The Dominican Republic – vacation at the edge of the world: figuring out what to do there
Don’t visit the Dominican Republic NEVER! Until you read our article about it We tell you about the cool places, the best resorts, show you everything in pictures and maps! We’ll tell you what to eat from Dominican food , what holidays to visit, what month it’s best to fly in and what to expect from the weather. Sit back and listen.
The Dominican Republic is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the Caribbean, with amazing mountain scenery, desert bushland, colonial architecture and endless beaches.
Hundreds of kilometers of coastline define the Dominican Republic, some of which are the whitest sandy beaches, shaded by rows of palm trees, others are windswept dunes, serene mangrove lagoons and rocky cliffs. Whether it’s fishing villages with boats moored along the shores or indulgent tourist sites with aquamarine waters, the sea is the common denominator.
Some of the harbors where pirates once roamed are the temporary home of vast numbers of migrating humpback whales and are part of a vast network of nature reserves and parks that protect the country’s natural heritage.
Except for the capital, most of Dominica’s population lives in the countryside . As you drive through the vast, fertile land, you’ll see horses and cows roaming the roads, as well as trucks and donkeys loaded with fresh produce. Moving further inland you’ll encounter views reminiscent of the Alps, rivers rushing through lush jungle, and beautiful waterfalls. Four of the five highest peaks in the Caribbean rise above the fertile lowlands surrounding Santiago, and the remote deserts stretching across the southwest give the Dominican Republic a physical and cultural complexity you won’t find on other islands.
Dominican Republic tours from cheap to luxury
Search tours at once for all tour operators, so you can sort by cost, hotel stars, first line location, food with All Inclusive and more. Just choose how many people are flying and for what period. You will also be able to select ±3 days of departure and even the number of nights if you are not strictly tied to the dates. Very convenient, really recommended.
General information about the Dominican Republic
- Area of the country : 48 730 square kilometers
- Capital : Santo Domingo;
- Languages : Spanish, followed by English;
- Religion : Mostly Christian (most Catholic and approximately 4% Protestant);
- Currency : Dominican peso, but U.S. dollars are also widely accepted in tourist areas;
- Country telephone code : + 1-809;
- Tipping : Restaurants usually automatically include 10% in the bill, but it is customary to give 10%. For room cleaning, $1-$2 per day.
Where is the Dominican Republic
The country is located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean and occupies two-thirds of the island of Haiti in its eastern part.
Climate, or when it’s best to go to the Dominican Republic
High season (mid-December-February)
- July-August and the week before Easter are also high season;
- be prepared for higher hotel prices and crowded beaches;
- whale watching is available from about mid-January to mid-March;
- many water sports are prohibited the week before Easter.
- brief but fairly heavy rains in Santo Domingo (until October);
- March is dry in Saman; April is ideal throughout the country;
- May through June cloudy or variable cloudiness; chance of afternoon rains.
Low season (August-early December).
- Hurricane season from June through December (especially in the east), but despite the storms, it’s quite beautiful here;
- temperatures don’t vary much (the exception is the mountains);
- Cheap enough rooms, but some facilities in the resort areas close in October.
Culture of the Dominican Republic
Dominican culture is a mix of cultural elements from Spain, Africa and the Indians. The Dominican Republic is known for merengue, a hot, spicy, Latin music. Baseball is the most popular sport, and the Dominican Republic is famous for a large number of stars in the Major Leagues – among them Sammy Sosa, Pedro Martinez, and David Ortiz.
Do I need a visa to enter the Dominican Republic?
Most foreign tourists do not need a visa to visit the Dominican Republic. The same rule applies to citizens of the Russian Federation, the only thing you need to do after disembarking at the airport of the Dominican Republic is to go to the immigration office where you must buy a tourist card (the cost of the card is 10 U.S. dollars). If you suddenly want to extend your stay in the Dominican Republic, you can do this at the Immigration Department of the Dominican Republic
You are allowed to stay in the Dominican Republic on a tourist card for up to 30 days
What are the requirements for entry to the Dominican Republic?
