In the middle of the North Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea lies the island of Hispaniola, home to both the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The most visited destination in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a geographically diverse country, full of lush green mountains, desert scrub lands and, of course, white-sand beaches dotted with palm trees.
Part of the Dominican Republic’s charm is its varied history and assortment of architectural styles and cultural influences. Explored and claimed by Christopher Columbus in 1492, the island has been under Spanish, French, Haitian and American rule, evident across the diverse population and the city’s surroundings. These days, the Dominican Republic is famous for its luxury resorts, exotic goods and world-class golf courses. Oh, and some of the best beaches in the world.
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Top Resorts & Hotels
Thomas Cook offers great all inclusive holidays to the Dominican Republic, meaning that everything is taken care of before you even board the plane. The Occidental Grand Punta Cana sits on the eastern tip of the island and features traditional merengue dance classes, horse riding and scuba lessons alongside all the usual resort facilities. To the north is the Grand Paradise Playa Dorada, an all inclusive 4-star complex located in a coconut grove on the famous Playa Dorada beach. It’s also 15 minutes from the town, allowing guests to make the most of Puerto Plata’s shopping, beaches and championship golf course.
If you’re looking to stay close to the capital of Santo Domingo, the Barcelo Capella Beach Hotel sits on the Villas del Mar beach and is just 45 minutes away from the city. The Thomas Cook 5-star resort package covers everything – from flights, taxes and accommodation, to food, drink, entertainment and activities. You literally don’t have to do a thing… Other than relax, that is.
Attractions & Things To Do
Though the beaches in the Dominican Republic are even better than you would expect, it’s actually the inland scenery that’s the real surprise. The “Dominican Alps”, otherwise known as Cordillera Central, is the highest mountain range in the country and offers spectacular views, protected parks and untouched wildlife. Head to the town of Constanza and wander around the rural villages and mountain retreats. In the north-east, Samana Bay is often described as “paradise on earth”. Well-known for its whale-watching tours, the bay is where thousands of humpbacks migrate to for breeding season from January to March.
If you’re staying in Punta Cana, take a day trip out to La Romana, a port city dedicated to cutting, milling and exporting sugar. It’s also a tourist haven with no shortage of things to do and see – local parties, dance clubs, water sports, traditional cooking and more.
Annual Temperature & Rainfall
Travellers can expect warm weather – the temperature doesn’t vary too much with averages between 28-31 degrees all year round. The rainy season is from June to November with hurricane warnings in place for August and September. Landslides, mudslides and flooding can also occur during these months.