WELCOME TO THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
The Dominican Republic is the second-largest and most diverse Caribbean country, and situated just two hours south of Miami. Known for its warm and hospitable people, the Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and rich culture. Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, the lush tropical island paradise boasts nearly 1,000 miles (1,609 km) of coastline, 250 miles (402 km) of the world’s top beaches, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, renew at luxurious and diverse accommodations, explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy or enjoy ecotourism adventures in their magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers and beaches.
Zona Colonial is a picturesque colonial site located at the heart of Santo Domingo. It was the first city established by Spaniards on the American Continent. In 1990, UNESCO declared it a World Heritage Site. Walking through the gorgeous streets of El Conde, Las Damas, and Las Mercedes, you will discover buildings as old as the early 1500s.
The Three Eyes National Park
Located in Mirador del Este Park, 10 minutes drive away from Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo, the Three Eyes National Park house an extensive open-air limestone cave system, with three crystal clear, freshwater lakes or “eyes.” Prepare to capture stunning Instagram worthy pictures here as you take in the beauty of the calming waters. Make sure to adorn cool clothing and sturdy shoes.
Also called the resort destination of the world, Punta Cana has something for everyone. Bavaro Beach is a famous tourist destination here. With luxury resorts lined up on the white sandy beach, you can easily access all the activities, including boat riding, parasailing, and snorkeling.
Jarabacoa- a place of waters, is a scenic mountain resort perched at an altitude of 529 meters. This gorgeous little respite is known for its fresh waters, lush green landscapes, and pleasant temperatures. This town is mainly seemed out by adventure lovers as it offers many nearby opportunities for rafting, hiking, biking and other types of exploration.
La Romana is the fifth largest city of Dominican Republic. Even though not as popular as Punta Cana, La Romana is known for its serene beaches and tranquil resorts. One of the popular tourist spots here is Altos de Chavon, which is a beautiful 16th-century replica of Mediterranean village where you can shop for crafters and souvenirs. From here, you can take a trip to the nearby fishing village of Bayahibe, which has a stunning beach and other sites for eco-tourism. You can also take a snorkeling tour to Catalina Island.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the government of the Dominican Republic has suspended events and public gatherings of all kinds, until further notice. People are advised to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.
However, you can still enjoy the beautiful views of the Dominican Republic from the comfort of your homes, until the islands open to welcome you again!
The Dominican Carnival celebration is celebrated in the Dominican Republic each February with parades, street dancing, food festivals, and lots of music. It is filled with extravagant and vibrant costumes, masks, and mystical characters.
The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival
August – November 2021 (different locations throughout the Dominican Republic)
As a proactive safety measure against the spread of Coronavirus, starting Thursday March 19, the Dominican Republic closes its land, sea and air borders , as well as suspending all events and meeting. However, the foreign citizens can still leave towards their country of origin. You can read more here.
Update April 24, 2020
Dominican Republic has reported 5,749 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 267 confirmed deaths. People are required to wear masks everywhere and the curfew has been extended till April 30.
With the alarming increase in the number of cases, it is suspected that emergency and specialized care will run out of capacity and the medical supplies will be exhausted. This will place hospitalized patients at greater risk.
The government has imposed a national curfew from 5 pm- 6 am, among other measures to limit the spread of coronavirus. Cruise arrivals, public transport, public events have been suspended to limit movement. In addition, roadblocks have been set up to limit internal transport. For more details, click here
There are many opportunities for eco-tourism throughout the Dominican Republic. With its beautiful limestone beaches, serene waterfalls, lush green tropical forests, and diverse species of fauna, Dominican Republic is the perfect place to reconnect with nature.
Los Haitises National Park
Los Haitises National Park is so massive that you are probably going to want to reserve a spot on one of their guided excursions. You can kayak through the mangroves or around the coast, climb the mountains, or go bird watching. No matter how you plan to spend your day (or days!) in Los Haitises, you are sure to enjoy this lush and tropical landscape as you reconnect with nature.
