The Dominican Republic is a popular holiday destination, both as a beach holiday and as a stop during a cruise through the Caribbean. If you choose a trip to the Dominican Republic you will have to choose between Puerto Plata or Punto Cana or one of the newer hotspots on the island.
The Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is located on an island in the Caribbean Sea. The republic shares the island in the west with Haiti. The island is located west of Puerto Rico and Haiti is located east of Cuba. The island is slightly larger in area than the Netherlands and has approximately 9 million inhabitants. The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo, located on the south coast of the island and home to approximately one third of the republic’s total population. The country has two main tourist areas, namely Puerto Plata in the north and Punta Cana in the far east.
Puerto Plata is a well-known port city with the second most important airport that mainly serves nearby Playa Dorada with its many luxury hotels and resorts. Tourists to Punta Cana are more likely to use their own airport. Punta Cana is a collection of small villages where mass tourism has hit hard. Between Santa Domingo and Punta Cana there are several smaller seaside resorts, such as Boca Chica and Juan Dolio. The Samana peninsula in the north-east of the island deserves a special mention, with a true paradise character that is often visited by cruise ships. Cruise ships that want to visit Santa Domingo use the port of La Romana. Cruises that visit the Virgin Islands and the French and Dutch Antilles also depart from here .
Temperatures in the Dominican Republic are between 25° and 35° Celsius all year round and the climate is very sultry. The storm season in the region starts at the end of August. The rest of the year there is very little rainfall. The warmest period is from May to October. The island is known for its very complete all-inclusive trips, where tourists lack nothing at all. Most hotels are located on the beach and have a private beach. Smaller and cheaper hotels are located a few hundred meters inland and use a shuttle service to their private beach.
In addition to cruise ships and tourist sailing ships, numerous container ships also arrive in this port city. It is a rather busy port city and most tourists ignore this city. Most tourists tend to stay safely within the walls of the many hotels and resorts on the Costa Dorada with a total of more than 100,000 beds. Those who do visit the city can visit the botanical gardens on top of Mount Isabel de Torres. The Amber Museum and Ocean World are also very popular. In Ocean World you can swim with some of the park’s 14 dolphins. The beaches of Dorada are known for their golden yellow color. The warm Gulf Stream constantly has the unpleasant side effect of causing all kinds of filth to wash up on the beach, but the Dominican staff is trained to keep the beaches clean for tourists day in and day out. The main excursions on Costa Dorada are done by boat. You can go on whale watching trips and deep sea diving. However, for deep-sea divers and snorkelers there are better locations in the Caribbean Sea. There are also better locations for whale watching, more to the east of the island, but there is a very good chance that you will actually see whales. The Dominican Republic is also popular with golfers. Many hotels have their own golf courses.
This is the second major tourist area, in the far east of the island. This area has only a quarter of the number of hotel beds on the Costa Dorada, but has a stronger annual growth of almost 10%. There is not really a large city to visit in the region, but there are two large national parks. Punta Cana National Park and Saona Island, which can be visited by excursions. For divers there is a large and not bad coral reef just off the coast. The tourist center of the coastline is Bavaro, where you can find numerous restaurants, bars and shopping centers. Bavaro is gradually becoming the Mecca for golfers in the Dominican Republic. In many areas, Punto Cana also has more assets than Puerta Plate. Tourists are also more likely to leave the hotel here to go shopping or enjoy the many attractions.
Boca Chica and Juan Dolio
These are two smaller holiday destinations in the south of the Dominican Republic, not far from the capital Santa Domingo. The seaside resorts are much more authentic than Puerta Plata and Punta Plata and are often visited by the residents of the capital. You will find restaurants, bars and loud music and child-friendly beaches. There is a vibrant nightlife in the evening. Only in recent years have these seaside resorts become more and more popular with foreign tourists.
This is a mountainous peninsula in the north-east, which has several beaches and recently also had its own airport and a road connecting to the capital. It is destined to eventually become the third most important tourist destination in the Dominican Republic. It certainly has some assets for this, such as the beautiful nature and the waterfalls. And off the coast is also the most important breeding ground for whales in the region. Its location also makes it an ideal stop for cruise ships sailing the Caribbean Sea. The number of hotels and resorts is growing considerably here.