Best places to visit in Dominican Republic
Curious about the best places to visit in Dominican Republic? Even though so many people travel to the Dominican Republic on package tours, there’s definitely more to the Dominican Republic than the sun and the sea.
Make sure you get away from the resort you are staying at! You’ll find plenty of amazing places in this country.
The Dominican Republic indeed has a lot to offer to its visitors! Colonial neighbourhoods, dramatic limestone caves, stunning waterfalls, biodiverse national parks — all of this and even more awaits you!
But where to start? What are the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic?
To help you with the task of planning your trip to this amazing country, we’ve created a list of some of the best places to see in the Dominican Republic.
7 best places to visit in Dominican Republic
Punta Cana is one of the most sought after tourist destinations of the Caribbean.
It’s a resort town with beautiful white-sand beaches, luxury hotels and modern restaurants. It’s also known as a place for water-based activities and family-friendly resorts.
Most tourists come to Punta Cana for its beaches, but there are other things to do around this resort town.
For example, one of the best things to do in Punta Cana besides the beaches is swimming and interacting with dolphins. There are several providers and dolphin swim programs. Book a swim session online or at your resort.
If you are visiting Punta Cana, do not miss Hoyo azul — a cenote (kind of natural pool) with clear, blue water some 15 km from Punta Cana.
Santo Domingo & Los Tres Ojos
Santo Domingo is the capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic. It is known for its UNESCO-listed historic central neighbourhood, Ciudad Colonial.
Ciudas Colonial is considered one of the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlements in the Americas. This historical neighbourhood boasts some of the oldest buildings built in the Americas.
The Ciudad Colonial is the best tourist attraction in Santo Domingo, and one of the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic.
If you are visiting Santo Domingo, do not miss Los Tres Ojos (The Tree Eyes), a dramatic limestone cave featuring 3 blue-hued lakes.
Damajaqua Cascades (27 Waterfalls)
Damajaqua Cascades is a complex of 27 waterfalls located not far from Puerto Plata.
Exploring this amazing “nature’s waterpark” is a must, in fact, it’s one of the best things to do in the Dominican Republic.
Trek through the jungle, jump into the beautiful clear water, slide down the waterfalls and enjoy the beautiful scenery!
Saona Island is a protected nature reserve and a part of Parque Nacional Cotubanamá.
Known for its beautiful beaches and stereotypical “deserted island” landscapes, Saona Island is one of the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic. The beauty of this “Bounty Beach” attracts tourists from all around the world.
What does this magical island have to offer? Well, first of all — its turquoise beaches that stretch for kilometres!
Saona is also a great destination for snorkelling and scuba diving — the reefs around Saona island are brimming with colourful fish.
Bahia de las Aguilas
Bahia de las Aguilas is an 8 km-long beach along the southwestern coast of the Dominican Republic.
With white sand and dazzling turquoise water, this unspoilt virgin beach is one of the most remote and beautiful (if not the most beautiful!) beach in the Dominican Republic. Some even consider it one of the most beautiful beaches in the world!
There are no luxury hotels, and you’ll have to get to the beach either by boat, 4-wheel-drive or a motorbike taxi. The nearest hotels are in the town of Pedernales.
The beach is a protected area and a part of Parque Nacional Jaragua.
Los Haitises National Park
Established in 1976, Los Haitises National Park is a national park located on the remote northeast coast of the Dominican Republic.
The national park is known for its conical limestone karst hills, rainforests, sinkholes, caverns and a large mangrove forest on the coast. This amazingly biodiverse place is a popular ecotourism destination.
The most popular sights of the national park are mangroves and limestone karst outcrops of the San Lorenzo Bay and the islets of Cayo de los Pájaros where you can spot pelicans and frigatebirds.
El Limon Waterfall
El Limon is a 52 m-high waterfall situated in the district of El Limón on the north coast of the Samaná Peninsula.
Surrounded by lush greenery, El Limón waterfall cascades down the cliff into a deep pool below. This is a perfect place for a refreshing swim.
To get to the waterfall, it’s a 2.5 km journey through the forest, on foot or on horseback down lush green hilly terrain.
Dominican Republic travel tips
- Nationals of many countries do not require a visa to enter the Dominican Republic, but you can travel to the country for up to 30 days without a visa.
- Make sure you get away from the resort you are staying at. The Dominican Republic has a lot to offer, however, there’s much more to it than all-inclusive resorts and beaches.
- Some parts of the country are known for high rates of violent crime. Do your research and plan your trip accordingly. Find out which are the best / safest areas to stay in. Stay away from dangerous neighbourhoods.
- The tourist areas are relatively safe. But still, be a sensible traveller. Don’t flash your belongings and keep your wits about you. Don’t travel alone at night. Leaves valuables at home.
- Try to learn a little Spanish before you go. Download an offline dictionary and learn some basic phrases.
- Don’t rent a car in the Dominican Republic as it is not safe to drive there. The Dominican Republic has one of the highest traffic mortality rates in the world.
- The best time to visit the Dominican Republic is between mid-December and February. Avoid the hurricane season which runs from June to the end of November.
- Use Uber to avoid being ripped off by taxi drivers.
- Always pay in Dominican pesos — the country’s official currency. If you pay with dollars, you’ll receive a less favourable rate than when paying in pesos.