For entry you will need:
- A valid passport (respectively, when leaving the country, it must also be valid);
- tourist card;
- Return tickets;
- If the child travels to the Dominican Republic without parents, for example, with grandparents or as part of a tourist group, they must provide a notarized document in which the parents give their consent for the child to travel abroad.
In addition to the obvious prohibitions, such as transporting weapons, drugs and exotic animals, there is a specific list of import restrictions for foreigners arriving in the Dominican Republic. Tourists can bring up to 200 cigarettes, 2 liters of alcohol and 1 box of cigars. It is also worth carrying a prescription for any medications, especially psychotropic drugs.
It is illegal to take things out of the Dominican Republic:
- Things that are more than 100 years old – paintings, household items, prehistoric artifacts, etc. – Without special export certificates;
- Mahogany, because it is endangered, and things made of mahogany, they can be confiscated at departure.
- Black coral is widespread in the country, the law of the Dominican Republic does not prohibit its sale, but international agreements on the environment – advise to avoid buying it. The same goes for products made from tortoise shell and butterfly wings-these animals are on the verge of extinction;
- It is illegal to export raw amber from the Dominican Republic, although amber jewelry is publicly available and highly prized.
How to get to the Dominican Republic
The vast majority of tourists traveling to the Dominican Republic arrive by air. There are regular flights from Moscow to the Dominican Republic several times a week, if you want to use Russian airlines, you can consider Aeroflot (the company operates 4 flights per week).
You can also consider connecting flights from Moscow, connection is made either in Frankfurt, Paris, Amsterdam or Madrid.
Resorts in the Dominican Republic
Punta Cana and Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata, here you will find most all-inclusive resorts. If you want to save money, look for accommodations around Sosua Beach. To get into the local culture and explore the history, stay in the capital city of Santo Domingo. And now for more details.
The location of Punta Cana is ideal for beach resorts: temperatures are moderate and steady. Stronger winds blow on the east side of the island and make it ideal for surfing, sailing and other water sports.
If you’re not a fan of noisy resorts, La Romana is the perfect place for you, especially for vacations with young children. This place became famous after the South Puerto Rico Sugar Company built a sugar factory there in 1917. La Romana has been a tourist destination since the 1980s. You can go scuba diving, snorkeling, take a trip to the island of Saona and of course enjoy the cleanest beaches.
Puerto Plata is located on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic and has 24 kilometers of sandy beach Playa Dorada, golf courses, many restaurants, casinos, and other attractions that make this area one of the most popular tourist destinations on the island.
Halfway between Punta Cana and Puerto Plata on the north side of Española, is the Samaná Peninsula. It is the oldest tourist destination in the Dominican Republic, but probably the brightest.
If you want to start your exploration of the “real” Dominican Republic start with Santo Domingo and then go elsewhere. The modern Dominican Republic begins here, and with the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492 you could say that this is where the full western expansion into the New World began. Santo Domingo was the first capital of Europe on the other side of the Atlantic.
Best Hotels Dominican Republic
The variety of hotels is quite large, and, at the same time, there are both with the program All inclusive (all inclusive), and without power. Here is a small list of the most interesting hotels with large areas, animation and location:
– The hotel is located in La Romana, next to the island of Saona and the Eastern National Park. – is located in Punta Cana on the shores of the Caribbean Sea. Very developed nightlife, and the area itself is very green, the pools are made in a tropical style with palm trees on artificial islands. – Another hotel Putna Cana near Bavaro Beach, where the fine white sand. All hotel guests can use the territory and infrastructure of Grand Palladium Bavaro and Grand Palladium Palace. Chic for families with children, but will also be a good option for young people. – Do you want to live like in the tropics? You are here. Located in Punta Cana, has its own tropical garden, made in the colonial style. Tourists with high demands like to relax here, for a calm measured rest, just perfect. – It is ideal for those who go to Santo Domingo and want more than just a beach holiday, because the hotel is not in the first line, and it is for those who want to visit museums, see the historic center, visit as many attractions as possible.
You can see other hotels here and here.
What to do in the Dominican Republic?
