On the Samaná Peninsula, innovative eco-lodges are highlighting the region’s untamed natural bounty. Here’s how to take a swing around one of the country’s less-traveled corners. “It’s [...]
ICONIC SIGHTS IN
Known as the cradle of the Americas, the Dominican Republic is full of iconic sights across its cities and provinces. Visit world-famous beaches—such as Playa Rincón, in Samaná. Walk through the first buildings and monuments in the Americas lining the streets of Santo Domingo’s Colonial City. Hike the ruins of La Isabela, in Puerto Plata province, where Columbus built his first and only home on land in the Americas, perched on a cliff overlooking the sea. Hike the DR’s sole UNESCO Biosphere in the southwest, the most biodiverse in the country. Hear the history of merengue in a small village in Puerto Plata, said to be its birthplace. Visit cathedrals and religious shrines, key in Dominican culture.
The majority of iconic sights are easily reached from the country’s main tourist destinations, and remain open year-round.
Tour the Caribbean’s largest botanical gardens, visit the first established city of the New World, Columbus’ home, hike nature reserves hiding Taino caves, and stroll world-famous beaches.
Near the Sans Souci Port Terminal, the National Aquarium has a long shark tunnel and manatee petting area. Located beside the sea, there are benches to sit and enjoy the view. Av. España.
See large domesticated fish in their natural habitat as they swarm around the coral gardens in this aquarium off the Grand Paradise Resort in Las Galeras.
One of the most popular museums in the Colonial City. Completed around 1512, this Gothic and Renaissance style palace was the home of Diego Columbus, son of Christopher Columbus, and his wife María de Toledo, niece of King Ferdinand of Spain.
Sculpted entirely of stone, Altos de Chavón —a model 16th century Mediterranean village—is a delightful place to tour for its charming medieval feel, including plenty of shopping, fine dining, and bars.
Designed like a Grecian amphitheater, this breathtaking 5,000-seat open-air facility hosts concerts and performances from major Dominican and international artists year-round. Seeing a concert here, under the stars, is a bucket list item.
A modern basketball facility hosts the tournaments (usually in the spring) that pit different sections of the city against each other in an all-out battle for the city championship. Regional and national championship games are played here during the summer. The local basketball team is called the “Metros”.
The scenic Samaná Bay wins over every photographer’s eye. This seaside promenade is the heart and pulse of the town of Santa Bárbara de Samaná. Residents and visitors relax on shaded benches facing the bay waters to take in views of anchored boats, ready to whisk visitors and fishers.
The city of Barahona is ideally located near beaches, cold rivers for swims, and is less than an hour away from an array of biodiverse parks, lakes, and mountains.
The drive down the Barahona Enriquillo Coastal Highway shows off a sparkling turquoise Caribbean Sea on your left, while the mountains of Barahona tower on the not-so-distant right.
Visit the historical center of one of the top rum brands in the country. Know the history of rum making in DR, its role in the culture, Barceló’s manufacturing process, tour the rum barrel storage areas, get to taste the various Barceló varieties of rum.