Caribbean Travelweb


Guide To Dominican Republic

 


Nestled amid Cuba, Jamaica, and Puerto Rico in the heart of the Caribbean archipelago, the island of Hispaniola (Little Spain) is divided between Haiti, on the westernmost third of the island, and the Dominican Republic, which has a lush landmass about the size of Vermont and New Hampshire combined. In the Dominican interior, the fertile Valley of Cibao (rich sugarcane country) ends its upward sweep at Pico Duarte, the highest mountain peak in the West Indies, which soars to 3,125m (10,417 ft.).

What you notice first about the Dominican Republic is its size. This is not just another tiny Caribbean island with a beach and a straw market. Instead, it's a big country with spectacularly varied scenery that includes the tallest mountains in the region, stretches of white sand that run unbroken for miles and the Caribbean's oldest and -- some claim -- most cosmopolitan city, Santo Domingo.

The people of the Dominican Republic are among the friendliest in the Caribbean, and the hospitality here seems more genuine than in more commercialized destinations. The weather is nearly perfect year-round.

The combination of low prices and beautiful terrain has made the Dominican Republic one of the fastest-growing destinations in the Caribbean. Don't expect the lavish, spectacular resorts (although excellent) that you'll find on Puerto Rico or Jamaica, but do expect your vacation to be that much less expensive.


Getting There

The Dominican Republic has seven international airports. The most used airports are:

Las Américas International Jose Francisco Peña Gomez Airport, 20 minutes east of Santo Domingo
Puerto Plata International Gregorio Luperón Airport, 15 minutes from Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata and Sosúa
Punta Cana's International Airport (have a look at the photo)
María Montez International in Barahona
La Romana International
Santiago International Airport
Herrera Airport in Santo Domingo
El Portillo Airport in Samaná
The Arroyo Barril International Airport in Samaná.

Flying Times: from New York (3-1/4 hrs), from Miami (1-3/4 hrs), from San Juan (35 mins), from Toronto (5 hrs), from Santiago de Chile (8 hrs), from most European cities (8-10 hrs).

Entry Requirements

All nationalities are required to enter Dominican Republic with a VALID PASSPORT (minimum 6 months validity).

To travel to the Dominican Republic, many people will need a Visa. Others, however, may be from countries who have signed agreements with the Dominican Republic so that they only need a Tourist Card. This, of course, only applies to visitors who are tourists.

A Tourist Card is a US $10 tax on incoming tourists that can be purchased at the airport when you arrive.


Helpful Visitor Information

Getting Around

Taxis

There is more than one type of taxi in the Dominican Republic. When you step off a plane or out of your hotel, you will almost certainly find a "tourist" taxi. A few years ago the government funded new taxis. They are now Hundai minivans or cars. All are sand colored. They replace the 70's vintage American gas guzzlers that used to transport tourists. Tourist taxis fiercely protect their territory against other forms of transport. Not surprising since their prices are double those of the vintage Japanese cars that the city taxis use. In the large cities you will find "carro conchos" who cruise the main streets like buses, constantly stopping to take on or disgorge passengers.
They only charge a few pesos and are practical for short rides along the same street. Don't look for a taxi meter in the Dominican Republic. Tourist taxis usually have posted rates at the entrance to resorts.

Motorcycle taxis
Known as "moto conchos" they abound except for downtown Santo Domingo. They charge double at night which means 20 or more pesos instead of 10 for a fairly short ride. They are not practical for long trips and are involved in lots of accidents.

Buses
In contrast to car rentals and taxis, buses are cheap, safer, and fun. You will come in contact with real Dominicans. Metro Tours, Terra Bus and Caribe tours are for long trips, for example Santo Domingo to Puerto Plata. Clean modern and comfortable they are a bargain. They work by reservation except on Holidays.
Other intercity buses offer express and air conditioned services. If the bus is not express it will make lots of stops. Fine if you have all the time in the world. Local buses (guaguas) will take you to the next town for a dollar or so. The only problem with buses is that they stop operating at about 9 PM, so you can't use them at night.

Car Rentals
Major car rental companies have airport and city locations, such as Honda, National, Avis, Budget, Hertz, Europcar, Nelly Rent-a-Car, Dollar and many others. A valid driver's license and major credit cards are required to rent a car for up to 90 days. Driving is on the right hand side and the speed limit is 60 kph in the cities and 80 kph or 100 kph on the highways, unless otherwise indicated.

There are only two problems with this, cost and safety. You will find that the cost of car rentals is higher than you are used to in your home country. Safety is not a problem if you learn and apply the Dominican rules of the road. Simply stated; there are none! It is a big free for all. Most traffic police are on foot and almost nobody stops on their signal. With no radio and no pursuit car, it is a mismatch. In other words traffic law enforcement is close to zero. If renting a car can be hazardous, renting a motorcycle is doubly so, but it is cheaper. Be very careful.