Most tourists in the Dominican Republic come for the beaches and all-encompassing resorts, but do not forget that four hundred years of history has prepared for travelers, many more interesting things, such as picturesque mountains, museums, large and small cities and much, much more.
Types of recreation:
- rafting on the Yaque del Norte River;
- hiking in Mt. Duarte;
- mountain biking;
- swimming with dolphins;
- humpback whale watching;
- horseback riding.
Also, the Dominican Republic has a very vibrant nightlife. Dominicans love to drink, socialize and party. Wherever you are in the country, the central square is most likely the nightly gathering place for locals and tourists from all over the world.
Places to visit in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is known as a fairly affordable beach vacation destination, always packed with tourists and tempting all-inclusive resorts. But the country is also known for its culture, history and stunning natural beauty. The main tourist spots are the areas around Puerto Plato, Punta Cana, La Romana and Samana. However, the cultural gem of the country is the capital, Santo Domingo, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, in the city you can visit the Alcazar de Colón, Plaza de la Cultura, the Museum of Modern Art, as well as the Columbus Palace, Fort Ozama and the National Botanical Garden.
In addition to excellent seaside 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, there is an abundance of recreational opportunities on the island. Adventurers head to the mountains to raft down the Rio Yaque del Norte River. The rugged alpine landscape also attracts travelers to hike its many mountain trails. Along the coast, water lovers can swim, dive, kayak, kite board, boat and surf. The abundance of activities and attractions attracts more and more tourists from all over the world.
National Dominican Cuisine.
Like many traditions preserved in the Dominican Republic, the cuisine is a mixture of Spanish, African and even Thai influences. A particular type of cuisine is known as comida criolla (comida criolla), which is also found in other parts of the Caribbean and adapts classic Spanish and African recipes from local ingredients.
Dominican cuisine is rich in starchy foods, especially rice, potatoes, yucca, cassava and bananas. One of the most popular dishes in the Dominican Republic that you will find on almost every restaurant menu is la bandera (“the flag”). La bandera is a dish of stewed meat, white rice, beans (red beans are usually used) and green lettuce leaves. Another common dish is a sweet bean cream with milk and other additives known as habichuela con dulche (Abichuela con dulce). The Dominicans also have their own version of Spanish paella, a dish known as locrio, in which achiote is used to color the rice instead of saffron.
Bananas and banana dishes are especially popular in the Dominican Republic, usually boiled, stewed, or simply served candied. Mangu is a popular dish consisting of mashed banana and bacon. You can also try boiled bananas with garlic, olive oil and pork rinds, order mofongo for this .
Popular meats used for cooking in the Dominican Republic are pork, beef, chicken, and goat meat. Especially popular is the roast pork plate, known as l echon asado , as well as k uchifrito , which is a pork stew. Roast beef with ham, onions, and spicy garnish is known as k arne mejada . Goat meat stewed with tomato sauce or roasted goat leg with rum and cilantro are also dish favorites.
Of course, seafood is also a staple of Dominican cuisine, especially along the coast. Two of the most common types of fish consumed in the Dominican Republic are perch and red perch. They are often cooked with mild or spicy tomato sauce, garlic sauce, or coconut sauce. Octopus, crab, and lobster are also popular.
Although the Dominican Republic is not considered one of the culinary leaders of the world, but you will find many delicious local dishes that must try.
Pros and cons of vacationing in the Dominican Republic and recommendations
We recommend buying a mosquito repellent, as at night you can be bitten by pesky mosquitoes. Do not be misled by the wind and clouds, as the tropical ultraviolet rays of the sun pass through them very easily, so regularly apply sunscreen. It is especially important to wear panamas and sunglasses on children.
Hurricane season in the Dominican Republic runs from June through November. Before you travel, you should watch for weather updates and monitor the progress of approaching storms.
Exchange money at banks or official exchange offices (casas de cambio). Be careful when withdrawing cash from an ATM, as credit card cloning and identity theft are common.
- A wide variety of all-inclusive resort services available;
- magnificent wildlife (from its idyllic beaches to picturesque green and mountain scenery);
- The average daytime temperature ranges from +26 to +29 degrees;
- the people are kind, friendly and open, which is especially attractive;
- many attractions.
