"Republica Dominicana" Top 5 Page for this destination Dominican Republic by ChristinaNest
Dominican Republic Travel Guide: 3,028 reviews and 6,818 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:A bit of everything on a tropical island
- In a nutshell:Pack and go
Sosua is another vacation sport east of Puerto Plata. There are several beaches and the town is spread kind of... more travel advice
Colmados ? small general stores- provide people from the street or neighbourhood with the essential shopping.... more travel advice
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- "Not your typical vacation"
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