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Playa Moron, El Limon, Dominican Republic by Nicolas Hoizey on Unsplash.

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Dominican Republic Travel Notes

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Explore ancient ruins, colonial cities, and immerse yourself in the Dominican Republic's cultural heritage on a visit to the Caribbean island of Hispaniola.

About The Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a popular Caribbean destination famous for its beautiful beaches, diverse landscape, rich cultural heritage and tropical climate.

Travel Map Mapping La Isla Espanola

Map of Dominican Republic

Map of Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is the eastern two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola. Haiti makes up the western third.

The capital city of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo, which is also the largest city in the country.

Other major cities include Santiago, La Romana, and Puerto Plata.

Dominican Republic Overview

Dominican Republic has a rich history and culture, and is known for its beautiful beaches, tropical climate, and diverse landscape.

In November, 1492, Christopher Columbus visited the northern shore of Quisqueya and named it La Isla Espanola; to mark the expansion of Christian Spanish frontiers.


The Dominican Republic has a population of over 10 million people, and is the second-largest economy in the Caribbean, after Puerto Rico.

The economy is heavily reliant on tourism, as well as agriculture, mining, and manufacturing.


The Dominican Republic has a diverse landscape, with mountain ranges, rainforests, and coastal plains.

The country is home to several national parks and protected areas, including the Jaragua National Park and the Los Haitises National Park.


The official language is Spanish, and the currency is the Dominican peso.


The Dominican Republic is known for its vibrant music and dance culture, which includes genres such as merengue, bachata, and salsa.

It is also famous for its delicious cuisine, which includes dishes such as sancocho, arroz con pollo, and mofongo.

Social Challenges

Despite its natural beauty and cultural richness, the Dominican Republic faces several social and economic challenges, including poverty, inequality, and political instability.

Visiting The Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a beautiful country located in the Caribbean region, known for its stunning beaches, vibrant culture, and rich history.

Whether you're looking for relaxation, adventure, or cultural experiences, you're sure to have a great time in the Dominican Republic.

Things to Consider when Visiting the Dominican Republic.


The Dominican Republic has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Some of the most popular beaches include Punta Cana, Bavaro, and Juan Dolio.

You can swim, sunbathe, and take part in water sports like snorkeling, scuba diving, and windsurfing.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Dominican Republic is generally between November and April when the weather is warm and dry.

Beware of the hurricane season, which runs from June to November.


The Dominican Republic has a rich culinary culture, and you can try out some of the local dishes like sancocho (a hearty stew), mangu (a plantain-based dish), and tostones (fried plantains).

 Cultural Attractions

The Dominican Republic is home to several cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries, and music venues.

Some of the most popular ones include the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of History and Geography, and the National Theatre.


If you enjoy outdoor activities, you can go hiking in the lush forests and mountains of the Dominican Republic.

Some popular hiking destinations include the Jarabacoa Mountains and the Samana Peninsula.

Historical Sites

The Dominican Republic has a rich history, and there are several historical sites you can visit.

Some of the most popular ones include the Alcazar de Colon, the Ozama Fortress, and the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor.


The Dominican Republic is known for its vibrant nightlife.

You can visit nightclubs, bars, and casinos, especially in the tourist areas of Punta Cana and Santo Domingo.

Puerto Plata

This was Columbus' first landing place, and because from the sea the mountains 'appeared white as snow and shone like silver', he called it the silver port.

Merengue Festival

Along the Malecon, small-time operators wired large cassette-recorders to the street lights' electric supply and set up little bottles of rum and beer for sale.

The more adventurous staked out an area for tables and chairs, with a portable generator in attendance.

And then there was the occasional car; doors wide open, stereo full-blasting the bouncy beat. But the tune was the same: it was the first night in a nine-night celebration of the island's famous Merengue music.

The traditional meringue is played by a three man group called a perico ripiao, which consists of a tambora (small drum), a guirra (a corrugated tube scraped by a metal rod) and an accordion.

At the end of the coast road, near the colonial San Felipe fortress, larger stalls were erected to supply the revellers with party essentials: food and drink in greater quantities.

It was within this area that the rum brands of Bermudez, Brugal and Barcelo, and the Presidente beer company promoted themselves with amplified music, dancers, disc-jockeys and flashing lights.

The warm breeze off the sea helped to circulate the aroma of charcoal-cooked chicken from the basic food-stalls behind the rum bars. On the grass bank above the street party, a fairground glittered through the silhouettes of palm trees, casting surreal shadows down their trunks.

Some of the party goers would need considerable stamina if they intended to repeat the process eight more times in the nights to follow.

Where to Stay in Puerto Plata

Hotels in Puerto Plata.

Santo Domingo

On the second voyage (in 1496) Christopher Columbus' brother, Bartholomew, founded Santo Domingo; the first capital in Spanish America.

