Dominican Republic Luxury Travel Vacation Guide



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Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic was one of the islands first sighted by Columbus and was actually settled by the Spaniards in 1493. There were native people living her long before that and today, the island still retains the rich beauty that Columbus saw on his arrival. The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular Caribbean destinations because of the spectacular beaches and the moderately priced resorts.

The main regions that tourists visit when they choose the Dominican Republic for their vacation are Santa Domingo, La Romana and Altos de Chavon, Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, Sosua and Cabarete. The island experiences a high crime rate which is why tourists usually stick to the resorts and do not often travel throughout the island on their own. Each of these locations has enough attractions and activities to keep you busy for the duration of your holiday.

Getting around depends on where your hotel or resort is located. In some of the remote areas, the hotels do not provide transportation to and from the airport, so you will have to include this when you make your reservations. There are taxis, shuttle flights and buses available and if you are really adventurous, you can rent a car. The currency used is the Dominican peso and there are bank booths where you can exchange your dollar for the island money. Although the official language is Spanish, most of the people on the resorts speak English.


Some of the activities you can enjoy, besides lying on the beach, include fishing, horseback riding, tennis, snorkelling and golf. Most of the resorts have the facilities to provide these for the guests.

Altos de Chavon is an artist?s colony. Visitors enjoy walking the cobblestone streets and visiting the Church of St. Stanislaus with its fountain of four lions, a colonnade of obelisks and spectacular views of the scenery. Here you will find many artists? workshops and galleries where you can purchase all manner of artwork.

Punta Cana is the place to choose if you are looking for an escape holiday. There is no real town here as the area was developed for tourists. There are three resorts here as well as private villas for rent. The Barcelo Resort also has a golf course for its guests and there are several restaurants.

P:uerta Plata was the first place in the Dominican to develop tourist accommodations. In addition to golf and tennis, the amount of watersports provided here are numerous. There are kiosks on the beach where you can book tours, go waterskiing, kayaking and rent snorkelling gear. Fort San Felipe, built in 1564, is a popular tourist attraction and the Isabel de Torres, an observation tower offers panoramic views of the coast.

Sosua is actually two small towns and has one of the finest beaches on the island. Cabarete Beach is a popular destination for surfers and many of the tourists just like to watch them ride the waves.

Santa Domingo is the main city of the Dominican Republic and offers a wealth of attractions for its visitors. It is alive with history in the relics of Christopher Columbus. The original city wall is still intact in some place and the narrow streets will give you the feeling that you have been transported back 5 centuries. The Parque Independencia is the center of the city and its most prominent feature is the Altar de la Patria, a monument to the island?s heroes. Visit the chapel of Our Lady of the Rosaries, the Monastery of San Francisco and the statue of Columbus.

Accommodations and Dining

Accommodation is not hard to find in the tourist areas. It ranges from expensive luxury hotels to small inns with affordable prices. Opportunities for dining are also extensive depending on your taste and your budget. A variety of food is offered on all menus, but if you stay at one of the smaller areas, you many not have many choices open to you in terms of dining. For example, in Santa Domingo and Puerta Plata, there are many restaurants offering all kinds of food, but in places such as Punta Cana, you are limited to the restaurant at the resort.

Shopping and Nightlife

There is no shortage of shopping opportunities no matter what part of the country you visit. Even in the small remote areas, there are delightful markets where you can barter for the local handicrafts. The larger centers have malls where you can purchase anything you want and at Altos de Chavon, the number of galleries and stores is astounding.

Nightlife is also abundant no matter where you are. There are bars in all the hotels and along the streets where you can enjoy all types of music and dancing.


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