- tap water is not potable;
- Dengue fever and malaria are a risk (so bring a good mosquito spray and antimalarial medication;
- petty theft is possible;
- many resorts lack local culture, including music, food, and dancing;
- many roads are quite bad and bumpy.
Dominicans greet you by saying, “This is your home! ” and indeed they are happy to share their beautiful island, washed by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south. Among its most prized assets are 1,600 kilometers of gorgeous beaches dotted with coconut palms and sands ranging from pearly white to golden brown to volcanic black. The Caribbean sun kisses this exotic land, where the temperature ranges from +26°C all year round.
Demand for vacations in the Dominican Republic has increased significantly in recent years as all-encompassing resorts have become more upscale and small, stellar boutique hotels have opened in all the most popular tourist areas. The level of service staff has also improved. If you’ve chosen the rhythm of merengue lifestyle, then go ahead Dominica is waiting for you!
The Dominican Republic is a state that occupies nearly three-quarters of the island of Haiti. This wonderful country attracts tourists from all over the world with its snow-white beaches that look like they were taken off the brochures, the almost untouched exotic nature, the unique local cuisine and original souvenirs to take with you, including cocoa and tobacco products. The sounds of music in the distance will delight the ears and the light breeze will refresh and invigorate weary travelers. Dominicans treat tourists with great cordiality. Many locals, though the island is traditionally Spanish-speaking, have a decent command of English.
Save on a trip to the Dominican Republic!
Video: Dominican Republic
Columbus Monument in Santo Domingo The Dominican Republic has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world
The Dominican Republic has an area of 48,442 km² and a population of about 10 million people (by comparison, the comparable country of Slovakia has half as many people). The only land border is with the territory of Haiti, the closest eastern neighbor is Puerto Rico on the other side of the Strait of Mona. The Dominican Republic is washed by the Caribbean Sea to the south and the Atlantic Ocean to the north.
The development of the country is largely determined by the landscape, which consists of a mountain range that protrudes from the sea. The highest peak of the island is Duarte Peak, located in its western part, in the Central Cordillera mountain range. Its height reaches 3,087 m. The low ridge of the Northern Cordilleras skirts the northwestern coast, while the Eastern Cordilleras form the eastern tip of the island. These mountains are surrounded by scenic valleys, mountain streams, and rivers. The largest river, the Yaque del Norte, is 296 km long. In the basin of the Yaque del Norte stretches the most fertile valley Sibao, where cereals and tobacco are grown. Many lakes and lagoons adorn the already magnificent landscape of the Dominican Republic.
Mountains of Haiti Yaque del Norte Jungle Lake Saona Island
Much of the Dominican Republic is covered in lush, dense greenery, with more than 5,600 plant species. But there are also contrasts: one day you can visit a deciduous forest with giant trees, and the next day you can walk through the desert among cacti. Cashews, coconuts, guava, carambola, and the coveted red and ebony trees grow on the island.
Cities and Resorts of the Dominican Republic
Climate and weather in the Dominican Republic
The geographic location of the Dominican Republic has produced a tropical climate in its maritime version. Throughout the year there are comfortable weather conditions, the average temperature is +25. +27 ºС, and the water gets up to +25. +26 degrees. Even in the coldest month of the country – January – the thermometers almost never fall below +22 degrees Celsius. The hottest month is August, when the “daily” rate is +31. +33 º C.
The beach in Punta Cana
It should be remembered that the air here is not only warm, but also saturated with water vapor – the humidity at different times of the year ranges from 65 to 80%. It rains the most on the Samaná Peninsula with a break from February to March. Santo Domingo receives most of its rainfall from May through October. In the northern part of the island, it rains from October through the end of March. Luckily, the tropical downpours are short-lived and don’t ruin your vacation, but rather refresh you after a hot day. What can really get in the way of a good vacation are the hurricanes that come here from August to October. The greatest danger is the eastern part of the island, which can be devastated by the floods. But despite the increased activity of hurricanes in recent years, it does not stop tourists, and they still come to the Dominican Republic at this time. If you find yourself close to shore during an approaching storm, try to move inland, preferably to a major resort, as there should be everything you need for such cases.
