Of all the gorgeous destinations in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic might just be the most interesting. It has flawless beaches, fascinating towns, and a history so long you can’t help but get swept up in it. If you’re a passionate globetrotter, it’s the sort of place you might prefer to spend a few months or a year, rather than just a few days or a week. In case you’re just looking for some of the highlights, these are a few of the places and experiences that shouldn’t be missed.
Relaxing At Playa Bahoruco
We all know the cliché image of an ideal tropical paradise, and it’s almost become unrealistic over time. It’s popular animated in cartoons and made to look like something out of this world. You can find the stereotypical idea of paradise right in the Dominican Republic. There are several beaches that fit the bill, but Playa Bahoruco is a personal favourite for sheer beauty. If you’re looking to appreciate the peace and quiet of this island getaway find yourself a stretch of sand, lay out, and enjoy the soothing sounds of the ocean and turquoise waters all around.
Exploring The Zona Colonial
As another site showcasing some of the best things to do in the Dominican put it, there are “oodles” of must-sees in this district, which is a UNESCO world heritage site. That’s a silly way to put it, but the sentiment holds up. The Zona Colonial is a large, historic district within the capital city of Santo Domingo, and from old forts to breathtaking cathedrals, it’s a sight to behold. Plus, there’s something to be said for strolling about on cobblestone streets where Christopher Columbus himself walked in the 15th century.
Entertaining Yourself At Punta Cana
This isn’t exactly the typical backpacker region, but it’s worth a stop anyway. Punta Cana is probably the premier resort area in the Dominican Republic, so naturally you’ll find some luxurious establishments with awesome pools and private beach areas. If you’re looking for more entertainment and adventure, you can also find some pretty cool options, like renting dune buggies, riding zip lines, scuba diving, or taking surfing lessons. Punta Cana is also home to the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for those looking for some more adult-oriented fun. The casino is so impressive that you can actually find all the great options usually reserved for online casinos these days. Internet gaming platforms are packed to the brim with spinners of all shapes and sizes and the Hard Rock is even better with 400 slots of its own and every card game you can imagine. It’s a little more touristy, but you’re still in a beautiful location with some fun activities.
Whale Watching At Samana Bay
This one probably doesn’t require too much explanation. Samana Bay is unlike anything else in the Dominican Republic. Its forested island clumps and alluring waters almost look more like some of the famous destinations of Southeast Asia than typical Caribbean paradises. The main attraction here is the humpback whales that frequent the area and can often be spotted with the naked eye. The bay is also known for wading and body-boarding, which are casual activities, but pretty amazing in a place like this.
Hanging Out At Malecon
We’ll finish up with a look at another part of Santo Domingo. While the Zona Colonial is awesome for a dose of history, the Malecon district is the more modern part of the city, and also makes for a fun visit. This is where you’ll find some great clubs, bars, and restaurants all lined up facing the sea, and it’s also where you’ll find most of the people. There’s a certain image of tropical and beachside towns that’s been propped up by Hollywood movies, even including this past spring’s The Fate Of The Furious. The image involves casual locals, great food, classic cars, and sunshine. It also carries a sort of universal appeal. It’s often somewhat fictionalized, but it really exists in Malecon.
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