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Dominican Republic Travel Guide
The Dominican Republic is the perfect location for much sought after true tranquillity.
Though the Dominicans like a few drinks, the country is less focused on partying and more on relaxing and chilling out. We can’t imagine it being any other way. When you consider the endless kilometres of idyllic white, sandy beaches and the blissful, warm turquoise sea that surrounds the island – who could possibly want to move?
Most holidays to the Caribbean destination are resort-based and many of the packages on offer are all-inclusive options. The Dominican Republic is the most affordable destination in the Caribbean and local standards for luxury are impeccably high, so it’s likely you’ll be able to find a good deal that still feels luxurious and special for your holiday.
Though the Dominican Republic is popular with families, if you’d prefer peace and quiet (far away from kids), there are a number of resorts which cater for adults only, a familiar request from couples looking to relax in the sun.
When Is The Best Time To Holiday In Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is warm all year round, meaning pretty much any time is good to visit. However, given that the Dominican Republic can experience some of the effects of the Atlantic hurricane season between June and November, the best time to visit is between November and May (or early June). Tropical storms in the rainy season can cause an average of about 40 inches of rainfall, which can put a dampener on things, even if the air temperature remains warm. Check out our Dominican Republic travel tips blog post for more information.
5 Unbelievably Romantic Things To Do In Dominican Republic
1. Run away to a deserted island – Take yourselves to an idyllic, isolated beach like the one at Saona Island. Enjoy even more alone time by taking out a catamaran when making this short trip.
2. Merengue – Witness, (and maybe even take part in ), the traditional Dominican Republic dance at Tropicalissimo at the Barcelo Bavaro Casino, before trying out some of the resorts’ poolside Merengue classes yourselves for a bit of fun.
3. Tour the island in a 4x4 – If you’re looking for a break from the beaches, take a tour of the island’s inland sights in a 4x4 road vehicle. Be sure to see the sugar cane fields and the island’s caves.
4. Shop for amber jewellery – Shopping mightn’t always satisfy the craving to do ‘something different’, but browsing among the Dominican Republic’s famous high quality amber jewellery could see you walking away with a lovely, timeless memento of your honeymoon.
5. Try a surf camp – Most people make fools of themselves when surfing for the first time, so why not have a laugh at a surf camp and spend some time in the gorgeous turquoise waters that surround the Dominican Republic.
Dominican Republic - Making The Most Of Your Holiday | Things To See And Do
Experiencing the Dominican Republic’s fine resorts first hand is definitely one for the bucket list, but it would be a shame not to see what else the country has to offer. Here’s a few things you won’t want to miss:
· The Zona Colonial – Known as the historic heart of Santo Domingo, the Zona Colonial is a maze of pretty streets and shade-covered squares. All the beautiful colonial-era buildings house shops, restaurants and cafes making it a lovely area to pass an afternoon in.
· The Dominican Alps – It’s a different world to the Dominican Republic’s beaches in its uplands, but it’s well worth attempting the Pico Duarte (the highest mountain in the Caribbean) if only for the unique views.
· Costa Del Coco – A tourist mecca for a reason, the ‘coconut coast’ has over 60km of reef-protected white sandy beaches surrounded by coconut trees. Despite the presence of fellow tourists, it’s easy to feel disconnected from the rest of the world here.
· Las Terrenas – A gorgeous little fishing village surrounded by huge groves of coconut trees and clear, warm water.
· Jarabacoa – For a little more action, head to Jarabacoa. It’s the home of the Dominican Republic’s only whitewater river, Rio Yague del Norte, for rafting, and its mountainous trails are perfect for biking, hiking or rock-climbing.
Dining, Shopping And Accommodation In The Dominican Republic
· Most four and five star hotel resorts in the Dominican Republic usually have five or six restaurants on-site. Typically, each offers a different style or type of food, thus most tastes are catered for close by.
· If you’re looking for a sense of the local produce without moving too far from your hotel, you’re in luck. Local traders usually visit resorts each week to set up their stalls selling local food for you to sample.
· Dominican dishes typically blend African, Spanish, Taino and Middle Eastern flavours. If you’re keeping an eye on the budget and are in two minds about dining out for the evening, rest assured knowing that it can be a pretty cheap experience if you stick to the modest-looking local restaurants.
· There are also plenty of open-air, high-end markets to choose from, as well as big shopping malls. There are more bargains to be bagged around the island than just cigars and rum!
Best Place To Stay: Dreams La Romana Resort & Spa
Nestled in the middle of beautiful beaches and a tropical jungle, Dreams La Romana Resort and Spa on the southeast coast is the ideal resort for couples looking to have a romantic break in the Dominican Republic.
This resort’s all-inclusive luxury packages includes:
· 24-hour room service.
· All your meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks) with gourmet dining experiences at the resorts seven a-la-carte restaurants, one buffet, two bistros and a café.
· Unlimited top-shelf spirits, fruit juice and soft drinks across the eight bars and lounges.
· A private beach.
· Poolside and beach waiting service.
· An on-site casino.
Although the resort is well equipped to cater for your every need while on holiday in the Dominican Republic, you’re also well placed to reach many of the nearby attractions should you feel up to leaving your lap of luxury to do some exploring. Nearby you will find:
· A professional golf course.
· Altos de Chavón – a recreation of a 16th century Mediterranean village.
· Isla Saona – reachable by sailing or speedboat, you can check out the dolphins here.
· Isla Catalina – A beautiful coral reef, perfect for snorkelling and diving.
· Santa Dominingo - The Dominican Republic’s capital city and the world’s oldest city, containing the oldest church and first recorded hospital.
· Casa de Campo Marina – A luxury complex that includes boutiques, fine dining and an exclusive yacht club.
· National Park of the East - A beautiful sightseeing area with caves, diving opportunities and petro glyphs to behold.
Useful Tips For A Holiday In Dominican Republic
· Only use the tap water for brushing your teeth and showering – don’t drink it!
· A North American plug adapter should do you when it comes to plugging in things like your phone charger and your camera. Bring a mini USB hub to charge multiple devices from your phone’s charging adapter.
· The time difference is five hours, with the Dominican Republic being behind Ireland.
· The currency is the Dominican Peso and you’ll get roughly 52 pesos for €1 (exchange rate correct as of August 2016).
· Clapping when the airplane lands is pretty much required by Dominican law. Dominicans are very superstitious and sometimes you’ll even see some bring out holy water to pass around when the plane lands. We’re not having you on. Just go with it!