Discovered in 1492 by Christopher Columbus, the Dominican Republic shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west. With the Atlantic to the North and the Caribbean Sea to the south, this perfect piece of paradise is renowned for its turquoise waters, world-class beaches and rugged scenery.
From stunning mountain backdrops and tropical rainforests to mangrove swamps and desert scrublands, the Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean’s most geographically diverse countries, attracting outdoor enthusiasts in search of adventure as well as those looking for affordable beach holidays.
The capital, Santo Domingo, is the New World’s oldest colonial city dating back to the 1500’s. With cobblestone streets, museums and beautiful Spanish colonial architecture, this is the island’s cultural jewel, yet Santo Domingo is also vibrant and cosmopolitan with excellent restaurants, a buzzing nightlife and a fervent baseball culture.
With over 20 miles of beachfront, exclusive Punta Cana on the eastern tip of the island is particularly popular, and is packed with resorts, golf courses, spas and five-star dining. To the north east is the bohemian Samaná peninsula, a region famous for its spectacular beaches and thriving population of humpback whales, with sightings virtually guaranteed between mid-January and mid-March.
Water-sports enthusiasts flock to the province of Puerto Plata where the laid back beach of Cabarete is a top spot for kitesurfing and windsurfing, whilst Jarabacoa in the ‘Dominican Alps’ is the centre of adventure tourism and a must for keen hikers, climbers and cyclists. The Dominican Republic also has a wide range of flora, fauna and wildlife including rhinoceros iguana, which are best viewed in the Parque Nacional Jaragua.
Accommodation ranges from surfers camps and all inclusive resorts to boutique hotels and luxury villas in the Dominican Republic, catering for all tastes and budgets. This sun-drenched island enjoys a tropical climate all year round although it is hottest between May and October.