THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: MORE THAN JUST RESORTS
While everyone loves a beautiful resort when they are on vacation, it is also important to venture off property and enjoy the beauty of the destination surrounding us. The Dominican Republic is a destination with so much more to offer than most travelers realize.
These are a few of the amazing things that I have discovered when traveling to the Dominican Republic that has kept me coming back year after year. Each time discovering a new reason to love this beautiful destination.
Samana Peninsula and Bay- This is one of my favourite areas in all of the Caribbean. This peninsula and bay are lined with beautiful mangroves, caves, rock formations, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. It is also home to the Parque Nacional Los Haitises. Ziplining, horse back riding and a stunning waterfalls are more reasons to make this hidden secret your next vacation destination.
You also might be surprised to learn that the Dominican Republic serves as one of three breeding grounds for humpback whales in the North Atlantic. Once a year between January and March, some three to five thousand humpback whales return to the Samana Peninsula to give birth and mate for the following year. If you are visiting the Dominican during this time a whale watching excursion is a must. As some of the resorts here offer stunning Samana Bay views it might even be possible to watch these amazing creatures right from the balcony of your hotel room.
Golf - The Dominican Republic is considered the undisputed leader of golf in the tropics because of its famed and impressive golf courses. Did you know that at least seven of the DR's courses have steadily topped Golfweek Magazine's Top 50 courses in the Caribbean and Mexico?
Horseback Riding - is an integral part of the Dominican culture. It's an influence that dates to the Spanish colonial times. You can go horseback riding anywhere in the Dominican Republic. Puerto Plata's hills are challenging to beat, with a lush terrain that passes rivers, cattle, and vast swaths of pure Caribbean scenery. Samana's coconut-filled valleys and cliff-top sea views offer a surreal backdrop. La Romana's Casa de Campo is one of the best equestrian centers in the Caribbean. It gives you options such as cattle ranch trails, as well as expert-led lessons in English or Western-style riding. Whether novice or expert, horseback riding is a fun way to explore the countryside.
Cayo Levantado -There is a small scenic island just three miles from Samaná Bay, and it's tagged Bacardi Island because of a Bacardi commercial filmed there in the 1970s. This island of Cayo Levantado boasts shiny white-sand and palm-fringed beaches. Boat taxis depart regularly from the Samaná port on Avenida Marina, bringing visitors daily to this small island. There are so many things to do on the island, such as swimming, sunbathing, kayaking, and paddleboarding. You might also enjoy fresh fish on the public side of Cayo Levantado. Spend your vacation at the luxury hotel situated on the other side of the island and you'll imagine you've traveled to a far away exotic destination but for a fraction of the price.
Fresh Fruit - Have you ever visited a tropical island and wondered why there was such a limited selection of fresh fruit? You won't find that in Dominican Republic. The Dominican is an agricultural society. The best selection of fresh tropical fruits is grown in the Dominican Republic. The fruit is ripened on the tree under the tropical sun and then picked and sold almost instantly. The first bite of fruit is undoubtedly a sweet treat as it is bursting with flavor. You can pick your own fruit, but they are also available at local fruit stands. And most resorts source their delicious fruit right from local vendors.
Cable Car - One thing you should not miss while visiting Puerto Plata is riding the teleférico–the only complete cable car ride you’ll find in the whole Caribbean region, operating continuously since 1975. The exhilarating 10-minute ride takes you up, up and away in one of two cable cars, 2,625 feet above Puerto Plata. Below is a magical scenery, from the sea on your north to the lush, green plains that eventually lead you to the other end of the cable at Mount Isabel de Torres. Make sure to explore the nature reserve and botanical gardens, and enjoy the ride back down by cable car once more before heading out.
Of Course ... the Beaches - A stretch of long white-sand beaches dotted with slim coconut trees is always a fascinating sight. The Dominican Republic is best known for its beaches. From the south to east and north, you will find your favorite plot of sand along our 1,000-mile sandy coastline. There are over 200 beaches, many of which remain underexplored and undeveloped. Caribbean-facing beaches are safe all year round, while our northern coast offers exciting waves for the adventurous.
Waterfalls - Hiding in Puerto Plata is an awe-inspiring beauty, Damajagua Falls. It's a rare gem carved over the centuries. Spend your day exploring the waterfalls and the crystal clear water pools. 27 Charcos de Damajagua waterfall park offers a day of hiking through a thick forest, crossing footbridges and passing numerous flora before eventually reaching a rocky hilltop where you can make your way down by jumping or sliding down a series of waterfalls!
The diverse Caribbean tourist destination of the Dominican Republic has something in store for everyone. Try its gourmet delicacies, jump down the waterfalls, discover its pre- and post-colonial history, watch a baseball game, hike a mountain, or just lounge on some of the region's sparkling white-sand beaches. Visiting the Dominican Republic is all about catching the endless deep blue horizon. I'd love to help you plan your trip, so be sure to call or email me when you're ready to go.