The Dominican Republic, or “DR” as it’s known, is the second largest and most diverse Caribbean island country, situated just 2 hours south of Miami, about 4 hours from New York and 8 hours from most European cities. It’s well known for its warm and hospitable people and the DR is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and a rich culture to entice and thrill anyone wanting a respite from the COVID-19 lockdown.
The Dominican Republic may end up being one of the most enriching experiences of your life. From it’s rich history to the wonderfully diverse cultural mix, to the truly amazing beaches, there will always be a special place in your heart for the Caribbean island after you spend some quality vacay time there. Below are some of VacayDaze’s favorite places in the “DR”.
Located on the north of the island, Las Terrenas is a tiny fishing village which has a number of the most beautiful beaches within the country and they are so remote that most of them are only accessible by motorbike or ATV. Head over to Playa Coson or Playa Bonita for the perfect day outing with miles of idyllic, white sand beach and almost nobody there to take-over your beach towel. Be sure to take some time to stop at one of the various beach houses for fresh seafood straight out of the ocean.
Following a 45-minute drive from Puerto Plata, you’ll be transported to one of the foremost famous aquatics destinations in the Caribbean. Cabarete’s beaches are famous for windsurfing, kiteboarding and awesome surfing. Head over to La Boca, Kite beach, or Bozo beach for huge waves and winds to power your aquatic excitement. This famous Caribbean surf town is additionally renowned for its lively nightlife where you’ll be able to spend the night dancing away to the beats of reggaeton songs.
To reach the picture-perfect island of Isla Saona, the majority of travelers rent a catamaran. With crystal-clear and turquoise blue water, the island is Instagram perfect, the vision of the Caribbean you probably have always dreamt of. The locale is especially renowned for the largest starfishes you’ll ever see. Head over to Mano Juan, the nearby fishing town, for lunch before a nap under the tropical palm trees.
Santo Domingo Old Town
Santo Domingo is a colorful UNESCO world heritage city features a rich history and 16th-century monuments that are in mint condition. Go for a stroll through Old Town, where watching Dominicans roll tobacco into big cigars in only a few minutes is especially impressive, and visit the cathedral, palaces and art galleries.
Bahia de Las Aguilas
On the wild, west coast of the Dominican Republic, the 5 mile-long beach of Bahia de Las Aguilas is one of the most isolated and dreamy destinations on the island. Considered by many Dominicans as the most beautiful beach within the country, it’s been preserved and kept completely as nature intended, with no restaurants, hotels or shops. It’s a part of the Jaragua Park and a UNESCO-protected destination where sea turtles come to lay their eggs. Accessible only by a 4×4 vehicle or boat, its remote location makes it an adventure just to get there but the trip is plenty worthwhile.
Punta Cana is another popular destination, not only in the Dominican Republic but in the entire Caribbean as well. It’s situated at the crossroads of the Atlantic Ocean in the North Coast and the Caribbean Sea on the East Coast. With a coastline full of luxurious hotels, it’s a perfect destination for a vacay of sea, sun and snorkeling. Don’t forget your SPF-50 sunscreen to enjoy long tropical days on the beach.
Every year, from January through March, hundreds of humpback whales migrate from all across the North Atlantic to Samaná Bay to mate and birth calves. The Dominican government is naturally very protective of the whales, but you’ll still be able to book a charter trip in the Bay, provided it’s with a licensed crew who will keep their distance, so as to not disturb these magnificent creatures.
Carnaval de La Vega
The Carnaval de La Vega is celebrated in February each year and is one among the country’s most exuberant celebrations. It was originally a religious celebration but the carnival is now mostly a celebration of good triumphing over evil. Dominican Independence Day is also celebrated annually on February 27th, which makes February the perfect month for Dominican parties. Look out for the fabulous costumes and masks and revel in a real Dominican fiesta experience.
Jaragua National Park is located within the south west of the island and is renowned for its ecotourism, wildlife and indigenous history, with many caves filled with Taíno pictograms, who were an original indigenous tribe that populated the region before colonization. To explore the 1000 year-old petroglyphs across the walls, head north to Las Caritas, a cave facing the Enriquillo lake. The Park is additionally home to many endangered species of birds.
Casa de Campo
Casa de Campo is a 5-star resort on the south of the island and is the go-to luxury destination in Dominican Republic, with a marina and championship golf courses, including the Teeth of the Dog course which is consistently ranked among the top 50 golf courses on the globe. While you’re there, relax and enjoy a concert in the Altos De Chavón Amphitheater, a venue in the heart of a full-scale replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village.
Considering a vacay to the Dominican Republic?
You may decide to go ahead a book a Dominican Republic future vacay. If you do decide to plan a Vacay, you probably will want to consider a Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) optional travel insurance upgrade. True to its name, this additional option allows you to cancel your trip for any reason.
You will also want to keep informed with the latest Dominican Republic travel policies and restrictions at Dominican Republic’s Official Travel Site.