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 the Dominican 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 on its eastern side.
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 landing at the airport in the Dominican Republic, is to go to the immigration area where you must buy a tourist card (the cost of the card is $ 10). If you suddenly want to extend your stay in the Dominican Republic, you can do this at the immigration office 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 applies to products made from the shell of turtles 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, the 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 products, 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 holidays 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 the merengue lifestyle, then go ahead Dominica is waiting for you!