The Dominican Republic is a country located on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti. It is the second-largest country in the Caribbean, and it is known for its beautiful beaches, rich culture and history, and diverse natural landscapes. Here is our guide to the best things to do in the Dominican Republic.
One of the main attractions of Playa Rincón is its unspoiled natural beauty. The beach is surrounded by lush vegetation, including palm trees and tropical flowers. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including birds and reptiles. The clear, turquoise waters are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and diving. The beach is also a popular spot for surfing and kiteboarding.
Before you set off on your trip to the Dominican Republic, explore our list of tips for backpacking Central America.
In the Dominican Republic, Cuban son has also had a significant influence on the country's music and culture. Many Dominican musicians and bands have incorporated elements of Cuban son into their music, and the style has become very popular in the country.
In addition to the waterfall, the El Limón National Park is home to a number of other attractions, including hiking trails, picnic areas, and lookout points. The park is a great destination for nature lovers, hikers, and anyone who enjoys being outdoors.
Other attractions in the valley include the Salto de Jimenoa waterfall, which is a popular spot for hiking and picnicking, and the Lago Enriquillo, which is a large lake that is home to a variety of wildlife, including crocodiles and flamingos.
There are several beaches in and around Cabarete that are worth visiting, including Playa Cabarete, Playa Encuentro, Playa Preciosa, Playa Kite Beach.
The Malecón is lined with a variety of attractions, including restaurants, bars, cafes, and parks. It is a popular spot for strolling, jogging, and bike riding, and there are many benches and seating areas along the promenade where people can relax and enjoy the views of the sea.
When shopping for amber souvenirs in the Dominican Republic, it is important to be cautious and make sure that you are purchasing authentic amber and not a synthetic or imitation product. It is also a good idea to shop around and compare prices to ensure that you are getting a fair price.
The Dominican Republic has a professional baseball league, the Liga de Béisbol Profesional de la República Dominicana (LIDOM), which consists of six teams that compete against each other in a regular season and playoffs.
In addition to the professional league, baseball is also popular at the amateur level in the Dominican Republic, with many youth and adult leagues and teams throughout the country. The sport is played in schools and parks and is a common pastime for people of all ages.
One of the main attractions of Lago Enriquillo is the opportunity to observe and photograph the crocodiles that live in the lake. There are several tour operators that offer boat tours of the lake, which allow visitors to get a close-up view of the crocodiles and other wildlife.
Explore the area of the salty Lake Enriquillo, the biggest lake in the Dominican Republic, and go swimming in natural pools on this Lake Enriquillo Boat Tour.
Some of the main exhibits at the Museo del Hombre Dominicano include a collection of indigenous Taíno artifacts, including pottery, tools, and jewellery. It also exhibits on the history of the Afro-Caribbean population in the Dominican Republic, including their contributions to music and other cultural traditions. The museum also has a number of temporary exhibits that focus on specific themes or events in the country's history.
The main event is the Grand Parade, in which participants dress up in elaborate costumes and march through the streets of La Vega, accompanied by music and floats. The carnival also includes a variety of other events, such as concerts, parties, and cultural exhibitions. The La Vega Carnival is a time for celebration and enjoyment, and it is an important part of the cultural heritage of the Dominican Republic.
Merengue is a fast-paced, energetic dance that is typically performed to a 2/4 time signature. The dance involves a series of steps and turns, and it is usually performed by a couple. One person leads and the other follows, with both dancers moving their hips and feet in time to the music.
The Zona Colonial is home to a number of important landmarks and cultural attractions, including the Catedral Primada de America, which is the oldest cathedral in the Americas. The Alcazar de Colon, which is a castle and museum that was once the residence of Christopher Columbus's son, Diego; and the Fortaleza Ozama, which is a 16th-century fortress that has been restored and is now open to the public.
There are a number of tour operators in the Dominican Republic that offer whale watching excursions, typically by boat. These tours typically depart from the towns of Samana or Las Galeras, and they offer the opportunity to see whales up close and observe their behaviour in the wild. Many tours also include other activities, such as snorkeling, swimming, and visiting nearby islands.
Enjoy Whale Watching Day Trip full of excitement visiting the whale watching sanctuary in Samana Bay on a journey through the sea to watch them swim , play and sometimes even jump and see their young calves.
Punta Cana is home to a number of popular tourist attractions, including the Punta Cana Beach, which is a long stretch of white sandy beach lined with palm trees; the Bavaro Beach, which is known for its clear blue waters and coral reefs; and the Cap Cana Marina, which is a popular spot for fishing and boating.
Visit Isla Saona, currently the most popular excursion offered in the Dominican Republic. Explore this quintessential tropical beach with swaying palm trees, bone-white sand, and lapping turquoise waters on this Catamaran Boat tour from Punta Cana.
In addition to its beaches, Playa Dorada is also known for its recreational activities, including golf, tennis, and water sports. The area is home to a number of golf courses, as well as a variety of water sports rental companies that offer activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, and jet skiing.
There are a number of rum distilleries located in the Dominican Republic, which produce a range of different styles of rum, including light, amber, and dark rum. The country's rum is typically made from molasses, a byproduct of sugar production, and it is aged in oak barrels to give it a rich, complex flavour.
Discover how Dominican sugar cane is transformed into delicious rum on this tour of the Ron Barceló rum factory.
Another great rum destination in Central America is Puerto Rico, so you might be also interested in exploring our guide to the world's best rum in Puerto Rico while travelling in this part of the world.
In addition to its educational exhibits, the Choco Museo also has a gift shop that sells a variety of chocolate-related products, including chocolate bars, truffles, and other confections.
Find more information about the chocolate industry in our guide to life-changing chocolate in the Dominican Republic.
It should be noted that apart from its exotic beauty Central America is also one of the cheapest destinations to travel. Read our guide to budget trips around the world and find more places which combine excellent leisure activities with accessibility.
If you prefer to plan and book your trip to the Dominican Republic without any effort and hassle, use the expertise of our local travel experts to make sure your trip will be just like you dream it to be.
Ready for a trip to Dominican Republic? Check out the snapshot The Rough Guide to the Dominican Republic. If you travel further in the Dominican Republic, read more about the best time to go and the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic. For inspiration use the itineraries from The Rough Guide to the Dominican Republic. A bit more hands on, learn about getting there, getting around the country and where to stay once you are there.
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