Dominican Republic holidays offer a varied and alternative approach to Caribbean life. The dramatic mountain skyline contrasts with the golden sand beaches and colonial architecture to provide an exceptionally relaxing environment.
As with any Caribbean island, the Dominican Republic is a special mix of enthusiastic locals who make the country what it is. From the city of Santo Domingo to the coastal towns of San Pedro de Macoris and Puerto Plata, you will be welcomed to join in the carnival celebrations which seem to take place every weekend. When it’s rest time they really mean rest though, so get your head down on the soft sand and sleep off that hangover.
Many people will head to the Dominican Republic and only consider the beaches, but a little journey into the middle of the country will expose you to the wild beauty that lies inside. Away from the coastline you’ll find a fertile interior where cows and horses graze alongside the roads and tracks. Rivers flow through the luscious jungle environment and you’ll find some stunning waterfalls too. In the south-west you’ll even find a desert-like landscape, helping to make this island unlike anywhere else in the Caribbean.
The Dominican cuisine is known as ‘comida criolla’ which is a blend of Spanish, African and Taino. Most dishes will include rice and peas and then you can normally add grilled, fried or asopao chicken. This last option is cooked in a rich, soupy sauce. Deep-fried green plantains are also served alongside most meals and you can add coleslaw if you wish. Dinner is the main meal of the day and you need to make sure you try the seafood. Served in a variety of different ways, you can choose from sea bass, red snapper, kingfish, lobster, shrimp, crab and more. When it comes to drinking it’s all about the local rum. Mama Juana is a popular local cocktail made from rum, red wine and honey.
With the Caribbean Sea to the south of the island and the Atlantic Ocean to the north, you really would be missing out on the fun by not getting into the water. Snorkel or scuba dive around the stunning reef from anywhere in the south, where instructors will guide you and show you the best spots to see the turtles. A day of deep-sea fishing offers the thrill of waiting for a big catch, and for something to get the adrenalin pumping you can go kite surfing or jet skiing. The kids will also love the banana-boat tours that are available from most beaches.