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Dominican RepublicCaribbean

Tropical beaches, surf breaks, magnificentmountain landscapes and a friendly welcome await visitors to this islanddestination in the heart of the Caribbean Sea.

Situatedin the Caribbean Sea, the Dominican Republic shares its idyllic island settingwith Haiti. Find striking mountain peaks, verdant rainforests and colonial heritagecities bordered by gorgeous beaches. It is believed that the Taíno people inhabitedthe island since the 7th century. In 1492, Christopher Columbus established theAmericas’ first European settlement here.

Santo Domingo is the Dominican Republic’s fascinatingcapital. Explore colonial landmarks, shop for semiprecious stones, visit museumsand watch passionate baseball games. Stroll along the waterfront in Malecón, home to cafés, live music barsand traditional “merengue” clubs. Just under a 2-hour drive from the capital isConcepción de la Vega, a city famousfor hosting the country’s liveliest carnival.

Manyvisitors go directly to the beach resorts, with good reason. On the southeastcoast are Bávaro and Punta Cana, both home to white-sandbeaches, all-inclusive hotel complexes and superb golf courses. Visit the Jaragua National Park, on the island’s southwest Barahona Peninsula, to discoversecluded beaches.

Onthe north coast you’ll find Playa Dorada,a complex of hotels, swimming pools, restaurants and bars. Nearby, find Puerto Plata, where the beach meetsVictorian-era architecture. The beaches of Cabaretepresent excellent windsurfing and kite-surfing conditions. Some of theisland’s most appealing coastline is at SamanáPeninsula, including the palm-fringed PlayaRincón. Spot humpback whales from the peninsula in winter or swim with themajestic mammals at Silver Bank.

There’smore to the Dominican Republic than beaches, though. Hike to the summit of Pico Duarte in the Cordillera Central mountain range. Spot crocodiles andiguanas at Enriquillo Lake. Ride onhorseback to the waterfalls of Jarabacoa.

Reachthe Dominican Republic via one of six international airports on the island. Getaround using public buses or taxis. Cars, scooters and bicycles are availablefor rent. The country has balmy average temperatures of 77°F (25°C), althoughhurricanes are possible from August to September. Adventure, history and relaxationwith year-round sunshine make the Dominican Republic a popular vacation choice.

Popular cities in Dominican Republic

Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park showing a lake or waterhole
Punta Cana
Known for Rocky Beaches, Entertainment and Relaxing

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Reasons to visit

  • Punta Cana Beach
    Punta Cana Beach
  • Bayahibe Beach
    Bayahibe Beach
  • Arena Gorda Beach
    Arena Gorda Beach
Las Terrenas which includes general coastal views
Samana
Known for Rocky Beaches, Relaxing and Whale Watching

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Reasons to visit

  • Cayo Levantado
    Cayo Levantado
  • Samana Bay
    Samana Bay
  • Rincon Beach
    Rincon Beach
Columbus Lighthouse showing a lighthouse and a monument
Santo Domingo
Known for Historical, Entertainment and Dancing

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Reasons to visit

  • Palace of Fine Arts
    Palace of Fine Arts
Santiago
Santiago de los Caballeros
Known for Dining, Shopping and Monument

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Reasons to visit

  • Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration
    Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration
Constanza
Known for Mountain, Family-friendly and UNESCO Site

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Bonao
Known for Secluded, Camping and Horseback Riding

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Popular places to visit in Dominican Republic

Penang Hill
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Penang Hill

Venture to Gurney Drive and KOMTAR—just two of the popular sights around Penang Hill, a city also known for its temples and shopping.

Fort San Felipe
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Fort San Felipe

Formerly used to ward off marauding pirates, this colonial defense structure now serves as a historical museum, offering superb bay views.

Fort Ozama
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Fort Ozama

The oldest military structure in the New World, this imposing fort is the site from where the Spanish launched several key colonial conquests in the Americas.

Colon Lighthouse and Museum
Image for Colon Lighthouse and Museum

Colon Lighthouse and Museum

Admire the grandeur of this monument, which memorializes the explorations of Christopher Columbus and the diversity of the New World.

Catalina Island
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Catalina Island

A popular escape from the streets of Los Angeles, this island’s laid-back atmosphere and crystal-clear waters make it seem a world away from the busy city. 

27 Waterfalls
Image for 27 Waterfalls

27 Waterfalls

Get your heart thumping on an exhilarating adventure tour around an impressive series of waterfalls.