The Dominican Republic is a great spot to go on holiday if you want to experience authentic Caribbean culture. Located in the Greater Antilles, it shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti.
The island served as the first capital of the Spanish dominion in the Americas after Christopher Columbus landed there in 1492. You can see the country’s Spanish roots everywhere you go.
Top 10 Places to Visit in Dominican Republic
Nonetheless, the Dominican Republic is now a popular tourist destination due to its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and abundance of water sports.
Off the coast, visitors can go whale watching or deep sea fishing. After seeing the finest of what the Dominican Republic has to offer, there’s no compelling reason for you to stay at home.
1. Las Terrenas
At one time, the town of Las Terrenas on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic consisted mainly of fishermen. But in 1946, the president of the country ordered rural citizens of Santo Domingo to relocate here to work as farmers and fisherman, and that changed everything.
The beautiful sceneries, white sand beaches, and pure ocean water have helped Las Terrenas become a popular tourist destination in recent years. Being only two hours away from the city, Santo Dominicans and tourists alike frequent this area. Playas el Portillo and Las Ballenas are two of the best beaches in the area. You may also go whale and dolphin watching in Las Terrenas.
Jarabacoa is sometimes referred to as “the city of endless spring” due to its tropical environment. The Jimenoa and Baiguate waterfalls, as well as the Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve, contribute to the region’s reputation for natural beauty.
Crossing the Jimenoa River on a footbridge made of wood and rope is an exciting activity for the more daring tourist. Those who are less daring can play nine holes of golf or tour the Santa Maria del Evangelio Cistercian monastery. In February, Jarabacoa plays host to arguably the largest and most well-known Carnival celebration in Cuba.
3. Playa Rincon
Playa Rincon is one of two locations in the Dominican Republic that have been proposed as the actual landing site of the Spanish explorer Christopher Columbus in 1492. Even if the weather isn’t great, you may still have a nice stroll down the beach because it’s about two miles long.
But, you may have to share the beach with debris that washed up from the ocean. Playa Rincon is still regarded as a top Caribbean beach destination. It’s a 20-minute boat voyage from Las Galeras to the island.
4. El Limon Waterfall
The El Limon waterfall fails miserably at representing its namesake. El Limon is a beautiful waterfall located close to the Atlantic Coast of the Dominican Republic, with a drop of 50 metres (170 feet).
Crossing multiple rivers on horseback (the main way to get there) might be a sweaty and wet adventure, but once you get there, you can cool off in the stunning swimming hole at the bottom of the falls. After hiking for 40 minutes over uneven and perhaps dangerous ground, you may appreciate the plunge all the more.
5. Santo Domingo
The Dominican Republic’s main city and capital, Santo Domingo, also boasts the largest metropolitan area in the Caribbean. It is the first European settlement in the Americas and was established on the Ozama River in 1496.
It was the first New World capital of the Spanish empire and home to the first New World castle (Alcazar de Colón), monastery (Monastery of Santa Maria la Menor), cathedral (Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor), and university.
The historic area is the greatest spot to soak in all this history, with its magnificent buildings reminiscent of the Middle Ages. The oldest stronghold in the Americas, Fortaleza Ozama, is also open to visitors.
Cabarete is a fantastic site to engage in your passion for extreme sports. This sleepy fishing town was founded in 1835 by a former slave owner and is today a mecca for kite-surfers, playing host to numerous international championships.
It’s a hotspot for surfers and one of the best in the Caribbean. Since there is only one main street in the entire hamlet, tourists will have no trouble finding any of Cabarete’s excellent hotels or restaurants. There are beautiful beaches in Cabarete, but if you become bored with them, you can go caving, kayaking, snorkelling, or scuba diving instead.
Samana, the provincial seat, is a charming old city on the bay’s northern shore. It is most famous as the place where Christopher Columbus left the New World to return to Spain in 1493. Since thousands of humpback whales migrate to the bay every year between January and March to have their calves, it is now a popular destination for whale-watchers.
Samana, Dominican Republic, is the country’s tourism hub between December and April. Baseball aficionados may be interested to learn that some famous pitchers, notably Wily Peralta, hail from this area.
Bayahibe, being a vacation town, fits right in with the rest of the country’s popular beach locations. The once sleepy fishing town has blossomed into one of the Dominican Republic’s most popular tourist destinations.
While Bayahibe Beach is conveniently close to town, most visitors come here to board a boat to Saona, where there are additional stunning beaches within a protected national park. More than 20 dive sites make Bayahibe one of the top scuba diving destinations in the country. Can’t go scuba diving? What about snorkelling or stand-up paddleboarding?
The president of the Dominican Republic provided sanctuary to 100,000 Jewish refugees in 1938, long before the country became a popular tourist destination. In Sosua, where they were granted property to establish a dairy and cheese factory, about 800 people made the move. Food from Productos Sosua is now available.
Divers go to Sosua because of the clear waters, reef formations, and abundance of fish species. Some of Sosua’s beaches were formed naturally, while others were formed by recent storms. During the day, Sosua is like any other beach town, but at night, it transforms into a hedonistic party mecca.
10. Punta Cana
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, is a popular holiday spot. Nonetheless, it differs from typical American seaside getaways in that its shores face two different oceans: the Atlantic and the Caribbean.
Punta Cana’s beaches are often exposed to strong winds despite the area’s 100 kilometres (60 miles) of coastline and relatively calm waters. You can enjoy deep sea fishing, catamaran sailing, whale watching, and even zip lining in Punta Cana, a popular party destination. Throughout your stay, you can expect to be kept very active.