Those who think of the Dominican Republic as the poor relation of more high profile Caribbean islands such as St Lucia and Barbados could not be more mistaken – with its rich cultural history, white sands, azure waters and exotic mangroves, this stunning island offers everything you could want from a Caribbean break, and more.
If you are at a loss as to where to go on your holidays in 2013, then you would be wise to consider this gem of an island. With an array of amazing activities within a short distance of the main resorts, you won’t find it hard to spot what is great about the magical destination, but we’ve included our top picks below to help you on your way.
Dive in Bayahibe
Once a small fishing village located on the island’s south coast, Bayahibe now offers some of the best diving in the Caribbean, with over 20 exciting dive sites and three shipwrecks awaiting discovery. Its powdery white sands also make it the destination for beach holidays par excellence – you can sit on the palm fringed shoreline sipping your cocktail watching the sun go down one day, before being up with the lark the next morning to get a taster of the colourful marine life of the Parque Nacional del Este and its fascinating sequence of caves. The park is located just a short distance from the resort – there you can choose either to enjoy the world-class diving, or take it easy and explore the abundance of wildlife above sea level – either way, an amazing experience is guaranteed.
Soak up Some Culture in Santo Domingo
Arguably the oldest city in the New World, the rich cultural heritage of the Dominican Republic makes it a must see on any family holiday to the island. It was to this area that Christopher Columbus sailed, trying to find a new route to the Far East, after which time, ten generations of his family settled here. The many historical structures of the colonial district are sure to delight the history buff in you – just make sure you check out the Alcazar de Colon, Columbus’s sons’ palaces which houses a rich collection of art and antiques, in addition to the first catholic cathedral in the New World, the Catredal de Santa Maria la Menor, for an experience which is worlds away from the modern luxury of your resort.