Grasping the hammer tightly with both hands, tiny beads of sweat gather on your forhead. You focus firmly on the little, fat piggy with a slot on her back. Plumped up, it’s time has now come to an end and the carefully saved up pennies tumble out – it will all go towards a holiday in the Dominican Republic. If that’s what you’re imagining, you’re wrong: a holiday in the Caribbean no longer costs an arm and a leg. If you’d like to spend a few days on the snow-white sand next to crystal clear, azure-blue waters, read on to find out what the gorgeous Dominican Republic has to offer.
In order to be able to enjoy the tropical climate for a couple of weeks, you will need a passport, which will be valid for at least 6 months from the time of arrival, as well as a 30 day tourist card which you can purchase for £10. If you’re planning a longer stay in the Dominican Republic, it’s best to familiarise yourself with the entry guidelines provided by the Foreign Office. You will also find some more relevant and useful information about the country there.
In order to enjoy the tropical climate of the Dominican Republic to the fullest, you should definitely keep an eye on the weather conditions in the various regions. Violent cyclones and heavy rains namely characterise the period between June and the end of November. If you want to tour the north of Dominican Republic, I recommend travelling there in the period between May and October. The risk of getting too cold is very low then, and pleasently warm temperatures prevail. The situation on the southern coast is quite different: you should visit it between November and April. Similar rule applies to the eastern coast – if you want to visit Punta Cana, for example, the best time to do it is between December and July.
As you might know already, security in the Dominican Republic leaves a lot to be desired. You should remain cautious especially in the popular tourist hotspots and take good care of your valuables or even leave them at the hotel. Be extra careful in bars and clubs as well, as the danger of spiked drinks is not uncommon.
Heavenly beaches just like in paradise
Be honest, you see a dreamy beach covered in snow-like sand, bordering the turquoise sea and lined with coconut palms, offering some shade in the midday sun, whenever you imagine the Dominican Republic, am I right? Since the country has 1,200 kilometres of sandy beaches, you’re actually pretty close.
If you choose to spend your holiday on the northern coast, the view of the beach at the Samana peninsula will knock your socks off. Las Galeras as well as Las Terrenas and Playa Rincon meet all the cliches about heavenly beautiful Caribbean beaches: white, fine sand and rows of tall palm trees. The 3 km long Playa Dorada enjoys just as much popularity.
If you prefer the southern coast, there are the beaches of La Romana, Sona and Boca Chica. Everything is possible here, from watersports such as diving, surfing and water skiing to horse riding in the countryside. I should also mention the beach party at Boca Chica Beach. Come along here for a merry midday celebration!
Although it’s becoming more and more difficult to make your mind up about which region to visit, I should also include the beaches on the eastern coast. It houses the single spot that attracts the most tourists, after all: Punta Cana. You’ll find various small beaches bustling with life on Costa del Coco, but it’s still heavenly beautiful, I can say that much.
From north to south, from east to west: the classics
If you’re looking for somehing more than just a beach holiday and would like to explore the diverse nature of the Dominican Republic, you’ll be pleased with the northern coast. Start off with the beautiful forests that you can explore on horseback, continue on to the crystal clear water just inviting for a dive and end up on the golden beaches perfect for relaxed walks. Mountain cycling, windsurfing and kiteboarding are also popular. And for those who like to take things easy: the northern coast doesn’t boast the nickname of the ‘amber coast’ for no reason – your walk along the beach could turn into a scavenger hunt. If you want to enjoy all these wonderful features of the northern coast, the beaches of Cabarete, the Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata and Sosua are the popular classics.
The perfect combination of nature and luxury hotels awaits you on the north-eastern coast. The Samana peninsula, with its almost entirely natural beaches, jungles and also mountains, will make the heart of every nature enthusiasts skip a beat. The humpback whales are the ultimate highlight in February- they make their way into the bay to bring up their young.
Sure, the first thing that comes to mind when travelling through the southern coast is Santo Domingo. After all, it’s not only the capital but also the largest city in the Dominican Republic. From culture, through handicrafts all the way to an exotic diversity of plant and animal species, theres a lot to see here! But Boca Chica and Guyacanes are definitely worth a visit. Both are located quite close to the capital and offer some gorgeous bays you can swim in.
You could almost say that Punta Cuna is responsible for the popularity of the eastern coast. Or is it the location on the eastern coast that makes Punta Cuna popular? Anyway: the famous, first class 30 kilometre long beaches are as popular as ever. You just have to visit the Parque Nacional del Este when you’re on your way in the south of the eastern coast. I can also recomend the popular resort of La Romana.
Although few tourists come to the western coast, a little detour into the area is definitely worth it. The predominantly secluded beaches offer excellent conditions for diving and snorkelling. The west coast is recognised especially for a rich offer of culinary specialties with fish and seafood. Another spectacular feature of this place is the opportunity to observe crockodiles, flamingos and iguanas.
If you’re travelling to the Dominican Republic, you can look forward to an international cuisine: Both African and European, as well as Spanish and French elements can be found in the specialties of the Dominicans. Typical cuisine includes meat dishes with sides such as rice, beans or salads. The fish meals are exotic and exclusive in their taste: mackelrels, northern red snapper, mero fish and snoek are regarded as delicacies here. Dare to try something new – after all, it’s not everyday that you get a chance to try such dishes.
Dominican Republic – the dream destination
Of course, the Dominican Republic has a lot more to offer than what I’ve been able to cover today. But I hope that my article gives you a nice first impression of this dream destination and that you’ll note the Dominican Republic on your travel bucket list. The flights are the most expensive part of the trip, which is why you can stay there for two or three weeks to make the whooping prices worth the effort. But even the flights are slowly becoming more accessible – if you follow my deals regularly, you’ll see that I get my hands on some pretty sweet deals from time to time.
You need also a decent hotel deal and therefore I would recommend you to find the best hotel deals here on Trivago. I’m sure you’ll find a hotel that suits your needs and budget.