Money
The peso is the national currency, however many businesses would rather get paid in American dollars if they can. The exchange rate is pegged to the US dollar and has been fairly stable in recent years.

You should exchange as little as possible in your home country, as well as at the airports where the rates are generally slightly less favorable. Exchange bureaus in the Dominican Republic are your best bet to get a good exchange rate, which are usually slightly higher than the official rate, particularly for US dollars.

Most tourist areas have bank machines from which you can withdraw D.R. pesos directly from North American or European bank accounts at the current official exchange rates (ask your bank for details). VISA and MasterCard are accepted at most hotels, restaurants and businesses, and American Express is accepted often but less commonly. Cash forwarding servicing can be obtained at all Dominican banks. Travelers checks of all major currencies can be readily exchanged for pesos at all banks. Don't forget to bring your passport along if you want to avoid difficulties in using either traveler checks or credit cards.

Mail service
You can choose between two services. The official postal service will send your postcard to your friends within 10 days. The private postal services send your mails via Miami within 7 days (25 pesos per postcard). The private postal service is more performant. Some people using the official postal service receive their mails within... 2 months ! The best way is to give your mails to your local correspondent. He will send them in good conditions.

Safety
It is perfectly safe to walk around tourist areas and towns during the day. Criminality rate is lower than in European cities. Most resorts have security personnel, and the beaches are also patrolled periodically. When going into town, or out of the resort area at night, use common sense, just as you would anywhere else. Don't wear expensive jewelry or flash large sums of money around !

Topless sunbathing
Topless sunbathing is quite common. It's not a Dominican custom, just the fact that many of the tourists are European, and topless sunbathing is natural for them. Many hotels do not allow topless sunbathing around the pool areas. The best way is to choose a sunbathing place at the end of the beach area in order to not disturb families and people who don't want to see topless bodies...

Electricity
The D.R. uses 110 volts, the same as in North America (including outlets) so North Americans can use their appliances as usual. Transformers are necessary for European appliances. One of the main problems in the country are the recurrent power shortages which often occur for several hours at all hours of the day or night, so it may be a good idea to bring along a small flashlight for sudden power cut-offs. Most hotels have generators to make up for this deficiency, but some of the smaller ones may not and you never know when it may cut off.

Climate
DR has a tropical climate with an average temperature of 82 in summer, 78 in winter. Remember to use plenty of sunscreen. If however you plan to make a trip into the mountains, bring warm clothes as there can be frost in the upper altitudes.

Time
There are no time changes in the D.R. over the year, which stays on Atlantic Standard time (Greenwich Time -5) throughout the year. So in the winter, the time is one hour ahead of New York/Montreal, while in the summer it's the same.

Water
NEVER DRINK WATER FROM THE TAP which has not been thoroughly boiled. Fresh, bottled drinking water is sold everywhere.

Telephones
The country's area code is 809, and you can dial directly to and from the USA and Canada by first dialing 1 and then the number. There are numerous telecommunications centers for direct international calls or to send FAXs in all towns and cities, and especially in the tourist centers. Prices are very competitive between the national phone company CODETEL, and other long distance providers such as TRICOM, TURITEL and ALL AMERICAN, with charges usually calculated on the spot by computer.

Taxes/Tipping
The government charges a 5% extra tax on hotel rooms, and an 8% sales tax on food and drinks. In most tourist centers, prices for food are usually quite moderate (except for the occasional high scale places) because of fierce competition. Restaurants typically also charge a 10% service charge, but wages in this sector are very low and most employees rely on extra tips to survive. Generally customers should pay an additional 5 to 10 %, especially if the service has been good.

Bargaining
It is a tradition in the Dominican Republic. You have to haggle, especially in gift shops and in the street. Of course, don't try to haggle the price of your room in a luxury complex ! If you don't know how to haggle, just say no when the merchant proposes his first price. He will propose a new, cheaper rate. Dominican people are very proud.

Don't haggle too much, it's a lack of respect. Don't refuse to talk with them as if they were begging something. Just smile and say "no gracias", they will kindly answer "okay", and they will leave you alone.

Haggle using pesos, not dollars (you will pay more because prices are more expensive when haggling using dollars). When the price is defined, you can pay using dollars, but only use 1,2,5,10 dollar bills.

