5 experiences to try 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.
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!
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 to Iberostar Dominicana to try out a range of action-packed activities. You can discover the deep blue on a scuba diving adventure at the on-site PADI dive centre or windsurf across the glassy waves. Younger vacationers will have a great time as well at the kids and teen clubs with a mini disco in the evenings.
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 Romana – Teeth 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 Casa De Campo Resort and Villas in La Romana! In addition to being home to three spectacular golf courses, the luxury resort is also home to an equestrian centre with polo fields and horseback riding, an upscale beach club and family-friendly activities like mini Olympics and movie nights playing the newest releases.
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: If you want to stay close to the action of Puerto Plata but still enjoy an all inclusive beach experience, Emotions by Hodelpa Playa Dorada is the perfect fit. This top-rated family resort is the largest beachfront resort in the Playa Dorada Complex, just a short ride from the Teleferico Cable Car. Make sure to stop by the resort’s Oregano restaurant to sample local Dominican cuisine!
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.