Dominican Republic Holidays
The Dominican Republic, situated in the Caribbean, offers visitors a full spectrum of tropical scenery including white-sand, barefoot beaches, rain forests, mangrove lagoons, rain forests and the highest and lowest points in the Caribbean. The island has a distinctive Latin flavour, and its citizens are warm and welcoming to visitors. Dominican Republic holidays offer more than just beaches because the Caribbean's second largest island has a diverse geography that includes mountains and waterfalls, desert scrub-lands and teeming jungle environments.
Visitors can see examples of colonial architecture in Santa Domingo, visit regions where cobbled lanes and shuttered buildings suggest Italian villages, watch for humpback whales while visiting the Samana peninsula, enjoy relaxing on the beach, go sailing in azure waters or trek into the mountains and thick rain forests.
Featured Dominican Republic Hotels
Near the equator, the Dominican Republic's sun seems brighter, the sky seems bluer, and the colourful houses and huts seem more charming than they do in other holiday destinations. With a range of amenities and destinations in the Dominican Republic, holidays to this paradise on earth offer some of the most affordable bookings in the Caribbean throughout the year. Postcard-perfect beaches, whale watching, sleepy resorts, rum factory tours, cable cars to stunning mountain hideaways and quiet fishing villages provide distinctive tourist experiences for idyllic holidays for honeymoons, families and single travellers.
When should I book to visit?
The great thing about Dominican Republic holidays is that you can book year-round and enjoy certain advantages.
Weather in Dominican Republic
High season for tourists runs from the middle of December to the middle of April. Competition among airlines keeps airfares low from January to April, and Mardi Gras celebrations fall within this period annually. Trade winds moderate weather, and the island stays dry and comfortable. During the rainy season from May to November, hotel prices drop.
Hurricane season officially runs from June to November, but satellite technology gives you plenty of warning, and the big hotels are equipped to deal with the problems caused by tropical rains.
What can I do on my visit?
The top attractions of Dominican Republic holidays include more than 1,600 kilometres of beautiful beaches, countless historical and cultural attractions, outstanding surfing conditions and wildlife sanctuaries where families can observe crocodiles, flamingos and other exotic and endangered creatures in their natural habitats. Some of Dominican Republic's top attractions include:
Santo Domingo's Zona Colonial
The New World's oldest city, Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial has restored 16th century mansions, cobblestone streets, modern shopping and streets where pirates and conquistadors roamed. Colonial City or Cicada Colonial was the first city established by Christopher Columbus, and it has been named a World Heritage Site. The Tower of Homage still stands as the oldest military fortress in the Americas.
Playa Rincón Beach
Experts rate the Playa Rincón beach as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and the world. Large enough for each visitor to claim a space, the beach has a stunning palm-forest backdrop adjacent to the 600-metre cliffs of Cape Cabron that surround the protected cove. A freshwater river provides ideal conditions for swimming and boating, and a restaurant provides sustenance for those who want to spend all their time relaxing away from the crowds.
Museum of Taino Art in Puerto Plata
The museum features exhibits and artefacts from Domnican Republic's native Taino tribes whom Columbus first encountered in 1492.
Museum of Dominican Man in Santo Domingo
Museums are an important part of Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and world history because the area served as the cradle of civilisation in the New World. This museum features exhibits and documents that reveal the lifestyle of colonial settlers and Taino natives through hundreds of years.
Are there guided tours?
Guided tours are great ways to see various sights and attractions in Dominican Republic, and these excursions include jungle safaris, off-road 4X4 adventures, surfing tours and zip lining over the forest canopies. Tours to Santa Domingo include visits to Catedral Primada de América, Juan Pablo Duarte Olympic Centre, Ozama Fort, the promenade along the Caribbean coast, Alcázar de Colón national cemetery and the Paseo de los Indios park. Shopping tours provide visits to hidden boutiques and crafts shops where visitors can buy authentic Dominican amber, gemstones, larimer and local products made by hand.
Dominican Republic Cuisine
Holidays to Dominican Republic offer outstanding culinary choices because the country has more restaurants than any other Caribbean destination.
All-inclusive Dominican Republic resorts provide international cuisines and local favourites, but these are often bland versions of local fare. Local cuisine is a blend of Taino, Spanish and African influences and features spicy meats, red beans and rice, mashed and boiled plantain, flan, bread made from yucca, tacos and tamales and dishes seasoned with sofrito, a mix of local spices and herbs.
Locally available tropical fruits ensure plenty of fruit juices, signature rum drinks, smoothies and coconut water or milk in additional to carbonated sodas. Roadside food stands offer chimichurri, fried snacks, pork rinds and fried chicken.
Some classic Dominican Republic dishes include:
- Yaroa, a casserole dish created with a mix of mashed plantain, paired with a meat of choice such as beef or pork and seasoned with condiments.
- Suspiritos: a tasty dessert, similar to a Meringue, commonly flavoured with lime.
- Mangú – an accompanying dish that consists of eggs, plantain and cheese, with toppings and fillings of your choice such as meats or onions.
What makes the Dominican Republic special?
A mesmerising mixture of culture, activities, luxury and delicious cuisine – it’s not hard to see why the Dominican Republic is a popular holiday destination.
Home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, the Dominican Republic is world-renowned for its stunning scenery and array of tropical wildlife. With breath-taking national parks such as the 3-Eyes and National Park of The East to visit, you’re sure to see some of the world’s most unbelievable destinations during your visit. For the thrill-seekers amongst us, there are a range of hiking, extreme sports, climbing and cable car experiences to satisfy your need for adrenaline.
Where should I stay?
Visitors can choose from budget accommodations, two, three, four and five-star hotels, camping and eco-tourism choices, private villas and all-inclusive resorts where every amenity for relaxing and baking in the sun is at hand. Visitors can choose the kind of accommodation that suits their personal travelling styles, budgets and preferred holiday activities.
What hotels do you recommend?
The great part about the resorts in the Dominican Republic is their status as amenity-packed, luxury holiday destinations. Whether you’re a couple, a group or a family looking for a tropical vacation, the resorts of the beautiful Dominican Republic will have something to suit your style and needs.
Dominican Travel: Our Top Tips
You can keep up to date with news around the Dominican Republic in the run up to your trip. So get excited, book your itinerary and start counting down the days!
In the meantime, here are some useful things to know before you visit:
- The local language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish, though many locals speak great English so communication will not be an issue.
- The currency is that of the Dominican Peso.
- From the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic local time is -4 hours.
- It’s a great idea to book travel in advance to ensure you get the best price and are not left waiting or without!
- It’s really important that you don’t drink the tap water during your stay – as this could make you quite sick.