Dominican Republic

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Experiences

Meetings & Conventions

Meetings & Conventions

The Dominican Republic is known as one of the world’s most desirable destinations for business travel and leisure.

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Take some of the most stunning and varied natural landscapes in the Caribbean and add to it world class travel and accommodation infrastructure. Then add variety of natural and cultural attractions in beach, mountain and city destinations. Play one or more of the 26 golf courses. Set loose the adrenaline for adventure travel activities and later relax with spa treatments followed by drinks and succulent dinner at the resort hotels. You can understand why the country has it all for meetings, incentives, conventions and events. Tell your DMC or event coordinator what you want to achieve and let your Dominican meeting planners get creative and help you with the logistics. There is nowhere in the Caribbean better for creating multiple incentive vacations by varying the destination and the length of stay. Choose a high-end sun and fun experience, and then go for the adventure trips to the mountains or birdwatching trips in Barahona and Pedernales. Combine beach hopping and zipline adventures in Samaná with history and culture in Santo Domingo. For those planning large meetings of more than 1,000 persons, consider Punta Cana and Santo Domingo, with its nearby beach areas of Boca Chica and Juan Dolio. For medium-sized meetings also consider Puerto Plata, La Romana, and Santiago. For small meetings, also look into Samaná or the two-for-one destinations of Jarabacoa and Constanza or Barahona and Pedernales. Trip anticipation, that’s the best part. The Ministry of Tourism online guides and videos will motivate the soon-to-come visitor and make all knowledgeable about the destination prior to arriving. Read more

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Weddings & Romance

Weddings & Romance

Love is in the air. With a mixture of culture, nature, scenic beaches and accommodating resorts, as well as very good air connections, the Dominican Republic is highly rated as a wedding and honeymoon destination. Marry with the blessing of ceremonies performed in the historic churches in the Colonial City of Santo Domingo. Or choose the backdrop of the aging stones of Altos de Chavón’s St. Stanislaus Church. The memories will endure. Or forego the formality of traditional church weddings for the romance of the beach resorts of Puerto Plata, Samana, Punta Cana, La Romana, Juan Dolio or Boca Chica. Consider the marinas and large restaurants with their great views as another option for a wedding by the sea. When the sun sets it will be time to tie the knot. Guests will admire the sun, watching the last rays of bright yellow as it sets in the horizon to a backdrop of pinks and orange. The newlyweds will flirt with each other. Destination weddings work for either large or intimate ceremonies. The hotels offer packages specially designed for all tastes and budgets.  At the hotels, experienced wedding planners will help the bride work within the budget, choose the sites, plan makeup and hair on the wedding day, choose flowers, wedding cake, photography, videos, music and of course, the banquet. The services also ensure that your paperwork is processed correctly and papers sent to the right entities. Take note that while the requirements are the same, the process may vary depending on the justice of peace. The wedding planner will assist couples in finding a justice of peace or priest and will follow through with the sending of the marriage certificate. Take note that civil services are performed solely in Spanish, but translators can participate. If you will not be using the services of a wedding coordinator, have a friend or relative visit the specific civil registry office whose services you will be using to confirm the specific requirements of the judge that will be acting at the ceremony. The Dominican Republic is a member of the La Hague Apostille Convention. Therefore, all non-Dominican official documents need to be apostilled by the issuing country’s foreign affairs ministry. Canadian citizens are not required to present apostilled documents. The documents need to be translated and legalized by a Dominican Consulate. It usually takes 3 to 4 weeks after the ceremony for the issuing of the legal notarized marriage certificate from the Justice of Peace. This will be mailed to the bride and groom. The following paperwork is required to be submitted before the Oficialía del Estado Civil (Civil Registry Office) for the preparation of your civil marriage certificate. Allow three months for the processing. It is recommended that scanned documents or photocopies be sent in advance and the originals brought for the final processing. Note that the documents need to be translated into Spanish by an official translator and legalized by the Dominican consulate:

  • Original passport with photocopies of the photo page and the latest entries into the country.
  • Sworn declaration before a notary public of being single and eligible to marry, known as a Single Status Affidavit.
  • Original Birth Certificates.
  • If previously married, the Divorce Certificate or Death Certificate, if applicable.
  • Adoption Certificate, if applicable.
  • Parental Authorization, if applicable.
  • Two or more witnesses with valid passports. Relatives cannot be witnesses.
 

