Dominican Republic itineraries: best places for visiting
For many, the Dominican Republic is associated with a pleasant beach holiday during your Caribe tours. Almost all the beaches of the country are characterized by white and clean sand, clear water, and palm trees.
However, there are many other interesting places to be noted. More about the Dominican Republic itinerary you can find in this article.
Travel tips for the Dominican Republic
Before proceeding with the review of the Dominican Republic itinerary, several tips are useful to all tourists. The first thing you should pay attention to is the prices. This is not to say that the Dominican Republic is cheap.
The official currency of the country is the Dominican dollar. It is converted to the US dollar at the rate of 55:1. Renting a car in the Dominican Republic is quite problematic, and gasoline is very expensive. It is important to read the restaurant bill carefully.
Initially, you need to pay an additional tax of 18%, after which there is a service fee of 10%. It is indicated that this is a tip for the waiter. However, often the employee does not receive a cent. Therefore, if you want to reward the waiter, you have to pay a tip separately.
Not to mention the lack of quality service in the restaurant. The waiters are not friendly.
If you plan to travel to the Dominican Republic, you need to take out travel insurance.
When is the best time to travel to the Dominican Republic?
It is recommended to visit the Dominican Republic between February and April. During this period, favorable weather is observed. Therefore, you do not encounter hurricanes. However, you need to understand that at this time millions of tourists come to the Dominican Republic.
If you prefer a more relaxed holiday, without the crowds of tourists, it is better to come to the Dominican Republic in May and June. However, be prepared for high temperatures. This increases the chance of rain. After July, heavy rains begin throughout the country.
Way to the Dominican Republic
There are many airports in the Dominican Republic. Traveling during the tourist season is fraught with the fact that tickets to Punta Cana Airport are quite expensive. Therefore, as an alternative, Puerto Plata or Santo Domingo airport is suitable.
With this choice, you can save about $400 on airfare alone. Therefore, you have extra money for visiting interesting places, as well as tasting local cuisine.
Puerto Plata Airport is on the north coast. There are few people here and there are direct flights from New York. You can fly to Santo Domingo, which is also distinguished by its small number of tourists. Flights are only in the morning or evening, which complicates the arrival.
Punta Cana airport is convenient. However, here is the largest number of tourists. The airport is quite expensive, so you should think several times about whether you should buy tickets for it.
Interesting itineraries in the Dominican Republic for 1 week
It should be noted that the Dominican Republic has a large area.
However, most often tourists are attracted only by 4 regions, including Puerto Plata, Santa Domingo, San Francisco, and Punta Cana. For more details about the optimal tourist route, you can read below.
3 day tour in the Dominican Republic: Puerto Plata and Cabarete
Puerto Plata is in the north of the island and is not in great demand among tourists. Therefore, flying here is much cheaper. There are excellent and diverse landscapes in this region. The region is on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.
Here you can visit cute beach towns, as well as climb mountains. There are a large number of tourist and relaxing tours. If you wish, you can do water sports.
If you are looking for accommodation in the region, take a look at Cabarete Eco Lodge. This hotel is distinguished by the fact that its rooms are open-air. There is a pool, bar, and restaurant.
Although the rooms have curtains, you cannot have privacy. However, the main advantage of the hotel is that it takes only half an hour to get to the airport. There are many other hotels in the area that do not differ in service. Therefore, when choosing, you should focus on finances, as well as the availability of rooms.
Things to do in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
If you have a few days to explore Puerto Plata, you should make a travel plan.
This allows you to see the most significant places in a short time, as well as have time to soak up the beach.
The beaches of Puerto Plata
Many people wonder, is there good hiking in the Dominican Republic? It should be noted that Puerto Plata is a city. Therefore, you can safely walk along it to get acquainted with the interesting architecture, as well as the beaches. All of them are located to the west of the city. All the beaches in this region are quite excellent.
Therefore, be sure to set aside a few hours to relax on them. If you wish, you can take a walk along the beach to feel the softness and purity of the sand with your feet. Here you can practice interesting water sports, including kite surfing. Whether you prefer cocktails or soaking up the sun, there is plenty of room on the beaches.
There are some of the most sought-after beaches that you must visit, namely:
- Sosua. Not only tourists come to this beach, but also locals. The largest number of people is observed on weekends. Turquoise water and white sand are noted. There are shops and restaurants on the beach.
