Must-try experiences in the Dominican Republic

Famous for its pristine beaches, turquoise waters and world-class resorts, the Dominican Republic is an ever-popular vacation destination for travellers seeking some good old-fashioned fun in the sun. Want to take your island getaway to the next level? We rounded up five unique experiences to try on your next vacation to the Dominican Republic.

Two lounge chairs on a deserted beach surrounded by palm trees
Spend the day on a private desert island

Venture off the coast and soak up the sun on an excursion to Saona Island. Located just off the coast of Punta Cana, this ‘desert’ island is home to pristine white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters that are perfect for snorkelling. You’ll also get to chill out at an exclusive beach club and indulge in a delicious barbeque lunch under the shady palm trees. As you cruise back to port, enjoy your favourite drink on deck.

Where to stay: When you’re not relaxing on a private island, you can lounge on the sparkling white-sand shores of Arena Gorda Beach at Riu Bambu. Adults can dance the day away at the famous RIU’s pool parties, younger guests can explore a world of fun at the RiuLand kids club and the whole family can head over to Splash Water World water to zoom down one of the winding slides!

Colonial-era building with palm trees out front and a blue sky
Explore the oldest city in the Americas

Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, was founded in the 15th century by Christopher Columbus and is now a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. When you take a tour of the oldest city in the Americas, you’ll feel like you are travelling back in time. Spend the day exploring the historic city and visiting sites like Calle de las Damas, the oldest street in the Americas; Columbus Lighthouse, a monument dedicated to the famous explorer; and Los Tres Ojos, an open-air limestone cave.

Where to stay: After a day spent exploring this historic city, head back for some fun in the sun at Royalton Punta Cana Resort and Casino. You can soak up the sun on the world-famous shores of Bavaro Beach, explore new worlds with VR gaming ($) or test out the exciting water slides at one of the largest resort water parks in the Caribbean at Grand Memories Splash next door.

Golf greens overlooking the ocean
Tee off on world-famous golf courses

Whether you’re a professional or a beginner, you won’t want to miss the opportunity to tee off on some of the Caribbean’s best golf courses. The three Pete Dye-designed courses at Casa de Campo in La RomanaTeeth of the Dog, Dye Fore and The Links – have hosted prominent figures such as former U.S. President Bill Clinton and famous baseball player Derek Jeter. The picturesque greens wind past the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea, above the Chavon River and by the quaint replica village of Altos de Chavon.

Where to stay: Avid golfers will love staying at Secrets Cap Cana Resort and Spa! The resort is located near numerous world-class golf courses including Punta Espada Golf Course, which was designed by the legendary Jack Nicklaus. When you’re not hitting the links, refuel with a gourmet meal at one of the resort’s restaurants before settling in for a beachside movie on the big screen.

Cable car riding up a mountainside with city and ocean in the background
Ride the only cable car in the Caribbean

Soak in panoramic views of Puerto Plata and the scenic coast from the Teleferico Cable Car! This iconic attraction is the only complete cable car in the Caribbean, where you can take a scenic ten-minute ride to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres while admiring sweeping coastal views. At the top, you can stroll through the lush botanical gardens and grab the ultimate Instagram shot with the gardens as your backdrop before heading back down the mountain.

Where to stay: After admiring picturesque views of the coast from a cable car, head back to the adults only Riu Republica to soak in beautiful views of the Caribbean Sea from your beachside lounger. The resort is also home to the only water park exclusively for adults in the Caribbean – perfect for cooling off after a day spent on the top of Mount Isabel de Torres!

Bar area lit up with neon lights in a cave
Dance the night away in a cave nightclub

Planning a bachelor/bachelorette party or a fun getaway with friends? Imagine nightclub in Punta Cana is the perfect spot for a special celebration or a night on the town. Dance the night away in this unique venue that’s made up of four different caves that have been converted into a chic nightclub. Each cave has its own unique ambiance and the club hosts themed events throughout the week. Grab your favourite drink from the open bar and hit the dance floor!

Where to stay: Keep the party going back at CHIC Punta Cana! Perfect for social vacations, this adults only resort features themed pool and beach parties throughout the week, an outdoor DJ booth and an on-site casino. Take your getaway to the next level when you book the CHIC Mansion for you and your friends – you’ll get to stay in a lavish mansion with six guestrooms, butler service and a private pool.

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