Did you know the Dominican Republic is the most popular destination in the Caribbean? Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, the country has 1,000 miles of coastline. The beaches are magnificent, but the country also overflows with fascinating history, fantastic food and drink, and endless opportunities to have fun. Each year, more than 6.5 million people visit this beautiful spot.
The Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, and it’s part of the Caribbean archipelago known as the Greater Antilles. There are almost endless things to do on this island paradise. If you ever tire of relaxing on the beach try surfing, scuba diving, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, golfing, snorkeling, mountain biking, dancing, shopping…the list goes on and on.
Here are a few things you should know before visiting the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic has eight international airports, five cruise destinations a variety of marinas for boats and yachts of all sizes, and several smaller airports for private planes. Because this is such a large and diverse island, it’s smart to choose your arrival airport to coincide with the final destination of your stay. Major airports in the Dominican Republic are Punta Cana International Airport, Las Americas International Airport (Santo Domingo), and Puerto Plata International Airport.
The Dominican Republic is a year-round destination with warm weather most of the year. The annual average temperature is 25 degrees Celsius (77 °Fahrenheit). The air is humid, but rainfall is seasonal. The wettest months are October through April in the north and May until November in the south. Like most other Caribbean nations, hurricanes are possible in the Dominican Republic between August and November. The summer is very hot and humid, so the best time to visit is between November and April.
The Dominican monetary unit is the peso, indicated by the symbol RD$ (or sometimes just R$). Many tourism-related businesses, including most midrange and top-end hotels, list prices in US dollars, but accept pesos at the going exchange rate.
Power plugs and sockets are of type A and B. The standard voltage is 110V and the standard frequency is 60 Hz.
Spanish is the official language of the Dominican Republic although you’ll hear English and French spoken around the country. Resorts hire bilingual staff, so communicating isn’t a problem.
Things to Do – Adventurous
- Take a Kitesurfing Lesson in Cabarete Bay.
- Dive the Marine Caves at the Gri Gri lagoon.
- Hike Mount Isobel de Torres and take a cable car down.
- Go on a white water rafting adventure on the Rio Yaque del Norte in Jarabacoa.
- Rappel down a series of 27 waterfall cascades in the Damajagua area.
- Paragliding at Jarabacoa.
Things to Do – For the family
- Splash around the Dolphin Island Park.
- Explore the Choco Museo.
- Take a Safari into the Interior of the Island.
- Zip-Lining in the Monkey Jungle.
- Visit the Santo Domingo Aquarium.
Agriculture is important in the Dominican Republic, so the food is fresh and local. During your visit, why not try a few local delicacies?
Foods to Try
- Pastelitos – Bite-sized pastries.
- Chimichurri – Condiment made of finely chopped parsley, minced garlic, olive oil, oregano, and red wine vinegar.
- Chivo Guisado Picante – Spicy goat meat stew.
- Moro de Habichuelas – Rice and beans.
- Arroz con Guandules – Pigeon peas rice.
- Mangú – Boiled plantains.
- Dulce de Leche – Caramel-like sweets.
- Sancocho – Meat stew.
- La Bandera – A traditional dish using beef and beans.
How about something delicious to sip pool-side?
Drinks to Try
- Batida De Lechoza – Papaya milkshake
- Refresco Soda
- Brugal Rum
- Presidente Beer
- Mamajuana – A combination of rum, red wine, honey, tree bark, and herbs.
What’s a vacation without a few pictures. Here are some photo-worthy spots to discover.
- Punta Cana
- Playa Dorada
- Santa Domingo
- Lake Enriquilio
- Eastern National Park
- La Romana
The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country and a great place to spend your vacation time. Contact me if you want information or if you’d like to book a vacation in paradise.