- Cabarete. This small town has an interesting beach, where there are also bars and restaurants. At the same time, you can practice various types of water sports here.
- Playa Dorada. The beach is located in the west of Puerto Plata. There are all-inclusive resorts here.
Dominican Republic itinerary: journey to 27 waterfalls
Many people wonder, does the Dominican Republic have waterfalls? There are many waterfalls in the Dominican Republic, and all of them are distinguished by their excellent appearance. To get to 27 waterfalls, it is better to spend half a day.
You can book your tour in advance. This allows you to stock up on interesting emotions for a long time.
During the tour, you can climb to the edge of the falls and enjoy the view. This fills you with adrenaline. Tours often consist of several stages.
First, you should pay the tour provider about $70-80. Additionally, you need to pay $10 for entry. You are then given a vest, water boots, and a helmet. First, you have to walk half an hour through the jungle to reach the waterfall. The path is easy.
Then you have to go down. This can be done in several ways: jump, or go down the stairs. The stairs do not inspire confidence, so most tourists prefer to jump. The jump height is 20 feet.
Journey through the city of Puerto Plata
Particular attention should be paid to the tour of this city. It is quite cute, and its study does not take more than half a day. Quite often there is a question, can you climb the mountains in the Dominican Republic?
One of the main mountains is located in Puerto Plata and is called Isabel de Torres. You can climb the mountain using the cable car, and the journey takes only 15 min.
At the same time, you can look at the rest of the mountains, as well as a beautiful view of the city. The cable car operates from 8 am to 3 pm. After that, you should visit the fortress of Fortaleza San Felipe. This fortress has an interesting history and was built to protect the city. The fortress offers excellent views of the ocean, as well as a beautiful walking park. Locals love to come to the fortress to enjoy the beauty of the sunset.
After the fortress, you should spend 15 min walking around the historic center of the city. Here you can admire the beautiful Victorian buildings as well as the Cathedral of San Felipe.
A few blocks away is the street with Umbrella pictures, as well as the pink street, Paseo de Dona Blanca. If you prefer tasting drinks and food, visit Macroix House of Rum or Del Oro Chocolate.
Dominican Republic itinerary: active holidays in Puerto Plata
There are several options for outdoor enthusiasts in this region, namely:
- jungle with monkeys;
- zipline flight;
- ATV tours;
- riding tour;
- kiteboarding school;
- Dudu Lagoon. It can be bent from the zipline.
There is a National park on the territory of the lagoon, which is the best place for a picnic.
Dining in Puerto Plata
If you prefer homemade food, a visit to the Cabarete Eco Lodge is recommended.
Here you can taste delicious dishes in just a few hours, and charge yourself with pleasant emotions for the whole trip.
Dominican Republic itinerary: a two-day trip to Santo Domingo
You can get to Santo Domingo from Puerto Plata by public transport or by renting a car. The journey to Santo Domingo takes only 3.5 hours. If time permits, you can take a detour through Jarbacoa to the Jamaica de Dios restaurant.
It is on a hill and has a closed complex. The only negative is that the roads into Santo Domingo are very bad.
Where to stay in Santo Domingo?
If you are looking for a place to stay in Santa Domingo, the colonial zone is recommended. Other parts of Santo Domingo are not so attractive.
There are a small number of hostels in Santo Domingo, so it is difficult for a budget tourist to find accommodation.
Santa Domingo route: what to visit in the Dominican Republic?
There are many interesting places in Santa Domingo that tourists should visit. More about attractions in the Dominican Republic you can find in this article.
zona colonial in Santo Domingo
Zona Colonial is of the greatest interest in this city. Santa Domingo has charm, so be sure to set aside at least half a day to explore it. There are quite friendly people, delicious food, and inexpensive accommodation.
Be sure to visit Colon Park in the Dominican Republic. This is the central part of the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo, where many tourists and locals go. Here you can see a small National park with many pigeons, beautiful churches, and restaurants with delicious menus.
Be sure to check out the main shopping street, Calle El Conde. There are always many merchants along the road here.
There are many interesting bars and restaurants along this street in the Zona Colonial. If you go down a little, you see the view of Independence Park.
