Holidays to the Dominican Republic are about more than just the beach. This diverse country also throws rainforests, mountains and colonial towns into the ring.
The Dominican Republic’s built up a reputation as a sunbather’s paradise. But it’s got more than spotless beaches up its sleeve. Terrain-wise, you’ll find everything from mountains to jungles and mangrove swamps. And a Cruise & Stay holiday lets you explore all the country has to offer.
Every kind of beach
There’s no shortage of pristine coastline in the Dominican Republic – picture dove-coloured belts, volcanic black stretches and treasure-tinted coves. It all adds up to around 1,000 miles to pick from. And the island’s eastern shoreline is a vision of palm-lined sandy strips, hence its nickname – the Coconut Coast.
A capital of firsts
Dominicans are rightly proud of their past. After all, Christopher Columbus chose it as the setting for his first colony, La Isabela, as well as Spain’s first New World city, Santo Domingo. The capital’s huge Colonial Zone is prime sightseeing territory, thanks to the hemisphere’s first monastery, a 16th-century castle and a mansion built for Columbus’ son, Diego.
Plenty of activities
Away from the coast, the island’s interior was made for adrenaline-fuelled holidays. Think rivers, waterfalls and jungle, along with four of the five highest peaks in the Caribbean. If you choose to Cruise & Stay, you can squeeze in 4x4 tours of the countryside, leaping from waterfalls and zip-lining. It’s also got the Caribbean’s only raftable river – the Rio Yaque del Norte.
Cruise travellers aren’t the only ones drawn to the Dominican Republic’s sunny shores for winter. You’ll also be joined by thousands of humpback whales, who gather in the waters off the Samana Peninsula to mate and give birth. You can head out on boat trips from Samana Harbour.
Places To Stay In Dominican Republic View all places to stay »
Made up of around 30 resorts dotted over hundreds of square miles, Punta Cana is where the A-listers like to lounge. The Clintons, Beyonce and Brad Pitt have all been papped here, and it’s easy to see why. The 50-kilometre coastline is a thick stripe of white sand fringed by giant coconut trees. Plus, beyond the beaches, you’ll find golf courses, tropical countryside and a sprinkling of colonial cities.
Tucked away in the south-east corner of the Dominican Republic, La Romana is beach central. The sandy swathes in this neck of the woods stretch along the coastline from La Romana City all the way to Bayahibe, and the locals reckon they’re the best-looking in the country. Playa La Minatas, for example, is a Photoshop-perfect stretch where jetsetters come to see and be seen. And Playa El Caleton’s pristine sands and shallow waters make it a big hit with families.
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Sign up for some watersports
You’ll find a great line-up of action both on – and under – the water in the Dom Rep, whether windsurfing or scuba diving…
Take a shower at Salto del Limón
Hidden deep in a palm forest in the heart of the Samana Peninsula, this waterfall is a real feast for the eyes. Water gushes…
Jitterbug through the rainforest on a monster truck safari
Turn your back on the beach for a day and go off-road to see the real Dominican Republic. Sign up for a monster truck safari…
See the sights in Santiago and Jarabacoa
Drive 1 and a half hours inland from Samana Town and you’ll arrive in the leafy city of Santiago. Ringed by mountains, it…
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