A typical vacation to the Dominican Republic may look something like this: a 4.5-star resort for seven days, being lazy on a sandy beach with a Piña Colada or Agua de Coco, or taking a dip into a large infinity pool a few steps from your bed.
This is already the ideal vacation, but the Caribbean island has so many more hidden gems. Whether you’re interested in finding the country’s connection to baseball or exploring Santo Domingo, a UNESCO World Heritage site — there is a vast range of things to do in the “DR”.
Why the Dominican Republic?
As the second-largest country in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic prides itself on its tourism. While Spanish is the official language, the majority of employees who work in hotels and other tourist spots can speak English, French, German, Italian and more. Canadians make up a large portion of the country’s visitors; in fact, about 900,000 people visited the Dominican Republic last year.
“I’d recommend the Dominican (Republic) too because for people here, it’s easy to get to,” says Tania Motuzas, a Toronto-based travel and fashion blogger. “It’s only a four-hour flight from here and everything is reasonably priced compared to a lot of other places.”
The Santo Domingo sights
On Motuzas’ recent trip, it was in fact Santo Domingo, the Dominican Republic’s capital that stood out for her.
“I had no idea how beautiful Santo Domingo really was. It had more of a city vibe with a European feel to it whereas other places in the Dominican (Republic) I’d been to before such as Sosua and Cabarete are beachier.”
While visitors are encouraged to explore La Capital‘s architecture and culture, it may be easiest to step onto the Chu Chu Colonial train for a 45-minute tour of the area. To help you navigate your way around the city, a hired guide can be extremely useful.
While the Santo Domingo experience is one way to take in the Dominican Republic, Didier Young, another fashion and travel blogger has a different suggestion.
“One of my favourite experiences was at the Casa de Campo in La Romana,” he says. “It was another resort but it was a lot more chill.”
This high-end resort sits on 7,000 acres and offers yet another variety of experiences: from exploring Altos de Chavon, a 16-th century replica village, to taking in the marina or even the chance to put on some cleats to train with the Real Madrid Soccer School.
What else to do
As a developed tourism destination, the Dominican Republic’s experiences and visits don’t just stop there. Punta Cana is definitely home to 48 kilometres of white sand beaches… but you can also visit the Taino caves in Cueva de Berna or swim in the “blue hole” natural spring in Scape Park.
Puerto Plata, considered the country’s home of tourism, also offers its own number of gems from touring amber mines in the hills of La Cumbre to visiting the Bartolo Colon Stadium, a professional baseball stadium and museum.
And when it comes to night life, every tourist should try Bachata — a dance that’s possibly easier to master than the merengue which is another common dance in the DR. The popular dance derives from Bachata music and both were once considered a cultural staple of the Dominican Republic’s grass-roots.
So whether it’s music and dance or exploration and nature, the options are plentiful in this Caribbean country.
“I think that it really depends on what you want because the Dominican Republic really has a little bit of everything for everyone,” says Young.
Want to know more about the Dominican Republic and what kinds of experiences you could take in? Visit http://www.godominicanrepublic.com to find out more.