Plaza de la Hispanidad deserves special attention. This is a beautiful square set against the backdrop of the Alcázar de Colón. It was he who belonged to the Christopher Columbus family. Many tourists enjoy walking along America’s first cobbled street, Calle Las Damas.
If you are looking for interesting souvenirs, be sure to visit the Mercado Modelo market. If you drive a little from the Zona Colonial, you can get to Tres Ojos park. There are several pools inside the cave. They are reminiscent of classic Mexican cenotes that open during a walk.
Here you can take some beautiful photos. The National park in Santo Domingo is an oasis where you can relax from the bustle of the city. However, swimming in this place is prohibited. The cost of the tour is quite reasonable. On average, you have to pay about $5 for a taxi, and the entrance to the park cost $2.
Beach town travel in Santo Domingo
If you are limited in time, you can get acquainted with the most interesting places in Santo Domingo in just one day. First, you should visit the local beach town. To do this, you need to move east along the third highway. Several interesting beaches deserve your attention.
Boca Chica in Santo Domingo is an interesting place. Many tourists note that the area is quite dirty. The exception is private beaches that belong to hotels. It should be noted that there are many restaurants here; however, they are all quite expensive. For safety reasons, it is better not to walk along the beach at night.
Juan Dolio consists of several parts. There are many hotels where you can rent a room and live in comfort. All parts of the beach are clean. The water is almost transparent, and the sand is white and pleasant to the touch. Palm trees grow throughout the beach, so excellent landscapes are created.
This beach is an excellent option for those who prefer to bask in the sun and swim in the clear sea. Here you can taste excellent dishes. However, it should immediately be noted that their cost is quite high. Some restaurants are located in noisy areas, so you always meet crowds of tourists here.
No less sophisticated place is El Concón. It is at the end of Juan Dolio. This restaurant has a great atmosphere and nice decor. It is impossible not to mention delicious dishes that do not leave you indifferent.
El Mesón Español is an equally popular place among lovers of delicious food. It is best to choose tables that are located on the street. So you can fully enjoy the scenery and clean air.
Traveling around Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic
Punta Cana deserves special attention in the Dominican Republic. You can get to this place from Santo Domingo in just 2 hours. If you don’t have a car, you can take the bus, which costs only $10. If you order individual transportation, the cost increases to $150.
Where to stay in Punta Cana during your trip to the Dominican Republic?
As you know, Punta Cana is a resort town. Therefore, here you find several decent hotels with an all-inclusive resort.
Almost all tourists choose to stay in the gated community of Los Corales, which is close to beaches and restaurants.
Things to do in Punta Cana?
It is recommended to stay in Punta Cana for several days. On the first day, you can devote yourself to a beach holiday in Punta Cana.
Then you should go to Saona Island from Punta Cana. The alternative would be an adventure park in Punta Cana. If you prefer an active holiday, this resort is not for you.
Beach day in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Punta Cana has become famous for its beautiful beaches. If you’re in the Dominican Republic to enjoy the beach, this is the place to be. The beaches in Punta Cana are very beautiful. There is blue water, as well as clean white sand in the Dominican Republic.
You can rent a sun lounger or taste cocktails at the beach bar in Punta Cana. The Soles bar is in the greatest demand in Punta Cana. Many people like to come to this place to do active sports such as diving.
The beach in Punta Cana is long. Therefore, you find the optimal and comfortable place for yourself in Punta Cana. In some parts of the beach, sun loungers can only be rented by tourists. However, to save money, it is better to choose the options offered by local bars.
If you want to save money in Punta Cana, it is better to refuse a sun lounger. Therefore, it is advisable to take a towel with you in advance to sunbathe in it.
1 day trip to Saona, Dominican Republic
Many say that this place in the Dominican Republic is a trap for tourists. Often, all the tours that are presented here work on an all-inclusive basis. First, you are promised a trip to the island where you can relax and look at the starfish.
After, you are offered to sail on a catamaran to a place where parties are regularly held. Looking at the photo, it seems that you are in heaven. However, not everything is as good as it might first seem.
Initially, you have to travel 2 hours by bus in the morning. After, a crowded boat takes you to the pool, where the photographer takes pictures. It is noted that they have to be paid separately.
After you are treated to cheap rum, they give you cheap glasses. After they are taken to a crowded island, it is very difficult to find a place to rest.
