"Republica Dominicana" Top 5 Page for this destination Dominican Republic by ChristinaNest

Dominican Republic Travel Guide: 3,033 reviews and 6,792 photos

I spent a month in the Dominican Republic and I loved it. I went to visit my boyfriend (now husband) there and we did a lot of travelling. Guided by a local is very different from being just a tourist and I managed to experience the Dominican way of life, traditions and home-food, i.e. the real thing. There are lots of tourists who come to stay at some expensive and isolated sea-resort and don't see anything outside. I find that very narrow-minded. When you go to a country you have to learn something about it, visit historical or beautiful places and try to meet ordinary local people to see how they live. That is, you have to get your shoes dirty. There are beaches and palm-trees everywhere, but besides that every place has something unique to offer and you shouldn't miss it! In the Dominican if you go out of you air-conditioned hotel, you can see the oldest town in the New World, beautiful nature, poor shacks without electricity or water but with 1st-class ocean-front views, you can dance and try the beer at some local merengue club, ride on a moto-concho, etc. The good thing about the Dominican is that it's a small island and there are beaches everywhere and next to almost every beach is some place of interest so you can divide tour time between visiting and working on you tan. Combine that with scuba-diving, whale-watching or windsurfing, and there is something for everybody.
The Dominican is a land of extremes (like so many...) : well-kept resorts and dirty&polluted areas, thick green woods and deserted areas, huge luxurious mansions and poor shacks, expensive cars and shaky mopeds, conservativism and corruption... The country's history might explain some of those extremes: Part of the Spanish Empire with colonizers, African slaves and wiped-out Indians, independent republic, short Haitian rule, 30 years of ruthless dictatorship, American invasions, corrupted politicians, economical crises... in short, half a millenium of turbulence, and still there is a light in the tunnel.
A country's biggest treasure besides its people, is its land and heritage, and the Dominican can boast of both: the first cathedral, monastery, hospital and university in the Americas, beatiful colonial buildings, Indian art in the Las Caritas cave, Lago Enriquillo with its iguanas, crocodiles, flamingoes, mountains, rivers, waterfalls, coral reefs and hundresds of kilometres of beaches.

My must-see list includes:
- Zona Colonial (Old Town) , Santo Domingo
- Los Tres Ojos caves, Santo Domingo
- Lago Enriquillo (huge salt lake under sea level), National park,habitat of iguanas, scorpios, crocodiles, flamingoes
- Las Caritas - a cave with Indian engravings
- the Carnival in Feb
- El Limon waterful, Samana
- Cayo Levantado and whale-watching, Puente de los Cayos, Samana
- Puerto Plata (Mount Isabel de Torres, the fort, etc.)
- Beaches in Sosua, Cabarete, playa Encuentro, Boca Chica, scuba-diving...

There are some places I have't been to but are worth a visit: La Romana, Rio Chavon, Altos de Chavon, San Cristobal, isla Saona, rafting, mountains, parks...

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:A bit of everything on a tropical island
  • In a nutshell:Pack and go
  • Last visit to Dominican Republic: Mar 2002
  • Intro Updated Feb 21, 2006
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Reviews (23)

Comments (23)

  • MikeBird's Profile Photo
    Nov 14, 2009 at 8:59 AM

    Christina, Really enjoyed your tips. How risky is the weather in August? Is Self drive car hire a good idea - given state of roads? I'm keen on wildlife and fancy Samana - is this a very developed area? Thanks, Mike

  • kat-m's Profile Photo
    Mar 30, 2009 at 3:12 AM

    I WOULD LOVE TO VISIT AND SEE THE COUNTRY AS YOU DID, HOWEVER i HEAR THAT IT IS UNSAFE FOR TOURISTS TO DO SO ON THIER OWN

  • marielexoteria's Profile Photo
    Jan 28, 2009 at 2:42 AM

    Once again, great tips! Greetings to your Dominican hubby and to you :)

  • Valeggua's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2008 at 4:33 AM

    Hi Christina, I'm really happy with your pages of the Dominican Republic! Great tips and nice pictures to, than you! Greetings, Valerie

  • 11dana's Profile Photo
    Feb 17, 2008 at 10:59 PM

    I don`t think they are happier,but did not know, how is to have more.so they haven`t nothing to compare,they accept what they have.Maybe on the way to happiness...

  • Gillybob's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2008 at 2:42 AM

    Great photos - looks really nice. Some good tips too! Gillybob greetings

  • atufft's Profile Photo
    Mar 12, 2007 at 10:45 PM

    Looks like you had a great time here! Nice tips.

  • cuppadamoksha's Profile Photo
    Feb 22, 2007 at 9:28 PM

    Have sent you the link .. wil fwd a postcard as soon as i can get to a town to pick one up. Any preferences in the type of card u want? I have no preference .Anything that represents your country is good .Thanks in advance :)

  • matcrazy1's Profile Photo
    Feb 2, 2007 at 10:41 PM

    Beautiful page! Great sceneries, beaches, coconuts and the oldest Spanish architecture in America encourages me to visit Dominican Republic someday. Laguna Gri-Gri with tree roots looks very exotic!

  • scottishvisitor's Profile Photo
    Jan 30, 2007 at 9:15 AM

    Ah freshly opened coconuts and lovely beaches with amazing blue sky = just what I need on a winter's evening!

ChristinaNest

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