Dress
Dress is casual in most of the country. Pack plenty of loose-fitting cotton clothes. If you want to blend in, don't wear shorts. And save your swimsuit for the ocean or the pool. Like most other Latino societies, the Dominican Republic tends to be formal, and the importance of good dress cannot be overstated. If you plan to dine at nice restaurants and visit the nightclubs in Santo Domingo, be sure to include some semiformal attire. Los Dominicanos, as the residents are known, dress with class when they go out. Men wear suits and ties (or at least slacks and a collared shirt) and women wear cocktail dresses

Medical Information
Medical Services and Facilities
Most resorts have a doctor on call or in-house. Hospitals and doctors expect immediate payment in cash or credit card after providing care. Receipts are given for re-imbursment by your insurance company.
In Puerto Plata the "Clinica Dr. Brugal" has a 24hr emergency room, as does the "Centro Medico Sosua" in Sosua. In Santo Domingo there is the "Centro Medico Universidad Central del Este", "Clinica Abreu" and "Clinica Gomez Patino" which all have 24hr emergency rooms.

Note: Make sure to obtain medical insurance before your trip.

Medication
Remember to pack all medication you use. Medication should be packed in your carry-on just in case your luggage is lost. Though there are doctors that will prescribe medication for you, chances are they might not have the same medication as you are taking or will not prescribe it without a medical history.

Siesta
The tradition of a long lunch, which is the major meal of the day, is generally observed, and so many shops close from 12:30 to 2:30 PM.


Activities and Attractions

Shopping

Here you can discover dominican specialities (rum, cigars, craft, amber, larimar, haitian art) you'll be able to buy when you'll be there. Never forget to haggle (have a look at the money section). If you don't, the seller will be upset, and you'll pay up to 10 times more.

Golf

There are 23 golf courses in the Dominican Republic. The golf courses are open all year round. There is no handicap-limitation except for tournaments. Teetime and Protime reservation are recommended and esential from december to march. 9 holes can be played everywhere at a reduced green fee.

Hiking

There are many possibilities for hiking in the Dominican Republic, especially in the Central Highlands. Not only do most of the DR's national parks lend themselves well to wilderness treks, but the country's many miles of unprotected beaches make for interesting places to explore.

Surfing

There are some excellent spots for surfing, especially along the north and east coasts. Some of the best breaks crash just west of Sosúa, and there is also good surfing south of Bahía Samaná.

Biking

Bicycling is a great way to take in the country's natural splendor, and there are usually places to rent bikes in major urban areas. Even better, consider bringing your own.

Whale Watching

Offshore, the Bahía Samaná has been the preferred breeding area for humpback whales for may millions of years. Several boating companies offer whale-watching tours in season.

Horseback Riding

Trail and beach riding are available. An excellent way to reallly admire the beauty and ruggedness of the Dominican Republic.

Scuba Diving

The Dominican Republic is a great place to begin diving, and it is also a haven for serious divers. The country's undersea world has excellent reef diving, good visibility, warm waters, wrecks, caverns and marine life offering a wealth of diving experiences around the island.

Bordered by reefs on three coasts (only has 3, Haiti is situated to the west), the Dominican Republic is part of the second largest island in the Caribbean. Among the most popular dive sites are more than 400 wrecks situated in the surrounding waters.

Water Temp Average: Summer 84F 29C Winter 77F 25C - Visibility: 60 - 100 ft 18 -30 m

Additional Watersports Activities

Many other watersports and activities are available. Parasailing, windsurfing, kayaking and jet-skiing just to name a few. Check with your hotel to find out what is available in your chosen area.

Sights and Activities


Cabarete Beach, Puerto Plata
Although most known for windsurfing, this beach and its surrounding area play host to a variety of outdoor activities.

Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana

Saona Island, Dominican Republic
A half hour off the Dominican Republic, Saona Island offers some of the Caribbean's most beautiful shallow-water reef systems.

Mount Isabel de Torres, Puerto Plata
This mountain, which looms high above Puerto Plata, has a cable car ride to the top.

Altos de Chavon, La Romana
This small arts town offers a wide range of eclectic shops.

Fort San Felipe, Puerto Plata
One of the first European forts to be constructed in the Americas.

Alcazar de Colon, Santo Domingo
Built by Christopher Columbus's son between 1510 and 1514, this restored building was one of the first structures built in the oldest remaining European city in the Americas.

Columbus Lighthouse (Faro a Colon), Santo Domingo
This multi-million-dollar lighthouse was built in 1992 to celebrate the 400 year anniversary of Columbus's landing in the Americas and is the site of the explorer's bones.

Amber Museum, Puerto Plata
This two-story Victorian museum holds the largest collection of amber in the world.

Santa Maria la Menor Cathedral (Catedral Basilica Menor de Santa Maria), Santo Domingo
The first cathedral built in the Americas was the site of Christopher Columbus's bones until they were discovered in 1877.

Boca Chica, Santo Domingo
This scenic beach is one of the closest beach resorts to Santo Domingo.

Sosua Beach, Dominican Republic
This often crowded beach features white sand and turquoise waters.

Zona Colonial (Colonial Zone), Santo Domingo
Still a vibrant part of town, this compact area contains many museums and other historic buildings documenting the Caribbean's earliest history, both Indian and European.

