Dominican Republic Discovery Guide

Overview

The Dominican Republic is a part of the Hispaniola Island, which was formerly a French colony. It is the golden sand beaches spanning 1.400km of the coastline that attracts tourists to the island. Most of the tourist attractions, resorts and hotels are on its northern side between Puerto Plata and Cabarete. The country shares the second largest caribbean island with Haiti. The Dominican Republic occupies about the 3/5 th of the eastern part of the Island.

Santo Domingo, the capital, should be declared the perfect holiday destination with its old charm, Latin charisma, modern sophistication and its strategic position no the southern Caribbean coast of Dominican Republic. The city is called ‘Colonial City’ and is full of cobblestone streets and 16th century buildings with bars, restaurants, small hotels and cafes.

You find the American continent’s first monuments in Santo Domingo including the first hospital, chapel, cathedral and university. There are three main mountain ranges located in its center running parallel to each other. The highest mountain range of the island is Cordillera Central, including the Pico Duarte which is the highest mountain of the Caribbean.

A blend of two heritages

The many colonial buildings of Santo Domingo emit its western influence while the African influence, which was introduced by African slaves, prevails in its music. The meringue is a popular song and dance of the region that blends both heritages. It is celebrated in various festivals by many national and international musicians.

The fascinating Los Tres Ojos de Agua, which means "The Three Eyes of Water", complex of caves, is worth a visit when in the Dominican Republic as it contains three, turquoise colored lagoons located in three different levels. Each of the lagoons is fed by an underground river and surrounded by stalagmites, stalactites and tropical vegetation.

Amber Coast is famous for its beautiful jewelry and amber mines. The Amber Museum displays amber pieces. The Puerto Plata was founded in 1504 and is a town cradled between Mount Isabel de Torres and the colonial harbor.

National sport

The Fort San Felipe is worth a visit. It was built for protection from pirates but is now a museum with an important part in Dominican Republic history. The Altos de Chavon is a 15th century village of Mediterranean style culture, which is perched on a cliff. You get to view breathtaking views of the Atlantic and Puerto Plata from Mount Isabel de Torres via a cable car climb of 760 miles above sea level.

Baseball is not only the national sport of Dominican Republic, but is also a national obsession. You find floodlit stadiums even in the smallest communities here. The industrial seaport of San Pedro de Macoris is the country’s baseball center.
Danger and romance

If you get a thrill with danger, visit the Cabritos Island which is a national park found on Lake Enriquillo. It is a preserve of wild American crocodiles, two species of iguanas and boasts of large populations of flamingos. The caverns, reefs, wrecks and rich marine life make this island popular amongst popular and novice divers.

If you want romance, Samana Peninsula offers transparent blue waters, unspoilt beaches and dozens of caves, making it the lovers’ paradise. You can also go offshore fishing for dorado, bonito, sailfish and other game fish while in Dominican Republic. The hotels here will arrange for charter boats; with so much to offer, it is no wonder Dominican Republic is a popular holiday destination.

At the far east of the Dominican Republic you will find the Bavaro Coast which hosts some of the most beautiful sand beaches in the world. Punta Cana is the main city on the Bavaro coast. There are many internationally popular hotels and resorts in Punta Cana like the Barcelo, Grand Palladium, VIK Arena and Princess & Suites Hotels.

Other popular beach resort spots are Puerto Plata, La Romana and La Samana.
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