It’s tough to pick a favorite place to vacation in the Caribbean. But if we did, the Dominican Republic would be very near the top of the list. The natural beauty is off-the-charts and so is the fun. Dominican Republic vacation packages are the way to go–you won’t want to deal with paying for drinks/ tipping – you’ll want to be fully present to soak in all the natural beauty. So before you book your dreamy getaway, take a look at these eight things that are the must-sees on this blessed island Eden.
1. Awe-Mazing Beaches – Soft toe-loving, snow-white sand. Clear, teal waves that gently hug the shore. Long stretches of secluded beaches that meander for miles. Curvaceous palms that bend, reaching out to welcome you. These are the things that make the beaches in the Dominican Republic like no others in the world, and THE place to vacation. A few in particular to visit are Punta Cana, Cap Cana, Uvero Alto, Cabeza de Toro, Bavaro Beach, El Cortecito and Macao Beach. There are many other things you’ll fall in love when you book a Dominican Republic vacation package. Truly, when you chill here, you’ll be in the epicenter of Island Happy.
2. Picture-Perfect Punta Cana – Where do we start? The dreamy beaches are probably where you’ll want to spend the majority of your vacation. But there are some other cool things you need to carve out some time to do. If you want to swim with nurse sharks and stingrays, even pet them, then The Marinarium is the place to be. After you’ve had your fun with these friendly fishies, you’ll take a boat ride (read: booze cruise) to a cove where you can continue your revelry. To catch cigar rolling and go shopping, then Autentico is where the action is. There are so many more things to do during your visit here that they won’t fit into this little paragraph, but if you book a Dominican Republic vacation package and start with these things, you’ll be one happy beacher.
3. Lush La Romana – The third largest city on the southeast shore of the Dominican Republic, La Romana, offers a delicious mix of gorgeous beaches and captivating culture. Speaking of, Altos de Chavon is a must-visit. Overlooking the Chavon River, it’s a re-created 16th-century Mediterranean village that features artisans, performers and more. Not too far away are the Cuevas de la Maravillas, or “Caves of Wonder,” where you can see walls covered in ancient Taino paintings. If you’re a golfer, you’re in luck – check out Casa de Campo’s world-renowned Teeth of the Dog course. If you want to steal away for an afternoon, take a boat to Isla Soana for powdery, white sand and unbelievable turquoise, or Isla Catalina for snorkeling at coral reefs. Last but never least, the beaches: Dominicus-Bayahibe is the prime area for stunning sand and clear, teal water. There are lots of dazzling Dominican Republic vacation packages and they’re just waiting for you to grab them.
4. Photo-Worthy Puerta Plata – Did someone say “beaches”? Here, they are idyllic. Known as the “Amber Coast,” Puerta Plata is one sweet place where you can kick back and chill on unspoiled, sandy earth floors hugged by shimmering, aquamarine water. The best known beach is Playa Grande (just 15 miles east of Rio San Juan) with long broad stretches of tawny sand lined by lush palms. Other spots for sun ‘n surf are Playa Dorada, Confresi and Playa Mariposa, and if you’re into surfing, kite surfing and windsurfing you’ll want to camp out here. If you’re an advanced surfer, Playa Encuentro is where you’ll want to dive in. Eco-adventure tours abound with zip line tours, watersports and the famous Ocean World Adventure Park. If you’re taking a vacation between January and April, you can get in some excellent whale watching at Samana Bay. It’s about a 2 ½ drive from Puerta Plata, but well worth it to hear the humpbacks belt out their courting songs and see these massive leviathans breach into the air. Ah, the beauty of the Dominican Republic never ceases.
5. Mmmmm Mama Juana – This native, tasty drink is everywhere in these parts. It’s actually achieved somewhat of a mythic status, so you’ll definitely want to give it a try. A deep reddish concoction, Mama Juana (or Mamajuana) is created by allowing rum, red wine and honey to soak in a bottle with tree bark and herbs, which yields a taste similar to port wine. The herbs were originally prepared as an herbal tea by the native Taino Indians, but after Columbus paid a visit to the island, alcohol was added to the recipe. It’s rumored to be an aphrodisiac, so if you’ve booked a Dominican Republic vacation package that is of the romantic nature, don’t miss this lusty libation.
6. Swoon-Worthy Islands – More about Isla Saona and then a bit about Cayo Levantado, two jewels off the coast of the DR that you can’t miss. Starting with Isla Saona, the scenery is breathtaking at this secluded haven. Boats leave every morning from Bayahibe, but you can also get there from Punta Cana/Bavaro. There are no hotels on the island, so it’s a perfect day trip. When you arrive, dive into snorkeling, scuba or just revel in the unbridled tropical beauty, as it’s part of the the Parque Nacional del Este. Caya Levantado is a small coral reef island in Samana Bay. Sometimes known as “Bacardi Island” because the palm trees look like those in the Barcadi ads, Caya Levantdao promises white, powdery and crystal clear, turquoise waters. Travelers report that the Pina coladas here are spectacular.
7. Sandsational Snorkeling and Scuba – There are so many awesome places to descend into the deep in the Dominican Republic. Again, Soana Island is fantastic. The Bayahibe/Dominicus area is good, too, because it’s on the Caribbean side of the island, where the water is more calm. Samana, (where you can see the whales rendezvous & mate) is also wonderful – check out Las Galeras and Las Terrenas. Take the plunge.
8. Nature & Wildlife Fun – The luscious, Caribbean flora here is heavenly and there are so many things to put you smack dab in the middle of it during your Dominican Republic vacation package. Go zip lining in Samana (reach speeds up to 40 mph), then grab a bite afterwards at El Valle beach. Hop on a filly and go horseback riding on the beach in northern Punta Cana. Strike out on an ATV adventure or Jeep Safari in Puerto Plata. Hike, then swim in the sparkling cenote (natural pool) at Hoyo Azul. Explore peaceful lakes and tranquil caves at 3 Eyes National Park. Climb, jump, slide and swim at Damajaqua Cascades (27 Waterfalls) in Puerta Plata, where Mother Nature has carved out some pretty killer limestone-etched pools.
Few more things to know before you head to the Dominican Republic: you’ll need a Tourist card to get into the county, but you can buy one here before you get there. Also, it’s best to use bottled water for anything, especially for quenching your thirst or brushing your teeth.
At each of the above cities, you’ll find big, expansive resorts with everything you could ever want when you book into a Dominican Republic vacation package: stellar beaches, gorgeous suites, delish restaurants, lots of shopping, water sports, water parks, excursions. And more. Yeah, they have it all.
Just call our Beachologists at 1-800-915-3162 and they’ll set you up on an unforgettable beachy escape to this Beach Eden. The Dominican Republic is a glistening gem in the Caribbean that we think will look really good on you. Book your Dominican Republic vacation package today.