coastal views
Santo Domingo
The Caribbean’s first city is a thriving metropolis that has colonial buildings and modern masterpieces, captivating museums and a lively boardwalk. 

Popular places to visit in Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

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