Roman Catholic Church weddings

Priests at Roman Catholic churches in the Dominican Republic can perform legal weddings for both locals and foreigners. In keeping with church rules, priests will not officiate weddings on the beach, but they may celebrate a wedding inside a closed area of the resort. For a wedding at a church, a mutually convenient date needs to be set and will depend on church availability. In addition to the same standard documents required for a civil wedding, a Roman Catholic Church wedding will require authorization from the local parish in the couple's country of residence. Also required are baptismal, communion and confirmation certificates and church certificate of annulment (if applicable). Catholic ceremonies have the same legal implications as a civil marriage and the issuing of the marriage certificate follows the same procedure. Catholic Churches where tourists frequently marry include:
  • Iglesia de San Estanislao in Altos de Chavón (La Romana)
  • Parroquia Jesus Maestro (Punta Cana)
  • Basílica Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia in Higüey (near Punta Cana)
  • Catedral de San Felipe (Puerto Plata)
  • Convento de los Dominicos (Santo Domingo)
  • Catedral de Santiago Apóstol (Santiago)

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Golf

Golf

The Dominican Republic’s ideal tropical climate favors the golfer all year round. But don’t kid yourself. The tropical breezes have a way of kicking up at the many coast-fronting golf courses making or breaking any player’s game.

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Rounds of golf are played in the scenic surroundings of Punta Cana, Puerto Plata, Playa Grande, La Romana, Juan Dolio, Jarabacoa, Santiago, Bonao and Santo Domingo. Here golfers enjoy manicured courses and can relax in a golf cart, listening to expert advice from caddies on how to play each hole as they move on to the next. There are six courses on the coasts, and 20 inland in operation, including a course on a river cliff and another in the mountains. Of the coastal courses, Pete Dye’s “Teeth of the Dog” at Casa de Campo put the Dominican Republic on the world golfer’s map. The legends of golf-turned designers followed and have left their mark. Here you can play courses designed by Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Tom Fazio, Nick Price, Robert Trent Jones. They have sculpted bunkers and uneven terrain but let the natural contours of the land dictate the courses’ routing.

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Excursions

Excursions

By Caribbean standards, the Dominican Republic is a big island: more than 18,533 m2 (48,442km2) in size. Tourists landing at one destination will want to see the others. A range of excursions makes this possible. Independent travelers can always explore alone and do most of the excursions on their own. But as is the case all around the world, tour companies in the Dominican Republic have packaged all the ‘what to see / what to do’ attractions to make things easy for visiting tourists. There are all-day tours, water tours, adventure tours, horseback tours, dune buggy tours, Segway tours, SUP tours, catamaran tours, cultural tours - you name it. It is best to check at your hotel tour desk to find out which will include transportation to and from your hotel.

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Adventure & Ecotourism

Adventure & Ecotourism

The Dominican Republic wins the title of top adventure and ecotourism destination in the Caribbean hands down. The second biggest island in the region, national parks and scientific reserves cover 25% of the landscape. Most have visitor facilities. Surrounded by sea and ocean, crisscrossed by rivers and lakes, covered in rain and dry forest and a central spine of high-rising mountains, the country’s sheer diversity makes all the difference. The tropical climate lends itself to outdoor activity all year round. The Dominican Republic has the highest and lowest points above and below sea level in the region. Duarte Peak rises 10,125 feet (3,087 meters) within the Cordillera Central mountain range, while Enriquillo Lake is 15 feet (42 meters) below sea level.

