During the pandemic, Americans were limited to a handful of countries for international travel. While many in the United States chose to travel domestically, many tourists chose to vacation in neighboring Mexico since there were few Covid restrictions. A great number of Americans also traveled to a few of the Caribbean islands.
One Caribbean island nation that has had a surge in American tourism at this time has been the Dominican Republic. In March 2021, the Dominican Republic received 263, 857 foreign visitors. An estimated 70 percent of these arrivals were Americans. Here are the top destinations in the Dominican Republic for Americans.
Top Dominican Republic Destinations for Americans
Punta Cana is a place of extreme beauty and fun beach activities. The city has everything any vacationer would want. Visitors can relax and swim on the beach where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet. At 30 miles long, the white sand coastline is the Caribbean region’s longest coast. For adventure travelers, Punta Cana has a variety of activites on land including ziplining, golf, hiking and even inland safaris. The city is full of all-inclusive resorts, family entertainment centers, water parks and secluded beachside resorts for adults only fun. Every March, the Punta Cana Carnival has a lively parade in Puna Cana Village.
Punta Cana is also the cultural hub of the Dominican Republic. The historical sites include Casa Ponce de Leon, where the Spanish explorer lived before he sailed to Puerto Rico. Tourists can get a guided tour of the history of Dominican cacao at ChocoMuseo. At Don Lucas Cigar Factory, guests can get a cigar hand rolling demonstration and a free sample of the cigar they choose. To learn the history of the Dominican Republic and its people, visit Museo de la Altagracia. This museum has a collection of paintings and jewelry dating back to the 17th century.
Sosua is the quintessential beach resort by day and party town at night. It is a popular destination for divers and swimmers due to the calm waters, marine life and reef structures. In Sosua Bay in the winter, tourists come for whale watching. The town was originally settled by 100,000 Jews that fled Nazi Germany and were offered a safe haven by then President Rafael Trujillo in 1938. Today, some of the descendants of these refugees have gone to the United States, while others have stayed and established hospitality businesses in Sosua.
This former fishing village is now one of the top beach destinations in the Dominican Republic. Bayahibe Beach is the best location in the country for scuba diving, with more than 20 diving sites here. Divers can swim to one of the three shipwrecks here including Coco, St. George and the Atlantic Princess. Guests can also enjoy snorkeling, swimming and paddle boarding in the water. One unique thing about this village is the area has a plant species only found here, the beautiful pink flowers that are called Bayahibe rose.
This historical town is located on the northern side of Samana Bay. It is noteworthy because Samana is the last place Christopher Columbus visited in the new world before returning to Spain in 1493. Today the town is a major whale watching area between January and March. At this time, Samana is the most popular destination on the island as thousands of humpback whales swim into the bay to give birth. To learn more about the humpback whales and their history on the northeastern coast, visit Museo de las Ballenas. On display at the museum is a 40 foot skeleton of a humpback whale found on the coastline between Santa Barbara de Samana and Las Galeras.
Cabarete is a place where tourists come to play on the beach and in the water. The town has three separate distinctive beaches. Kite surfers flock to Cabarte every year to fly their kites on the 1.5 miles of Kite Beach. The professional kitesurfing competitions held at Cabarete Bay include Master of the Ocean and World Cup/Copa Mundial. Just three miles west of Cabarete Bay, Playa Encuentro is one of the best surfing beaches in the Caribbean. Besides the beaches, tourists can enjoy all the eateries and nightlife in the area, plus there are caves nearby to explore on a walk or hike.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com