Dominican Republic holidays

Holidays to the Dominican Republic combine tropical rainforests with a seemingly endless toe-sinking coastline - and that’s before you get to its UNESCO-protected old streets. It’s one of the most diverse islands with holidays to the Caribbean, serving up everything from majestic mountains to colonial towns and a lively nightlife scene. On Bavaro holidays, flit between rum bars before checking out big-name clubs in the centre of Punta Cana. And when you’re seeking that famous laid-back Caribbean vibe, sleepy Samana has your lazy sunbathing covered. 

Things to do

Renowned for its Instagram-worthy white sands, Punta Cana holidays won’t disappoint with 30 miles of Caribbean coastline to call its own. Think, palm trees adorned with coconuts, clear waters perfect for snorkelling ventures, and it’s even home to a jaw-dropping zipline. After some downtime under the sun nothing beats an evening spent dancing at Coco Bongo - a Vegas style show and disco which first opened its doors in Mexico. Now it’s one of the biggest clubs worldwide, especially in the Dominican Republic. And if you’ve forgotten your party shoes, there’s a range of top-class golf courses to take advantage of. 

Head further afield to discover the 16th-century Spanish fort in Puerto Plata (Fortaleza San Felipe) and Ocean World Adventure Park in Playa Dorada. Then, check out the Caribbean’s oldest capital, Santo Domingo. As well as snapping pictures of the city’s old-world buildings, the Dominican Republic National Aquarium is a must-visit for families. Your little travellers will also love Museo Infantil Trampolín, an interactive children's museum with excellent exhibits on the country’s history, science, ecosystems and culture.

Hidden away among lush jungle terrain is Damajagua Falls, otherwise known as the 27 waterfalls of Rio Damajagua - a true off-the-beaten-path experience. And if you thought that sounded tempting, Los Haitises National Park will win you over with its remote unspoilt beaches, mangrove forests and kayaking adventures. Search deep within its caves to uncover carvings made by indigenous Tainos Indians.

Map of Dominican Republic

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25-28 ℃

The Dominican Republic is warm and sunny throughout the year, although the mountainous areas of the island are significantly wetter and cooler. There’s a fair amount of rainfall even in coastal regions, but this is normally only brief and light so you should be able to dodge the showers. You'll find it's dry, sunny and calm most of the time.

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9 hours

Approximately 9 hours from the UK. Fly to Punta Cana International Airport.

Dominican Republic is best for...

Nature enthusiasts: From jungle adventures to coral reef trips, Dominican Republic holidays are perfect for exploring the great outdoors. Saona Island is a must-visit for its marine life with starfish and spotted moray eel among the creatures swimming in its waters. But the best way to discover the island scenery is through adrenaline-fuelled activities, which include canyoning, ziplining and paragliding. 

Beach lovers: The beaches on the eastern coast are among the finest in the Caribbean, with picture-perfect emerald waters and white sands fringed by palm trees. Bávaro Beach is perhaps the most famous thanks to its wide shoreline and backdrop of hotels. And you’ll feel like you're miles away from civilisation when you visit Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island), a small floating paradise in Samana.

Bar hoppers: You won’t be short of evening entertainment when you come to the Dominican Republic. Santo Domingo holidays are made up of live performances with people dancing in the streets until the early hours. Or, head for the nightlife in Punta Cana and you’ve got some of the island’s best nightclubs and concert venues on your doorstep.

Fast facts for Dominican Republic

Language: The official language in Dominican Republic is Spanish. However, English is widely spoken, especially in tourist spots and hotels, so you'll have little difficulty getting around. Still, if you'd like to impress the locals with your Spanish, a language app is a great place to start.

Currency: The currency used in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso.

Local time: The Dominican Republic is 5 hours behind GMT/UK time.

Fly to: Punta Cana International Airport. Transfer time from the airport to the main resort of Punta Cana is about 40 minutes.

Flight time from UK: The flight time to the Dominican Republic is 9 hours.

Tourist information: Further tourist information can be found at Dominican Republic’s official tourism website.

Visa and health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

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Getting around Dominican Republic

By car: Car hire is a good option if you’re planning a lot of day trips, giving you the freedom to come and go as you like. It also makes resort-hopping a lot easier, not to mention seeing the scenery. And you shouldn’t struggle too much, with modern motorways connecting you to the island’s main cities - just watch out for any toll fees.

By taxi: Taxi ranks are on hand at hotels, airports, and some attractions. They are ideal for one-off journeys, although make sure you check the cab fare before you set off.

By bus: The local bus service is the Bavaro Express, which provides an affordable and reliable way of travelling between beaches. Running between neighbouring resorts like Bavaro and Punta Cana, it’s particularly convenient if you're not planning to hire a car.

Events in Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo carnival: 11th February sees the Santo Domingo carnival come to town, meaning huge parades, outlandish costumes, and lots of dancing. It’s easily the biggest event on the island and dates all the way back to 1520.

New Year’s Eve: The Dominican Republic is a fantastic place to ring in the New Year. There’s a full-on Caribbean celebration in Santo Domingo, with a sky full of fireworks at midnight, and of course plenty of partying into the early hours.

Dominican Republic safety and security

Do I need a visa?

If you’re visiting for less than 30 days, you’ll need a visa. Also known as a tourist card, this is often included in the price of your flight or you can purchase it on arrival. To find out more about the Dominican Republic visa, check out the latest entry advice from the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office.   

Should I get travel health insurance?

We always advise taking out travel insurance. It ensures that in the event of a medical problem, the money is there for you to get treatment, medicines and, if necessary, repatriation to the UK. However, it’s worth checking the level of cover you get for your needs. For example, some policies won’t pay out for things like extreme sports.

Any other tips?

  1. While brushing your teeth with tap water should be fine, it’s advisable not to drink anything other than bottled water. Similarly, avoid salads that may have been washed in tap water, and ice cubes in your drinks.
  2. The locals tend to speak English, but it’s always worth downloading a language app or using Google translate. A well-placed ‘muchas gracias’ can go a long way.

Dominican Republic weather

Temperature: 25-28 (°C)

When’s the best time to go?

One of the most popular holiday hotspots in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a heady mix of beautiful beaches, stunning scenery, amazing architecture and rich cultural history. Whether you’re heading to the Carnival in Santo Domingo or planning to soak up the sun on Bávaro Beach, we’ve got amazing deals all year round. With an average annual temperature of 25°C (which climbs even higher during the summer), holidays to the Dominican Republic promise constant heat.

For cooler sightseeing conditions with a minimal chance of rain, book your break between December and the end of February. During these months you’ll still have temperatures of around 25°C.

Between February and April things start to heat up, with the mercury climbing into the high 20s and low 30s. As the heat increases, so do the crowds, which means the early part of the season is better if you’re looking for a quiet break. The rainy months begin between May and September but it still remains mild.

What should I pack?

Pack your factor 50, it’s going to be a scorcher! When it comes to clothing, think light and airy. Linen and cotton fabrics are ideal for wandering around in the heat. And long-sleeved tops or dresses offer sun protection. Travelling with kids? Don’t forget a good sun hat and your inflatables for some pool fun. Speaking of the water, swimwear is another one for your suitcase. 

As well as suncream, mosquito repellent should be at the top of your list. While the mosquitoes aren’t that plentiful, they are part of island life. If you plan on exploring any tropical parks, a good pair of comfortable shoes are essential. 

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