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Beaches

Beaches

White sand, golden sand, pebbles… Gorgeous beaches for snorkeling, surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing and SUP fun. Walk along the surf, stretch out in the sun or veg out under the towering swaying palms with the gentle sea breezes dancing about. Enjoy beaches near the cities and beaches near jungles, isolated ones, and beaches with amenities. What a fabulous activities menu awaits you at the various beaches. Take your pick of banana boat trips, kayaking, sailing trips, catamaran trips, two-story party boats or speed boats. Jump into a game of volleyball for a happy workout… dine with a beautiful view of a spectacular Caribbean sunset on a pirate-themed vessel…. get a close up view of marine life on a glass bottom boat. Land and water taxis make it easy to get around to all the attractions and restaurants. As of October 2013, in the Dominican Republic 18 beaches can fly the prestigious Blue Flag meeting demanding criteria of high water quality, environmental management, wheelchair accessibility, recycling, restroom facilities and lifeguards on the beach. blueflag.org

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Water Sports

Water Sports

The Dominican Republic has the second-longest coastline in the Caribbean at nearly 1,000 miles. Most of its coast has calm beaches, ideal for enjoying white sands and crystal waters. Other beaches, such as Cabarete's Kite Beach, are perfect for water sports like surfing, kite boarding, boogie boarding and windsurfing. Of course, the country has been a time-honored destination of fishermen, and for years has hosted several international bill fishing tournaments, such as the blue marlin fishing tournament at Cabeza de Toro, the ESPN Billfish Xtreme Tournament at Punta Cana Resort & Club and the new International Billfish Shootout at Cap Cana Marina, the largest marina in the Caribbean.

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Baseball

Baseball

As they say in the Dominican Republic, baseball is much more than a game. In March 2013, the Dominican Republic won Major League’s World Baseball Classic with an 8-0 dominating performance. Visitors to the Dominican Republic can experience the passion and the heart that Dominicans put into the game in the annual winter season championship. Later in the year, Dominican David Ortiz would lead the Boston Red Sox to win the World Series. This is also the land of Baseball Hall of Famer San Francisco Giants’ Juan Marichal and of the trio of Pedro Martinez, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz that propelled the Boston Red Sox to win the legendary World Series in 2004. It is the land of Robinson Canó of the New York Yankees and José Reyes of the Toronto Blue Jays, the sluggers who made sure the Dominican Republic clinched the World Baseball Classic. The Dominican Professional Baseball League season runs from mid- October to the playoffs in the first week of February. The winning team represents the country in the Caribbean Series, where the team plays against the professional league champions from Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. Baseball games in the Dominican Republic usually start at 7:30pm. On Saturdays and Sundays, the games start at 5pm. See the schedule at www.lidom.com/home/index.php/calendario Buy tickets at the ballparks, or while shopping at one of the Nacional supermarkets or Jumbo stores or online at www.uepatickets.com The stadiums are accessible from most tourist destinations.

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Family

Family

Miles of unspoiled nature fill this island, ready for you and your family to discover, explore and experience together. An all-year-round family destination, the Dominican Republic boasts of its excellence in the all-inclusive resort category, probably the best invention for family vacations since the airplane. With money issues already resolved, everything is “free”! Included in the price are day- and night-filling activity programs, where everyone can do their own thing. All-inclusives were invented for fun-loving adults, but children stand to gain the most. Children are free to order anything, to roam, to participate in their own activities… it couldn’t get better. Take a baby to the beach and check out the smiley face baby will make when little chubby toes tickle the sand, magic moments to be captured on camera. For older children and those who will always be a child-at-heart, forget Space Mountain in Disney World. For thrill-seekers, the eco and nature adventures in the Dominican Republic will show you the real thing. The waterfalls at Damajagua in Puerto Plata, Jimenoa in Jarabacoa and El Limón in Samaná are thrilling and unforgettable experiences.

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Landmarks & Culture

Landmarks & Culture

The Dominican Republic is home to many attractions and landmarks of worldwide cultural and historical significance.

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Dining & Nightlife

Dining & Nightlife

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Shopping

Shopping

Whether it’s for international brands, locally designed clothes, a handcrafted fishing boat, jewelry, or an unusual souvenir, shopping in the small shops on the side streets or in the mega-malls will prove equally as rewarding. You’ll find local art next to fresh produce and Dominican sweets alongside coconut leaf hats… such a variety on the side-of-the-road vendors with their handmade rugs, carved wooden kitchen utensils and rocking chairs. Enjoy interesting tours of some factories that sell their products such as coffee, rum, cigars, and jewelry, and pick up one of the special souvenirs at the carnivals celebrated in February. Each city entices the shopper to check out the many and varied items they offer.

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