If you want to eat, you are treated to a plate filled with rice and chicken. This is what is considered an all-inclusive system. You can only see starfish from afar. And then you can confuse them with a crab.
Other interesting routes in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is very interesting and filled with various attractions. It is best to plan your trip before you buy tickets. After all, after analyzing the reviews of other users, you can understand which places you need to visit and which should be excluded from the list.
Almost all the interesting places are in Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Plata. More details about the most interesting sights in the Dominican Republic we describe below.
Whale watching in the Dominican Republic
If you come to the Dominican Republic in January, February, or March, you notice that North Atlantic right whales migrate here.
These sea creatures look very impressive. If you watch them for at least a few hours, you stock up on pleasant emotions for life.
Around the Samana Peninsula, there is a spawning ground where these creatures are born. After that, mating begins immediately to get offspring the next year.
All tourists have the opportunity to watch how the whales play and swim. If you have extra funds, you can swim next to them.
This is a great place to explore the underwater world. At the same time, active rest is accompanied by the pleasant songs of whales. Believe, you remember this for the rest of your life.
Dinner in a cave in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is distinguished by a large number of interesting places. The cave restaurant El Maison de la Cava deserves special attention.
Previously, it was an ordinary cave in which there was a military base. Today, this place is very versatile and filled with a romantic atmosphere.
Natural limestone cave formation. It formed billions of years ago. This attraction is in Santo Domingo. Inside the cave is very beautiful and romantic. Therefore, it is often visited by couples in love. Guys often propose to their girls here.
There are tables between the limestone walls. On the walls, you can see multicolored garlands, which are complemented by candles and huge chandeliers. It creates a romantic and peaceful atmosphere.
This restaurant is in demand not only due to its beauty. It should be noted the excellent quality of service. Here they prepare Spanish and Caribbean cuisine, which you remember for a lifetime.
Tasting of famous Dominican rum
If you come to the Caribbean, you simply must try the delicious rum. The best way to do this is to go to the Brugal Rum Distillery, which is in Puerto Plata. It is the largest producer of traditional rum. The factory began its activity in 1888.
After you are given a tour of the factory and told a lot of interesting things about the production of rum, you have the opportunity to taste this drink.
If you have the desire and opportunity, you can buy a few bottles at home as excellent souvenirs for family and friends.
Walking tour through the Colonial Zone in the Dominican Republic
This attraction is located in Santo Domingo. Many people wonder, is the Dominican Republic good for backpacking? If you are into hiking, then the Colonial Zone is a great option.
This city was the first where European colonists settled. Almost the entire city was built in the 16th century. That is why numerous architectural monuments attract attention.
The entire site has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can see cozy cobbled streets, as well as interesting buildings. Of particular note is the Primada Cathedral, as well as the Alcazar de Colon. This place deserves to be visited.
Recreation on the water
You can’t come to the Dominican Republic and not swim in the warm water of the ocean. In almost all resort towns, you can go scuba diving, go kayaking, or go kite surfing. Many people like to ride a catamaran, which allows them to relax.
If you prefer calm waters, head to Cabarete Bay. Its protection consists of the presence of a coral reef. You can also go to Playa Fronton or Los Haitises National park, which is in Samana. This is the best place to feel the atmosphere of a Caribbean vacation and be alone.
The path through the Dominican dunes
In the south of the Dominican Republic are the dunes of Dunas de Bani. Some dunes are up to 35 m high.
Here you can also see numerous animals, including desert goats, flamingos, lizards, and herons. You can only get here by rented car.
As you can see, the Dominican Republic has many interesting sights. If you come to this country, it is recommended to spend about 1-2 weeks in the largest and most resort cities. Believe, having visited the places that were described in this article, you remember this trip to the Dominican Republic for a lifetime.
Hello reader. My name is Charlotte Noris and I am sure that you will definitely enjoy my blog. Do you know why? All because on the pages you will see bright and colorful photos, as well as useful information. My husband and I are freelancers, so we can travel at any time of the year.
For myself, I most often plan tours in advance, but it also happens that the trip turns out to be spontaneous when I see an interesting place and a nice price. At the age of 35, I have visited more than 30 countries and do not plan to stop there. I want to visit all continents and the most secret corners of our planet.
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