If you still prefer a “steady” sunny weather, choose a date falling on the local “high season. Prices for tours to the Dominican Republic from December to April, of course, somewhat higher, but the difference is more than offset by the opportunity to quietly enjoy the dry and warm days.
Going to new places, it is always interesting to learn a little about their past, and then personally visit where history was made. The majority of these monuments are in Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic.
Rock paintings, more than 2000 years old, in the caves north of San Cristobal
By the way, the Dominican Republic itself has long been known by the same name. Santo Domingo, that is, St. Dominic, is considered the patron saint of these lands. However, before the discovery of the island by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the natives, of course, had never heard of any Catholic priests. In the early 16th century, Spanish colonization began here. Over the next few centuries, the territory was the object of the claims of the powerful European powers: Spain, France and Britain. Final independence was achieved only in 1865, but the national uprising against foreign domination was followed by a succession of coups, which stretched over several decades and caused a deep economic crisis. Nowadays the political temperature is not so high that it is worth worrying about for visitors to the Dominican Republic.
Nowadays Dominicans, unfortunately, cannot afford the same luxuries as visitors to the island. The traditional industry, based on sugar cane production and providing jobs for a large population, is giving way to cheaper production such as corn syrup. This has led to many job losses. Although tourism is booming in the Dominican Republic, most hotels are owned by foreigners who allow the local population only the easiest jobs. A common problem for Dominicans is frequent power outages and water restrictions. However, despite the great socio-economic problems, Dominicans are very friendly and welcoming.
Although life in the Dominican Republic has changed in recent decades, some things have remained intact, such as baseball, which has always been a national passion. Most towns and cities have their own teams, and during a game, life just comes to a screeching halt. Religion also plays an important role in the country, most Dominicans belong to the Roman Catholic Church, although the island is still influenced by the ancient religion of voodoo.
The main resorts of the Dominican Republic
Punta Cana can boldly pose for advertising brochures – retouching such pictures simply will not be needed, because the sand here is really white, the waves rolling up on it, transparent blue, and luxurious palm trees on the shore not to count. This is an excellent place for respectable family holidays, which allows you to go on interesting day tours in the surrounding area to see a variety of exotic animals and birds in their natural environment, visit the mangrove forests, go fishing with the locals, or tickle the nerves, from a safe distance watching the sharks and electric stingrays. Hotels are mostly five-star, they are low-rise buildings or detached bungalows, and, of course, are all-inclusive.
Popular area of the Dominican Republic is justly the Costa del Ambar, which means “amber coast. It is famous not only for its rare black amber, but also for its beaches. Under the general name of Puerto Plata traditionally combine several locations, good, 120 kilometers of coastal zone allows not to squeeze neither vacationers, nor the facilities that take them. The resort complex Playa Dorada includes more than a dozen hotels, each of which boasts its own territory right on the shores of the Atlantic. In addition, there is an impressive golf course, casino, boutiques, restaurants and riding club, so guests will not be bored. This small town of Sosua is mainly popular with young and single people, as it offers a lot of bars and nightclubs to enjoy your evenings. Its hotels are also geared toward this category of guests. But Cabarete attracts windsurfers and other water sports enthusiasts. If you are just taking your first steps in this field, you can afford to buy the appropriate equipment and take lessons from professionals.
La Romana does not boast a large collection of attractions, but it is often chosen by wealthy travelers who appreciate comfort and noble entertainment. Guests at the luxury hotels are invited to mix up their beach vacation with great tennis, horseback riding, scuba diving for big fish or golf on one of the two excellent courses. If you want a new experience, you can and a half dozen kilometers to the fishing village of Bayaibe, which sails excursion yachts to the nearest islands, Catalina and Saona. However, and the town itself in recent years is gaining popularity due to the good beaches, calm sea and the possibility to observe schools of fish almost at the edge of the surf.
