10 Can’t-Miss Experiences in the Dominican RepublicPosted on 10/30/2023
The Dominican Republic is a very complete travel destination. It is mostly known for its astonishing beaches, but it comprises so much more. Being on the second-largest island in the Caribbean, it is the perfect size to have a variety of landscapes and microclimates, where you can have different and unique experiences.
Over 6,000 species of flora and fauna thrive in the DR, making it ideal for ecotourism activities throughout the country. The mélange of Taíno, African and Spanish roots have turned the population and culture into a fascinating melting pot that is reflected in its scrumptious gastronomy, joyous carnival, distinctive merengue and bachata music and genuine hospitality.
With over 994 miles of stunning coastline and steady wind conditions, the DR is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, especially in Cabarete “Surf and Wind City”. There are countless snorkeling and diving spots to discover the abundant marine life.
The DR is also a great place to unplug and unwind in a pristine environment for travelers seeking a pampered getaway, thanks to the variety of world-renowned spas, beach-front morning yoga sessions and specialized wellness resorts.
Here we share ten can’t-miss experiences in the Dominican Republic that prove that you can be anything you want in a place that has it all.
#1 - EXPLORE THE COLONIAL CITY OF SANTO DOMINGO
Exploring the Colonial City, the first European settlement of the Americas and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site, is a recommended experience for travelers of all ages. Enjoy its colorful restored colonial buildings, cobblestoned shopping streets, sidewalk cafes, theaters, museums, outdoor parks, art galleries, boutique hotels, bars, chic restaurants, gift shops and exciting nightlife. Visitors can easily explore the area solo or guided by foot, Chu Chu Colonial train, bicycle, Segway, or electric scooter. There is no denying the charm of this historic district.
#2 - TAKE A TOUR TO SAONA ISLAND
Is there anything better than being surrounded by beauty everywhere you look? We think not! Saona Island is a dreamy tropical escape. It’s the perfect way to spend the day away from everything, enjoying a delicious lunch, swimming and dancing to catchy Dominican beats.
#3 - EXPLORE PUERTO PLATA FROM DIFFERENT HEIGHTS
No visit to Puerto Plata is complete without riding the teleférico, the only complete cable car ride you’ll find in the whole Caribbean region. A breathtaking 10-minute ride takes you soaring in one of two cable cars 2,625 feet above Puerto Plata’s magical landscape. You can marvel at the sea and the lush, verdant plains that eventually lead you to the other end of the cable, at Mount Isabel de Torres. Explore the nature reserve and botanical gardens, enjoying the ride back down by cable car once more before heading out.
#4 - VISIT ALTOS THE CHAVÓN
The panoramic views over the Chavón River, and over the Dye Fore golf course which it borders on the east side, make Altos de Chavón a perfect photo stop on a journey through La Romana. At night, the setting becomes even more magical with romantic lighting on the stone plazas and dining verandas overlooking the river.
#5 - PLAY AT A WORLD-CLASS GOLF COURSE
If you’re looking for a dream golf escapade, you have 27 world-class golf courses to choose from throughout the country that were designed by some of the game’s most acclaimed course architects like Pete Dye, P.B. Dye, Jack Nicklaus, Robert Trent Jones Sr., Gary Player, Tom Fazio, Nick Price and Greg Norman. The country’s challenging and stunning courses have helped the Dominican Republic maintain the status of Golf Capital of the Caribbean.
#6 - TAKE AN EXCURSION OF LOS HAITISES NATIONAL PARK
Los Haitises, which translates into “high land” or “mountainous land” in the Taíno language, attracts visitors who come to see its magnificent series of 98-foot-high karst rock formations jutting out of the water. It’s one of the crown jewels of the Dominican Republic’s national park system.
Explore the park by sailboat from Samaná, hike its rainforest to view flora up close, or kayak along its lush mangrove system. Its extensive mangroves along the bay are dotted with cayes that are home to over 230 bird species, as well as a series of caves known for having one of the highest numbers of petroglyphs and pictographs in the country. It is a great place to become one with nature.
# 7 - TRY CABARETE’S ADRENALINE - PUMPING WATERSPORTS
In Cabarete nature speaks to you. You will feel a new connection with the ocean. The warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean will rejuvenate you as you dance along with the waves; your lungs will be filled with the fresh ocean breeze as you see the palm trees swaying in front of imposing mountains; your day will start at the break of dawn with the sun rays painting the sky with magical tones; your day will be filled with heart-pumping adventures; at sunset, time will stop to take it all in and appreciate the natural light show in the sky and you’ll enjoy the moment with your loved ones; and when the sun waves goodbye, another side of Cabarete will awaken and you’ll experience the most exciting nightlife. All of this will inevitably touch you and get you to have a new vision of life.
#8 - LIVE THE VIBRANT CULTURE
In the Dominican Republic the party never ends. Enjoy the lively party atmosphere with music and dancing at the many discos, bars and clubs spread all over the country. It is not for nothing that Merengue and Bachata music and dancing were declared Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 2016 and 2019, respectively. Both musical genres are famous worldwide.
Dominican gastronomy is a symphony of colors and flavors. Its rich cultural heritage has a mixture of Taíno, African and Spanish cultures. Every Dominican meal is a joyous occasion. It’s a celebration of friendship and family unity cooked with love. Dominican’s rich cultural heritage provided the right mix of ingredients and cooking methods to make the most scrumptious and varied cuisine.
There is a wide variety of Dominican dishes, ranging from soups and stews to fried snacks and sweet coconut desserts. Beyond the classic Caribbean dish of rice and beans, there are other basic specialties exclusive to the Dominican Republic. Discover staple Dominican products and make the most of your culinary adventure. From the simplest beach shack serving the catch of the day at the beach to haute cuisine, every meal in the DR is an experience in itself.
#9 - PREMIUM CIGAR AND RUM TASTING
Rum and cigars go hand in hand in the Dominican Republic, where the fertile soil produces some of the world’s best tobacco, and abundant sugar cane. Dominican premium tobacco brands are award winning, including Arturo Fuente, La Aurora, Romeo y Julieta, and La Flor Dominicana.
#10 - CREATE NEW MEMORIES WITH YOUR FAMILY AT KATMANDU PARK PUNTA CANA
Katmandu Park is a great place to visit for families with children of all ages. There are plenty of rides and attractions to keep everyone entertained, and the park is full of interactive elements that make it a truly immersive experience.