Map of Santo Domingo

Map of Santo Domingo

Christopher's son, Don Diego, became the first Spanish Vice Roy of the New World in 1508, and in 1510 he built his two-storey residence beside the Ozama river; in which four generations of the Admiral's descendants were to later dwell.

Don Diego's marriage to Dona Maria de Toledo, a second niece of the King of Spain, required that the building be some sort of Palace.

Although it was sacked by Drake in 1586, and gradually decayed over the years, the Government of the Dominican Republic restored the building in the 1950s.

Today the elaborate furnishings hauntingly reconstruct the glories of a former age; you almost expect the Vice Roy to step out from his private chapel.

It seemed that Bartholomew resided downstairs, while Don Diego and Dona Maria de Toledo slept in separate rooms above.

If the bedroom furniture on display were true of yesteryear, then Don Diego wrote at the desk and knelt to pray at the wooden prayer stand in his personal chamber and visited Dona Maria's airier room, with it's sturdier four-poster bed, to play. They had seven children.

Did the rotten chamber-pot in the centre of the floor suggest that the lady suffered from stomach ailments?

The large wall openings allowed a good breeze to circulate, in pre air-conditioning days, and offered superb views of the Vice-Royal's new land.

From the east balcony, Don Diego could twirl his Velazquez moustache and survey the activity on the wharf below; as supplies arrived from Spain and new found exports were made ready for shipment to his waiting Monarch.

Venture to the west balcony to survey the calm of the large courtyard and the two giant palms, swaying their shade in the gentle breeze, and you'll soon be disrupted in your meditations by the coaches arriving with Columbus studying schoolchildren.

The Spanish ladies used to parade along the cobbled Calle Las Damas in the evening, and the many colonial facades still afford the imaginative scenes of bellowing ball gowns, fluttering fans, and accompanying conquistadors.

The Ozama Fortress, along this street, is the oldest in the America, constructed 1503-05 by Nicolas de Ovano; whose house now breathes as an hotel.

Every postcard seller in the colonial town will gladly tell you that Diego Colon laid the first stone of the first Cathedral (Santa Maria la Menor) in the New World in 1514, and that the alleged remains of Christopher Columbus are inside it.

Someone else will then try to shine your shoes while you admire the stone work.

Avenue George Washington, also known as the Malecon, parallels the sea, and it is here that romantics like to snuggle up in the evenings. Impromptu stands offer sandwiches, hamburgers, soft-drinks, and Presidente beer or small bottles of rum.

In the darkness, carelessly discarded debris scattered along the sea line is barely visible, but with a little care, the Caribbean coast could be better appreciated by those parading under the palm trees.

It has the potential of a pleasant promenade, like the more famous La Croisette of Cannes; perhaps it recently was.

Where to Stay in Santo Domingo

Hotels in Santo Domingo.

Around Dominican Republic

Visitors to the Dominican Republic should consider getting out of the resorts and explore the country. It is reasonably safe and the people are friendly.

Be prepared to haggle for items that you wish to purchase and try different forms of transport rather than just the taxis provided by the resort hotels, travelling the way the locals do is much cheaper and a lot of fun.

Punta Cana

Impressive Resorts

Impressive Resorts - Impressive Resorts & Spas is a Spanish-based hotel group with presence in the Canary Islands, Andalusia in Spain and Punta Cana, in Dominican Republic.

Hotels in Punta Cana.

Punta Cana Fishing Charters

Whether you are a professional and experienced fisherman or an enthusiast looking for your first experience of Big Marlin Fishing in Punta Cana, modern fishing boats are waiting in port to take you out to the exciting world of deep-sea fishing off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

Big Marlin

Fish for trophy size Blue Marlin, Atlantic Sailfish, Yellowfin Tuna, Barracuda, Mahi Mahi, Wahoo and  King Mackerel with experienced local captain, Yustas Fortuna.

Dominican Republic Activities


Sosua is set in a sheltering horseshoe inlet on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, approximately 20km east of Puerto Plata and 14km west of Cabarete.

A typical Caribbean town with a Spanish flavour, Sosua has one of the best beaches on the Silver Coast of the Dominican Republic; with fine white sand and a multitude of palm trees to laze under.

Hotels in Sosua.

Dominican Republic Travel Tips

This is no small Caribbean sand spit. The Dominican Republic has five climatic zones, five mountain ranges, a desert, and a long coastline.

There are seven international airports now operating in the country and since most large car rental agencies do not charge a drop off fee, you can fly into one airport, such as Santo Domingo and fly out of another like Puerto Plata; getting to enjoy the cosmopolitan and historically rich capital as well as one of the many fabulous resort areas.

Dominican Republic Travel Guides

The Rough Guide to the Dominican Republic (Rough Guides) Lonely Planet Dominican Republic (Travel Guide)

Dominican Republic Travel Guides.

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Local weather forecasts for destinations around the Caribbean region.

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