La Estancia Golf Club Juan Dolio
Juan Dolio is an excellent choice for divers in the Dominican Republic, as there are coral reefs in close proximity to the shore that also serve as a natural barrier to the restless ocean waves, so that the water surface is surprisingly calm. The bottom is not suitable for entering the water without special shoes, due to the abundance of fragments of lime sediment. In addition, during the weekend, the resort is filled with residents of the capital (the one is very close) and it becomes too crowded, so it’s better to go here on weekdays.
While we are talking about Santo Domingo, it is worth mentioning that it is not only the business and economic center of the Dominican Republic, but also ready to receive tourists who want to combine sunbathing and cultural program – the historic city center is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. On the west bank of the Osama River is the so-called colonial zone: old neighborhoods with narrow streets (including Calle Las Damas, the oldest sidewalk in the New World), as well as the Gascoie neighborhood with many Victorian-style mansions. You will definitely have a great time. But be aware that there are no proper beaches within the city limits, as the coast is too stony. For a portion of the sea, visitors and locals go to nearby villages – such as Boca Chica, which is built at a shallow lagoon with calm clear water and velvet sand.
And finally, a few words about one of the youngest resorts in the Dominican Republic – Cap Cana. This place is rapidly growing due to the generous investments and is opening its arms to not everyone, and offers a high-class vacation for a special category of guests: politicians, international stars, elite athletes and the most successful businessmen. What attracts them? Private beaches and swimming pools with sea or fresh water, fitness centers with personal trainers, spa complexes, a unique yacht port, chic restaurants, chefs who have earned Michelin stars, and, of course, the exclusive golf club Punta Espada, whose course is selected for their championship championship golfers Association USA. All services are luxury – and at a corresponding price.
Attractions in the Dominican Republic
Beautiful pearl white sand beaches and wide open sea is exactly what millions of tourists from around the world yearly come to see in the Dominican Republic. But do agree, it would be a shame to travel thousands of miles and see nothing but sun loungers, cocktails and surf. Attractions are really a lot, and not all of them are man-made.
El Salto Jimenoa Falls El Salto de Bayagate Falls El Limón Beach on the Samaná Peninsula
Experienced travelers point out that you won’t find so many amazing waterfalls as here anywhere else in the world. If you get a chance, be sure to visit at least some of them: in the area of the resort of Jarabacoa are the 50-meter El Salto Jimenoa (swimming in its pool is prohibited due to the strong current, but the surrounding beauty will not allow you to regret the outing), Balneario de la Confluencia (not the highest, but favored by fans of rafting on mountain rivers and other extremists), El Salto de Bayagate, Balneario de la Guazaras. The stunning El Limón awaits you on the Samaná Peninsula, named for the greenish-yellow hue of the stream, which resembles the color of citrus peel, in the cool water at the foot of which it is pleasant to dive after a horseback ride through the jungle.
Mangrove swamps in Los Aites National Park
Ecotourism enthusiasts and nature photographers will be pleasantly surprised by the abundance of nationally important nature reserves and parks in the Dominican Republic. Armando Bermudez is not only famous for tropical flora and fauna, but also for the Duarte Peak, the highest point not only in Haiti, but also in the Antilles, which many climbers strive to conquer. Tours to climb the peak can be booked in Harabacoa or Cabarete. Los Aiteses, on the Samaná Peninsula, attracts unique mangrove swamps and mysterious caves of the Taíno Indians (some with pre-Columbian rock art preserved to this day).
Caves of the Taíno Indians
The caves of San Gabriel, Arena, Angel, and Linea are not only impressive in size, but truly picturesque. Another interesting site to visit was discovered recently in the Dominican Republic: the 20-meter waterfall Zumbador (the name means “hummingbird”). On the seashore nearby you can watch dolphins, manatees and even blue whales, the largest living mammals swimming in these latitudes from January to March.
