The Dominican Republic is renowned as an affordable beach destination brimming with package tourists and enticing all-inclusive resorts. But the country is also a captivating blend of culture, history, and stunning natural beauty. The main tourist magnets are the areas around Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, La Romana, and Samaná. However, the country's cultural jewel is the capital, Santo Domingo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In addition to well-developed beach resorts and world-class golf courses, the Dominican Republic is home to vast coral reefs, waterfalls, jungles, secluded islands, pine forests, and the highest peaks in the Caribbean. Thanks to these diverse ecosystems, recreational opportunities abound. Adventure seekers head to the mountains to raft the white waters of the Yaque del Norte river. The rugged alpine terrain also lures hikers and bikers with its many mountain trails. Along the coast, water lovers can snorkel, dive, kayak, kite board, sail, and surf. Blessed with this abundance of attractions and activities, no wonder visitors flock here from around the world.
Cathedral of Santa Maria
Inside the Colonial City stands the oldest cathedral in the western hemisphere, consecrated in 1541 and still used to this day. Its mix of late-Gothic and Renaissance elements provide a beautiful example of Spanish Renaissance architecture, with its golden coral facade and Gothic interior.... see full details
The historic enclave of Santo Domingo, known as the Colonial City, covers only one square mile (3 sq km), but inside the walls are dozens of historical buildings and sites, including palaces, forts, museums, and churches; parks, plazas, statues and monuments. A walking tour... see full details
Columbus Lighthouse Monument
The monument was built on the eastern shore of the Ozama River in the early 1990s, to commemorate both Santo Domingo's status as the oldest European city in the Americas, and the 500th anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the New World. The building... see full details
About a mile east of the Columbus Lighthouse monument, is sited one of the better aquariums in the Caribbean. The aquarium contains a variety of marine life, from angelfish to sharks, and is equipped with a clear glass sea-tunnel that makes viewing the... see full details
Plaza de la Cultura
The vast green square in the heart of Santo Domingo serves as the city's cultural and artistic showcase, being fronted by a cluster of four museums, as well as housing the city's most important cultural venues, including the Teatro Nacional (National Theater). The square... see full details
Los Tres Ojos National Park
The 'Three Eyes' park, on the east bank of the Ozama River, is a surreal experience for visitors. The park is actually a series of huge natural caves on different levels, containing fresh water lagoons. One is a sulphuric lake rumoured to be... see full details
A popular escape from city life is provided by the small seaside town of Boca Chica, a 25-minute drive east of Santo Domingo on the Avenida de las Americas. The resort was developed by a wealthy industrialist around one of the best swimming... see full details
Mount Isabel de Torres
Towering over the city of Puerto Plata is the 2,600 feet (792m) Mount Isabel de Torres, which is a popular tourist attraction in its own right. The mountain offers visitors the chance to take a spectacular seven-minute cable car ride up the mountainside... see full details
Fuerte San Felipe
Puerto Plata's only remnant of its Spanish Colonial past is a small fort, situated on a small peninsula in Puerto Plata Bay. The fort, featuring a moat, and a collection of historical artefacts in a small museum, was built in the mid 15th... see full details
Jutting out into the Atlantic like a finger, the beautiful Samaná Peninsula to the east of the island is a remote area with deserted white sand beaches, palm forests and clear, calm waters. Hidden towns and fishing villages, brightly painted Dominican homes, and a... see full details
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