The Dominican Republic is the second-largest country in the Caribbean and one of the most diverse. Its paradisiacal beaches, historical sites, and natural parks never disappoint travelers. This destination has excellent attractions for adventurers.
Discover Santo Domingo
The Dominican Republic, with its vibrant capital, Santo Domingo, is a must, and you should include this fascinating city in your itinerary. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this captivating city was the first European settlement in the Americas. For those who want to integrate a little culture into their trip, strolling through the historic area of Santo Domingo is undoubtedly one of the best things to do in the Dominican Republic. One of the most popular places in the old city is Parque Colón, the central pedestrian square where families and friends gather. There are wonderful local restaurants, beautiful boutiques, art galleries, and cigar shops, where you’ll have an unforgettable Caribbean experience.
Snorkel in Saona Island
Saona is the largest island in the Dominican Republic. It is located south of the country and is part of the Cotubanamá National Park. This is a popular excursion for tourists who travel to Punta Cana, and want to include snorkeling in their plans. Saona Island is known for its beautiful coral reefs and great diversity of fauna, such as turtles, crabs, and starfish. Snorkeling on Saona Island is one of the best excursions you can do in the Dominican Republic. One of the best-known points for snorkeling is Pepe Beach. It is a paradise with white sand and crystal-clear waters and an incredible reef worth diving in to admire. Other exciting stops on this excursion are the Mano Juan Turtle Sanctuary, the walk through the mangroves – an ecosystem of trees resistant to saltwater – and the Natural Pool, where the famous Caribbean starfish lives.
Punta Cana is undeniably the crown jewel of tourism in the Dominican Republic. Located on an island, the only two ways to get there are by plane or boat. A destination where all-inclusive resorts dominate, you can admire its impressive golf resorts, lush fairways along the Atlantic shore, and swimming pools that seem to merge with the Caribbean Ocean. Most of the five-star hotels are located in Bavaro Beach, but other beaches are worth visiting, such as Macao Beach, Uvero Alto, to the North, and Playa Blanca and Bocas del Toro in the Southern end. Punta Cana offers tours to nearby attractions, water parks, islands, rum farms, plantations, horseback riding, and many other outdoor activities.
Los Haitises National Park
The Haitises National Park is an extensive coastal rainforest in the southern part of Samana Bay, composed of 56 cays and many mangroves. In recent years, it has become a magnet for ecotourists and one of the most important destinations in the country. Los Haitises, which translates into hilly land in the Taino language, is the main attraction of this park, with a magnificent series of 98-foot high rock formations protruding out of the water. There are also many fascinating caves to see, complete with mysterious petroglyphs from centuries past. You can visit the park on foot, but the best way to do it is by kayak. This way, you’ll explore more hard-to-access areas and admire the diversity of marine species, such as dolphins, whales, manatees, as well as birds, and reptiles. Los Haitises is one of the best kayak tours in the Dominican Republic that is sustainable without disrupting the natural habitat.
El Limón Waterfall
The route to the Limón Waterfall is one of the best excursions you can do in the Dominican Republic if you visit the Samana Peninsula. More than 130 feet high, reaching the waterfall is a reward after walking the road on horseback or on foot. The trail allows you to enjoy the tropical forest, full of coconut trees, with steep ups and downs; it takes a little more than half an hour walking and about 15 minutes on horseback. A natural pool at the foot of the falls offers travelers a wonderful place to cool off and rest after a hot mountain hike. This is a top-rated tour, so plan ahead and try to get there early to skip the crowds.
The Dominican Republic is home to some of the most important natural wonders of the Americas. With diverse flora and fauna, and natural scenery where you can release adrenaline while enjoying dreamy land and seascapes, this is a trip you will never forget.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories