The Dominican Republic is the most popular tourist destination in the Caribbean and the most geographically diverse. The country is known as a sun-blessed paradise of palm trees, sandy beaches, and crystal-clear waters where you can relax in the day and party at night.
However, there is far more to the island than sun, rum, and merengue. Tropical rainforests, mangrove swamps, vast deserts, mountain peaks, ever-changing sand dunes, picturesque fishing villages, sandy bays where pirates once roamed, colonial architecture, and a range of watersports in the Dominican Republic, mean that there's something for everyone.
The Dominican Republic: Key facts
The population of the Dominican Republic is 10.7 million and the capital city is Santo Domingo. Founded in 1496, Santo Domingo is the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas, the first Spanish settlement in the New World.
Its 'Zona Colonial' remains in the heart of the capital. A UNESCO world heritage site, its beautifully restored monasteries, and cobblestone streets exude romance and charm. The performing arts are central to the Dominican republic's culture, the city has its own symphonic orchestra, opera company, ballet company and national theatre. The Casa de Teatro stages art and literature exhibitions, literature competitions, and is often frequented by actors, musicians, and other artists.
Away from the capital and away from the shores, the Dominican Republic's vast fertile interior hosts cows, horses endless fields of fresh produce. Four of the five highest mountains in the Caribbean are in the Dominican Republic it also has its fair share of rivers, waterfalls and lush jungles.
Dominican Republic history: The countries architecture in its cities and towns tell its up-and-down history. As well as being a Spanish colony for centuries, it has also occupied by the France (1796-1809) and the US (1916-24) and has had periods of independence. The crumbling homes of Puerto Plata and Santiago remain from more prosperous times, as do the scars from decades of misrule which now marked by monuments.
Most tourists stay in the large all-inclusive hotels in the Dominican Republic located along the beautiful, sandy beaches of the country's number one resort, Punta Cana. Tourist attractions in the Dominican Republic: Aside from the beaches, nature spots and architecture, there are many things to do in the Dominican Republic. Watersports are very popular and those seeking adventure can kite-surf, windsurf and try white-water rafting. There are also over 30 golf courses in the Dominican Republic. Its range of activities makes it the ideal destination for a family holiday in the Caribbean.
The people and culture are what really make your time there special. Dominicans really know how to party and enjoy their downtime and you can join in with the spectacular and the distinctive annual fiestas of each town and the spectacular Dominican Republic Carnival.