Planning your next sunny escapade? Here’s all you need to plan a fantastic one week holiday to the Dominican Republic, away from the beaten path and the all-inclusive resorts. The article includes [...]
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.
Located in nearby Higüey, this cathedral ranks among the top most important religious sites in the DR. Honoring the Virgin of La Altagracia, patron saint of Dominicans, it’s a standout for its 69-meter (225 feet) high arch, with a bronze and gold entrance.
Higüey, Punta Cana
The scenic fishing town of Bayahíbe is an attraction in and of itself; Bayahíbe retains its Dominican pulse, from its local restaurants and bars to its street side arts and crafts stalls, and fishermen who bring catch daily.
Bayahíbe, La Romana
Walk through a garden filled with the DR’s pink-hued national flower: the Bayahíbe Rose.
Bayahíbe, La Romana
Boca de Yuma offers a daytime escape to a scenic Dominican fishing village. Boasting panoramic cliff top views, it has often been compared to an Italian seaside town, where restaurants, bars, and shacks line up above the sea. The Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León once had a home in the area.
Each February, in celebration of Carnival, Bonao features its own unique characters parading to the beat of the carnival drums on Sundays. Bonao carnival characters include the Santos de Palo, wooden representations of Catholic saints made by the artists who are grouped according to the saints they have created.
The largest producer of traditionally made rum in the DR since 1888 offers tours of the distillery, including rum tasting and the chance of purchasing well-priced premium rums.
Cabral is best known for its colorful carnival at the end of Easter, when the Cachúa characters dress in bat-like costumes and unfold impressive whips as they go in pursuit of the demons from Thursday to the Monday after Easter Week. Close by is La Lista, a small town famous for its wooden rocking chairs […]
Cachote is a stunning protected cloud forest area, with a tiny community living at 1,097 meters (3,600 feet) above sea level. There are winding paths along which you can observe tropical flora, including bromeliads and wild orchids, as well as a series of hiking trails for excellent bird-watching.
The first commercial street in the New World remains the most popular pedestrian shopping area. Stretching over 10 blocks, this cobblestoned road is lined with restaurants, cafés, souvenir shops, and street side art vendors.
The first paved street in the Americas: Calle Las Damas or the “street of the ladies,” connects directly to the Alcazar de Colón; María de Toledo and her ladies would step out of the palace and stroll up and down Calle Las Damas in the evenings.