- It is believed that it was from the Dominican Republic that Christopher Columbus began the exploration of the New World.
- Despite the relatively young age – officially the Dominican Republic took place only in 1844 more or less political stability appeared here only in the late 80s. Until that time, almost every 5 years, military and political coups took place in the republic, uprisings broke out, and the economic situation left much to be desired.
- At the moment, almost 70% of GDP is in the service sector, i.e. on tourism, but other than that, the country successfully exports sugar, coffee, and tobacco.
- In 2008, the first subway line was opened here, and, apparently, this is the only island in the Caribbean where you can use this type of transport.
Of course, these are not all the interesting facts that the Dominican Republic is ready to surprise you with. What do tourists like to do here?
A spectacular and endlessly romantic wedding ceremony on the gorgeous local beaches is a very popular event among tourists who specifically choose wedding dates in such a way as to celebrate the main event against the backdrop of the picturesque tropical landscape of the Dominican Republic.
It is at this time of the year that various national-level festivals are regularly held here, grandiose concert venues are set up at all major resorts, and dance events of various sizes do not subside until late at night.
Please note: in 2023, festivals in the Dominican Republic will be held on a special scale, as this will be the first time since the introduction of severe restrictions on mass events related to the coronavirus pandemic.
Therefore, next winter, several carnival events will take place in the country at once. But the largest festive procession in costumes with invited guests from other countries is traditionally planned in Punta Cana.
Carnival in Punta Cana will take place on February 4, 2023.
The November 1 boulevard will be closed for the costume show at Punta Cana Village, near Wendy’s Cafe.
If festivals are a seasonal phenomenon, then concerts of the world’s biggest stars take place here throughout the year.
Not even a month goes by without performers of a truly global scale appearing on the local stages. Among the guest stars who have already visited the Dominican Republic are Sting, Jennifer Lopez, Justin Bieber, and even Frank Sinatra. So, study the local posters more closely, and even better, take an interest in the event feed before you arrive to have time to buy better tickets in advance.
Watching wild animals in their natural habitat is a special aesthetic pleasure that brings joy to any naturalist and wildlife lover. Well, the contemplation of such incredible animals as humpback whales, which are one of the largest representatives of their species, will not leave anyone indifferent.
- Best time to visit: Whale watching season usually starts in mid-January and lasts until about mid-March.
5.Natural water park 27 waterfalls
This attraction is not often seen in tourist guides, although it is unique in its own way.
The mountain river Damahagua, located near the resort of Puerto Plata, forms a cascade of waterfalls of different sizes. Totally, there are 27 real waterfalls here. The area will charm you with picturesque landscapes. Here you can enjoy the atmosphere of dense rainforest, see how mango, papaya, and avocado fruit trees grow in the wild, and all this to the singing of tropical birds. However, for the majority of tourists who come here, another goal is a priority – the conquest of 27 waterfalls! After all, the beauty lies in the fact that here you can go down from the waterfalls, like from rock slides. And the height of the highest waterfall is almost 30 feet.
6.Saltos de la Jalda Waterfall
The essence of this natural object lies in the fact that it was discovered quite recently. Therefore, the tourist infrastructure is practically not developed here. It is extremely difficult to get to the waterfall due to the very difficult terrain and impenetrable jungle. And since it is located on the territory of a national park, affordable logistics will not appear here soon – no one will simply cut down the jungle for the sake of hiking trails.
Generally, this attraction is for truly extreme people, because it is very easy to get lost here and it is impossible if this happens to call for help since there is no connection in this area, and just calling 911 will not work.
There are only two relatively safe ways to get to the falls:
- order a helicopter ride with a flight over the waterfall;
- independently overcome about 4 miles through the almost;
- impenetrable jungle. Besides, you will have to cross the river several times. And that’s if you’re lucky with the weather. If it rains, the trip will have to be postponed.
It is considered that you have not been to the Dominican Republic if you have not visited Saona Island. This heavenly place is in great demand among tourists, thanks to the beaches of fantastic beauty, lush tropical jungles, and rich marine life. Getting here is very simple – the island is located just half a mile off the coast of the Dominican Republic.
Construction is prohibited on the island, so you will not find infrastructure as such here. But you can be swimming plenty in one of the largest natural pools in the world. It is located on a site with a large shallow, where, in addition to water procedures, you can also enjoy snorkeling. The marine fauna is represented very plentifully, although the main calling card of the local beach is, of course, starfish. You have probably seen many photos where tourists hold them right in their arms. So, keep in mind, recently, the authorities of the Dominican Republic have issued a law prohibiting getting starfish out of the water. All to save the population of starfish, which suffers from excessive attention from tourists.
Thanks to the terrain and a well-chosen shooting point, the photos show an amazing angle, from which it seems that a person is riding on a swing just above the abyss.