Blue whale Iguana of Jaragua National Park
The southern part of the Pedernales Peninsula and the islands closest to it are designated as another protected area by the Dominican Republic, Jaragua. The largest reserve in the Caribbean islands, thanks to the diversity of terrain and climate, has become a haven for rare species of animals and birds: palm tanager, little green heron, frigates, red iguana and rhinoceros iguana, slit-tooth, laud turtle, olive ridley, loggerhead and others. But in the young park El Choco the main emphasis is on tropical flora, there are almost nine hundred varieties of plants, the most impressive of which are definitely considered colonies of orchids. Here you can also explore the Caribbean Karst complex, replete with underground reservoirs, in which it is pleasant to bathe in the heat.
Have you ever seen the colorful lakes, located at a depth of 15 meters underground? Don’t miss that opportunity during your Caribbean vacation. Los Tres Ojos is literally adjacent to the Dominican capital, so you can get here without off-road vehicles, horse-drawn vehicles and guides, just take a bus that follows the appropriate route. From specially equipped observation decks you can admire each of the three reservoirs: freshwater with transparent aquamarine depth, yellow-green sulfuric and salty with stalactites (on the latter water rafting is allowed, but swimming for safety reasons, local authorities have strictly prohibited).
The Lakes of Los Tres Ojos Park Lago Henriquillo
If overhanging vaults make you feel uncomfortable and you still want to see an unusual lake, head to the southwest of the Dominican Republic, where Lago Henriquillo stretches between two mountain ranges. Hiking and boat tours allow you to fully appreciate the richness of the local nature. Reptiles are the trademark of the biosphere reserve. Local iguanas are “fed” by numerous visitors and come out to meet newcomers, expecting to get treats from them, so those who are not afraid of close communication with the “native population”, we advise to take some fruit. The American crocodiles, neighbors of sociable natives, have little interest in plant food. However, they will not consider you as a supplement to their diet, as the subspecies feeds exclusively on fish. The best time to observe these animals is early in the morning, as they prefer to hide from the heat in the water by 10 o’clock.
Santa Maria la Menor Cathedral
Cultural and historical monuments are mainly concentrated in Santo Domingo. The colonial area abounds with ancient buildings of various purposes, and even the objects not mentioned in the tourist brochures are worthy of the attention of visitors to the city. While sightseeing in the capital we recommend not to miss the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor. The oldest church in America was built in the first decades of the 16th century and combines features of Baroque and Gothic architecture, reinterpreted under the obvious influence of the Plateresque (the national Spanish version of the pan-European Renaissance). Nearby is an ancient fortification – the fortress of Osama, which was designed to protect the Española (as the island of Haiti was then called) from the encroachments of France, England and the Netherlands. The ruins of the fortress wall, the Torre del Homenaje and the old arsenal are available for viewing.
Columbus Lighthouse Columbus Lighthouse inside Light from the lighthouse
And, of course, you just can’t get past the main symbol of the Dominican Republic, the Columbus Lighthouse. In fact, it really has nothing to do with the actual lantern towers. Construction of the monument of reinforced concrete lasted 6 years (1986-1992), in the end the world saw an unusual structure in the shape of a cross, stylized after the traditional step pyramids of the indigenous New World. A hundred and fifty searchlights on the roof of the lighthouse at night project a luminous cross into the sky, which can be seen tens of kilometers away. Inside the building there is a museum and a mausoleum, where, according to the official Dominican version, the remains of Christopher Columbus are kept (this fact is disputed by the Spaniards, but over the years and in connection with the multiple transfer of the grave of the navigator almost impossible to establish the truth).
Altos de Chavon Island Catalina
Those vacationing in the La Romana area and not planning a trip to the capital will not be left without an experience either. Nearby you will find the “city of artists,” Altos de Chavon. The medieval village, recreated through the efforts of film tycoon Charles Bladorne and decorator Roberto Cope, hides behind its “ancient” facades the workshops and souvenir shops of local craftsmen, restaurants and art galleries.
In 2011, the province inaugurated a truly unique museum. The fact is that its exposition is located. at a depth of three meters. Visitors with scuba gear can see close up the wreckage of a merchant ship, captured by the pirate William Kidd and sunk by him near Catalina Island, and sea life, which over the past 300 years has turned the ship into a kind of reef. Even those who have never tried on flippers should go scuba diving for this excursion.