15 Best Things to Do in Dominican Republic for a Great Caribbean Vacation
If you are wondering whether it is safe to travel to the Dominican Republic, then know that it is one of the countries where 1 Coronavirus patient has been detected until this date. While the authorities in the Dominican Republic are taking all the steps to contain the spread of COVID-19, it is recommended to take precautionary measures while visiting the Dominican Republic. Also, we suggest that you check flight operations to and from the Dominican Republic as they might be affected amidst the virus outbreak.
Note: The Coronavirus statistics mentioned in this article are based on the updated reports available on March 03, 2020. These figures will be updated depending on how the outbreak unfolds.
Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country blessed a plenty with natural beauty. With a stunning coastline stretched for miles together, this place is a paradise for the beach-lovers. But, other than the pristine beaches, there are many other popular things to do in Dominican Republic. These include wandering in the Los Haitises National Park, visiting Monumento de Santiago and Columbus Lighthouse, walking through historical times at Fortaleza Ozama, and scuba-diving at Catalina Island. Other points of interest in Dominican Republic include Fortaleza San Felipe, 27 Waterfalls, Alcázar de Colón, and Bahía de las Águilas.
With so much up its sleeve, exploring Dominican Republic to the T would take days together. But if you are running low on time, then here are a few of the best things to do in Dominican Republic. Add these to your itinerary and rest assured, you will have a memorable vacation.
1. Pay your tribute at the Monumento de Santiago
Perched on a hilltop of the Santiago de los Caballeros city, Monumento de Santiago is rightly one of the top tourist attractions in Dominican Republic. Built in 1944, the monument was constructed by Rafael Leónidas Trujillo in his own honor. However, the monument got renamed as ‘Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración’, in 1961, to respect the heroes of the Dominican Restoration War.
2. Get awestruck at the Columbus Lighthouse
Established in 1992, the Columbus Lighthouse is another monument, located in Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic. It is erected to respect the memory of Christopher Columbus. The prime feature of the Columbus Lighthouse is the formation of a cross by the projected beams of light. The projection boasts to be so powerful that it can be seen from the neighboring city of Puerto Rico.
3. Step back in time at Fortaleza Ozama
Fortaleza Ozama is a simple yet lovely fortress that dates back to 1502. Built at the entrance of Santo Domingo's Ciudad Colonial, Dominican Republic, Fortaleza Ozama overlooks the beautiful and calm Ozama River. The designated UNESCO World Heritage Site has an impressive architecture, exhibiting medieval style and design. With all that it has to offer the visitors, the Fortaleza Ozama rightly ranks high amongst the Dominican Republic points of interest.
4. Spot exotic birds at Los Haitises National Park
Partly engulfed in a vast mangrove forest, the Los Haitises National Park is also comprised of sinkholes and caverns, a limestone karst plateau with conical hills, and subtropical humid forests. With a dedicated nesting bird island in the lush green national park, it is home to numerous bird species like the brown pelican, Hispaniolan amazon, magnificent frigatebird, and barn owl. Spotting birds in this national park is one of the best activities to do in the Dominican Republic.
5. Witness history at Fortaleza San Felipe
Fortaleza San Felipe is a historic oceanfront fortress, located in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. First constructed between 1564 and 1577, the fortress was opened as a museum for the public in 1983. Besides letting visitors know the importance of the fortress in Puerto Plata’s history, it houses artifacts that date back to the 18th and 19th centuries. If you are a history buff, visiting Fortaleza San Felipe is one of the top things to do in the Dominican Republic.
6. Go a little wild at 27 Waterfalls
If you are looking for fun activities to do in the Dominican Republic, then taking a guided tour of the 27 Waterfalls is your best bet. As the name suggests, this is a complex of 27 waterfalls, which offers you a variety of recreational activities like hiking, cliff jumping, and swimming in the waterfall pools. With all the safety gear in place, you can set out on this adventure and get the adrenaline rushing through your veins.
7. Relax and de-stress at Bahía de las Águilas
Bahía de las Aguilas, which literally translates to Eagles Bay, showcases the true beauty that Dominican Republic is blessed with. This 8-kilometer long white sandy beach is considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. Part of the Jaragua National Park, the most important feature of Bahía de las Aguilas is that it is totally isolated.
8. Have a historical affair at Alcázar de Colón
Alcázar de Colón in Santo Domingo's Ciudad Colonial is one of the most important things to see in Dominican Republic. Considered to be the oldest Viceregal residence in the Americas, this UNESCO World Heritage Site is constructed in gothic mudejar architecture style. It has witnessed the planning of many expeditions of conquests and exploration during the early Spanish Colonial Period. Now serving as a museum, you can tour the house with a portable audio speaker.
9. Admire natural beauty at Los Tres Ojos
Boasting to be the most-visited tourist attraction in the Dominican Republic, Los Tres Ojos is a fascinating limestone cave in the Mirador del Este park. It is comprised of a series of three ojos, that is lakes, and is packed with the formations of stalactites and stalagmites. To access the three lakes, you first have to walk down the staircase that cuts into a rock, forging entrance to the first cave. Thereafter, you take a boat tour of the 50-yard open-air limestone cave.
10. Go scuba-diving at Catalina Island
The tropical Catalina Island is a popular tourist destination in the Dominican Republic. The island is blessed with a stunning coral reef and mesmerizing marine ecosystem. This attracts many adventurers who enjoy scuba-diving here. The Wall and the Aquarium are two famous diving sites where you will be able to spot several tropical fish like stingrays, damselfish squirrelfish, and sargent mayor. The white sandy beaches of Catalina Island, overlooking the turquoise blue water, are also ideal to enjoy some sun, sand, and sea.
11. Swim with dolphins at Ocean World Adventure Park
Ocean World Adventure Park is one of the best places to visit with family in the Dominican Republic. This park offers you a variety of programs wherein you can swim with the adorable dolphins, have shark encounters, and get kissed by a Patagonian Sea Lion. Besides, the adventure park also features a bird sanctuary.
12. Stroll along the Bavaro Beach with your loved one
The long sandy stretch of Bavaro Beach is laced with tall palm trees. It is a favorite spot amongst local families to celebrate weekends. You can simply walk along the shoreline, lay on the soft sand, swim in the seawater, or collect some pretty seashells. There are also some beautiful coral rocks at the beach that beautify the place further.
13. Watch the whales dance at Samaná Bay
Step into the dreamland dubbed as Samaná Bay in the eastern Dominican Republic. One of the prime attractions on this bay are the caves that have pre-Columbian pictographs and petroglyphs. Samaná Bay also has many protected islands that are a nesting site of the pelicans and frigate birds. Whale watching is a favorite activity amongst the tourists visiting Samaná Bay.
14. Visit the ancient Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor
Constructed between 1512 and 1540, Basilica cathedral of Santa María la Menor is the oldest cathedral in the Americas. The cathedral is built in the Gothic style of architecture, with its best features being the solid limestone walls and the three doors. The cathedral is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
15. Enjoy a lavish stay at Cap Cana
If you are on a luxury vacation in the Dominican Republic, then Cap Cana is the right place for you to enjoy a fancy and comfortable stay. This hotel tourist destination in the Dominican Republic offers a host of experiences like yachting and golfing. You may also relax and de-stress at the multiple spa services offered here. The Scape Park in Cap Cana is particularly a favorite amongst families.
With a plethora of things to do and places to visit in the Dominican Republic, it surely is a promising vacation destination. All you need to do is pack your bags and have days at your hands to thoroughly explore the place.