You can climb the mountain on foot if your physical condition allows it. The ascent will take from an hour to an hour and a half. However, in order not to waste time, it is better to use the services of local drivers, with the help of which you will find yourself at the top in just 10-15 minutes. And the most exotic way is to order a helicopter transfer. It will land right on top, on a special platform.
9.Funicular on Isabel de Torres Mountain
One of the main goals of visiting this small peak is a photo session at the statue of Jesus Christ, which is a small copy of a similar famous monument in Rio de Janeiro. In addition, while climbing the mountain with the funicular, you can enjoy a delightful panorama overlooking the sea coast.
- Life hack: keep an eye on the weather forecast. In case of strong cloudiness, when climbing, you can get into thick fog, which will wrap the mountain, and then the whole surrounding area will resemble the scenery for the movie Silent Hill.
10.Visiting plantations and ranches
Those who want to see the life of ordinary Dominicans are offered an excursion with a visit to local ranches. There you can see how coffee and cocoa are grown, and walk around the plantations with local tropical fruits. As a rule, tours of such a plan are included in the so-called eco-tours, in which you can get acquainted with the history of the region and the ethnic traditions of the inhabitants of the Dominican Republic.
11.Altos City of Artists de Chavon
This area is covered with so many legends and myths that it is better to devote a separate article to it. Let’s just say that the design of Altos de Chavon breathed life into Oscar de la Renta himself. Here you can not accidentally run into one of the real celebrities like George Bush Jr. or Shakira, because their villas are very close. In general, it’s almost Beverly Hills, only much more interesting. We strongly recommend it!
12.Laguna El Dudu
An ideal location for those who love «secret places», away from the crowds of tourists.
At the moment, this is one of the least explored attractions of the Dominican Republic. This is an incredible complex of underground and above-ground caves, cenotes, and lakes with crystal-clear water. And you will definitely be impressed by snorkeling among the stalagmites in the company of numerous fish.
Public transport does not go here, so we recommend renting a car. Don’t forget to think about navigation beforehand. Download offline maps, as cellular network coverage along the road, will not be everywhere. Ready? Then go to the north of the country to the area of the town of Cabrera.
The Samana Peninsula, in principle, can be considered as a separate resort, which has a lot of all kinds of attractions, and to cover everything, you will most likely have to just settle here for a period or even spend your entire vacation. By the way, many tourists do this, because there is an airport here, so there will be no problems with logistics.
If you have already decided to spend your holidays in another part of the Dominican Republic, but would like to visit Samana with a tour, then consider the following objects:
- El Limon waterfall: Height is almost 165 feet. It is also called the «waterfall of millionaires». There is a belief that bathing in it promises obligatory wealth.
- Fung Fung Cave: Considered one of the deepest caves in the world. Here you can find many kilometers of galleries, on the walls of which rock paintings of ancient Indians, underground rivers, and even entire lagoons have been preserved.
- Sea rock crevice Boca Del Diablo, or Devil’s Mouth: Interesting geological formation on the seashore. Tourists are impressed by the powerful roar of the breaking wave, which is created when the waves pass through the crevice.
- Cayo Island Levantado: A very nice tropical island covered with lush tropical greenery, from which it is very convenient to watch the humpback whales play during their migration off the coast of the Dominican Republic.
History lovers should definitely visit the city of Santo Domingo during their holidays in the Dominican Republic, no matter where they come to rest. Since this is the first major city created in the new world, you can find many ancient architectural masterpieces and sights here. For shopaholics, Santo Domingo is also the number one city in the Dominican Republic, since there is no other place in this country with such a concentration of shopping centers, markets, and boutiques as in the capital of the country.
The warm tropical waters of the Caribbean near the Dominican Republic are one of the ideal diving sites that many dive enthusiasts adore and appreciate.
Numerous diving centers, scattered throughout the most popular resorts, offer unforgettable underwater trips to the places of sunken ships, and some even boast their own coral gardens. The local divers not only love the underwater world but also actively contribute to its conservation – they build special structures right under the water to stimulate the growth of coral formations.
Another essential point is thanks to which tens of thousands of tourists arrive in the Dominican Republic every year. Here are ideal conditions for surfing, both for beginners and professional athletes. One of the main advantages is a comfortable tropical climate and warm sea, which allows you to enjoy surfing without a wetsuit. You can ride the waves from morning to evening!
If you like more aristocratic sports like golf, the Dominican Republic will be able to satisfy this request. At least seven golf courses found in the Dominican Republic are regularly ranked №1 in Golf Week Magazine’s Top 50 Golf Courses in the Caribbean and Mexico.
Bottom line: from all of the above, it is easy to understand that a vacation in the Dominican Republic should be planned for at least 2 weeks. After all, in addition to visiting the sights, you still want to soak up the incredible local beaches.