For those who want to get up close and personal to some cousins, why not take a day trip to Monkeyland? You can feed the monkeys, let them climb up on your shoulder, and learn about them in their environment. The tour organizers also offer zipline and hike excursions, so check out what all is available before you decide!
Whale Watching At Samana Bay
Every year, from December to March, the humpback whales return to Samana Bay waters to mate and produce offspring. At the La Ceyba you can take a boat tour and cruise out into the open waters to witness these magnificent creatures in the wild.
Sting Rays & Shark Encounter
Get aboard a glass-bottom boat at the Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana and head off for the marine park. Here, you will get a chance to interact with the harmless sharks and giant manta rays. Click pictures while you stroke the giant mammals and make everlasting memories.
The Dominican Republic has many international airports spread throughout the country. The major points of entry are through Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and Punta Cana. However, you can also fly directly to Santiago and Samana. It’s often cheaper to come via charter flights, especially for tourists looking for all-inclusive packages (airfare, hotel, food).
For travelers from the US and Canada, there are a lot of flight options. Cheaper and more frequent flights depart from the major cities of Miami, New York, Montreal, and Toronto. From North America, Jet blue offers budget travel to Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata, and Santiago.
British travelers can take a biweekly direct flight with British Airways from London to Punta Cana. You might be able to leverage them to take you to Puerto Plata or Santo Domingo, with a stop-off in Miami and a connecting flight through their partner American Airlines. There are also a number of direct charter flights to Puerto Plata and Punta Cana from London, Gatwick and Birmingham.
There’s no easy way for travelers from New Zealand and Australia to get to the Dominican Republic. There are no direct flights and it usually takes more than a day to get there. However, it is more convenient to take a non-stop flight from Sydney to New York via Qantas, American or United, and then an onward flight to DR through North American Airlines.
From South Africa, travelers can fly with Iberis Airlines, and get to Santo Domingo via connecting flight from Madrid and/ or London. British Airways can take you to Puerto Plata and Punta Cana via stop-off at London and/ or Miami.
The DR is also easily accessible by cruise ship if you would rather enjoy a leisurely journey on the open Caribbean Sea.
Once you begin your DR journey, you are sure to want to explore all that the country has to offer. Getting around the Dominican Republic is quite convenient, thanks to the numerous transportation options available. Be it taxis, Uber, or bus travel, you will always find something according to your liking. Get more details here.
Ramón Matías Mella: One of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic. He was a war hero that led the Patriot army to victory. He then served as the vice president of the Republic but passed away shortly into his term.
Francisco del Rosario Sánchez: One of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic. He worked to strategize and fight for the Dominican Republic. Later in his political career, he was exiled out of fear. When invited back into the country, he worked to stop the Spanish takeover and tried to take command but was executed as a result.
Juan Pablo Duarte: One of the founding fathers of the Dominican Republic. Duarte helped fund the Revolution against Haiti. He helped communications throughout the war and helped lead the Dominican Republic to its victory. However, like Sánchez, he was exiled. However, he was never invited back and died in exile.
Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina: A prominent political figure from 1930 until his assassination in May 1961. He was elected president 4 times and also served as the commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
For history buffs who want to learn about the early days of the ruling elite before the Dominican Republic became the Dominican Republic, you can visit the Museum of the Royal Houses. You’ll learn about Hispanic heritage, colonization, historic medical practices, and even pirates.
Children are our future, and today that almost feels truer than ever. You can donate to The DREAM Project to help get the children of the Dominican Republic the early education they deserve. With a strong early education, they can grow to become stronger students and have more doors open up for them.
Save The Children is an organization that works to provide basic healthcare and educational facilities to children in need, to protect them against malnutrition and illiteracy.
The Mariposa DR Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and empowerment to young girls to create sustainable opportunities and end generational poverty.