With its lively culture, crystal-clear waters and immensely popular resorts the Dominican Republic has been a choice tourist destination for decades. Whether you decide to spend your time in the historic capital of Santo Domingo or on the sandy beaches of Punta Cana, the Dominican has options for everyone. Here are our top 9 things to do in the Dominican Republic, the second-largest Caribbean nation.
- 27 Charcos (27 Waterfalls)
The 27 waterfalls in Puerto Plata is a perfect activity for thrill-seekers and outdoors enthusiasts alike. Spend the day trekking through the rainforest and sliding down the Dominican’s 27 natural waterslides (yes, giant rock formations that double as slides!) The farther up you go, the bigger they get. If you want to do all 27 waterfalls make sure you get there early in the day and don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes you don’t mind swimming in.
- Boat excursion from La Romana to Isle Saona – open bar
What beats sun tanning on a beautiful catamaran with an open bar? You can book all kinds of tours under $100 that leave from the super-trendy city of La Romana. After that, you’ll arrive on a secluded island with a buffet, volleyball, tubing, and other fun beach activities. Finally, the boat takes you out to a part of the ocean littered with live star fish that you get to hold and touch.
- Take a stroll on Bavaro Beach
With so many beaches in the northeastern part of the island, it’s hard to find time to visit all of them. One we definitely recommend spending some time on is Bavaro Beach in Punta Canata. We clear blue waters and moderate current, this beach is a perfect candidate for snorkeling.
- Get a street coconut in Santo Domingo
In the capital you’ll find throngs of street vendors selling everything from sunglasses to candy to live animals, but your best bet is to find some coconuts. This won’t be hard – they’re virtually everywhere. Watch them artfully slice open the fruit with a machete and enjoy some refreshing coconut water street side.
- Tour Los Tres Ojos Caverns
Los Trest Ojos (The Three Eyes) is home to series of 3 lakes that are directly connected to a 50-yard limestone cave with some of the clearest waters in the world. Many decades ago the park was open to public for swimming. Now it’s become one of the country’s most popular tourist attractions. If it looks familiar, it might because they filmed parks of Jurassic Park here.
- Catedral Primada de America (America’s first cathedral)
Europe undisputedly takes the cake on historic cathedrals, but North America also has a lot to offer, including North America’s very first cathedral. Located in the heart of the Zona Colonial, this gothic cathedral dates back to 1535. An added plus: entrance is free to the public and includes a self-guided audio tour.
- Explore Ciudad Colonial (Zona Colonial)
With a distinct European feel, this area of Santo Domingo is extremely popular with tourists and locals alike. Zona Colonial is the oldest European settlement in North America and boasts some of the best hotels and restaurants in the city. Be careful though: many cruise lines dock nearby and passengers flood the streets, so try not to come in the very middle of the day.
- Get some food at El Mason de la Cava
How many times have you eaten delectable Caribbean cuisine inside a cave? With a unique ambiance and wide array of delicatessens, this restaurant offers up something out of the ordinary. A perfect place for a romantic dinner, this gem has live music most nights.
- Drink a pina colada on the water
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. Grab a drink and enjoy your trip in the Dominican!