Malecon, Santo Domingo
This popular thoroughfare is home to luxury hotels and casinos as well as historic monuments and statues.

Jose del Carmen Ramirez National Park (Parque Nacional Jose Le Carmen Ramirez), Dominican Republic
The park that is home to Pico Duarte, the highest Caribbean mountain.

Museum of the Royal Houses, Santo Domingo
This museum contains artifacts and other historical exhibits on Santo Domingo from 1492 to 1821.

Park of Three Eyes of Water (Parque Los Tres Ojos de Agua), Dominican Republic
A group of interconnected caves near Santo Domingo.

San Rafael, Dominican Republic
A popular beach location for swimming in the Caribbean.

Tower of Homage, Santo Domingo
This imposing structure has been in use since the early 16th century and was used by Generalísimo Trujillo to imprison and torture his enemies in the 1950s.

Playa Grande, Dominican Republic
This all-inclusive golf resort has been called the Pebble Beach of the Caribbean for its stunning ocean landscape.

Teleferico, Puerto Plata

Parque Colon, Santo Domingo
One of Santo Domingo's main gathering places, this plaza has a bronze statue of Columbus at its center.

Lake Enriquillo (Lago Enriquillo), Dominican Republic
This rural 13-mile-long lake near the Haiti border is the lowest point in the Caribbean and is a popular tourist attraction for spotting crocodiles.

Cofres Beach, Puerto Plata
This small beach has good views of Puerto Plata.

El Conde Street (Calle El Conde), Santo Domingo
This street is Santo Domingo's most popular shipping strip.

Chapel de la Altagracia, Santo Domingo
This gothic-style chapel stands in Santo Domingo's Colonial District.

The Whales (Las Ballenas), Samana Peninsula
This group of various-sized rocks creates a series of interconnected tunnels for divers.

House of Bastidas (Casa de Bastidas), Santo Domingo
This sixteenth-century mansion was built for Rodrigo de Bastidas, one of the most powerful men in the early days of the colonial era.

The Cord House (Casa de Cordon), Santo Domingo
One of the first Spanish-style houses in the New World, this building now serves as a cultural center.

Manati Park Bavaro, Punta Cana
This popular zoo is home to a wide variety an animals, birds and marine life.

Museo de las Casas Reales, Dominican Republic

National Pantheon (Pantheon Nacional), Santo Domingo
This 18th-century Jesuit church is the resting place for many of the greatest Dominican heroes.

Los Haitises National Park, Santo Domingo

Pico Duarte, Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic's tallest mountain sits at 10,000 feet and is a popular destination for hikers.

Gri Gri Lagoon, Dominican Republic
This freshwater lagoon is covered with a canopy of mangrove trees.

Goat Island (Isla Cabritos), Dominican Republic
The largest island in Lake Enriquillo many be a two-hour drive from civilization, but the potential to see crocodiles and two endangered iguana species makes it well worth the trip for nature enthusiasts.

Polo Magnetico, Dominican Republic
Legend has it that at this mysterious site objects, including parked cars, appear to roll uphill.

La Isabel, Dominican Republic
The remains of one of Columbus's earliest New World settlements.

Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park, Punta Cana

Convento de los Dominicos, Santo Domingo
This convent is the site of the first university constructed in the Americas in 1538.

Golden Beach (Playa Dorada), Puerto Plata
The most popular beach in Puerto Plata is located on the Dominican Republic's famous Amber Coast.

Calle El Sol, Dominican Republic
Santiago's most popular shopping area.

Fort Ozama (Fortaleza Ozama), Santo Domingo
The construction of one of the oldest forts in the Americas was completed in 1507.

Bayahibe, La Romana
This quiet beach in La Romana is ringed with palm trees.

La Sirena, Dominican Republic
This group of interconnected underwater caverns that makes for an unforgettable diving experience.

Basilica de la Virgenita, Dominican Republic
A Catholic cathedral near Santo Domingo.

Las Caritas, Dominican Republic
This cliff has petroglyphs and cave paintings that were inscribed on it by the native people who inhabited the area before the arrival of the Spanish.

El Pomier, Dominican Republic
This isolated cave near La Toma is filled with Tamno cave paintings.

Lago Oviedo (Lake Oviedo), Dominican Republic
A small saltwater lake inhabited by flamingos in the winter.

Jaragua National Park, Dominican Republic
This extremely large park has a dry landscape full of cactus and is the home to Lake Enriquillo, several different kinds of exotic birds and four species of sea turtles.

Lago Rincsn, Dominican Republic
The island's largest freshwater lake is a popular place among bird watchers.

Juan Ponce de Leon Home (Casa de Juan Ponce de Leon), Dominican Republic
Once the home of Ponce de Leon, the famous 15th-century European explorer and Dominican governor.

Dulce Maria, Dominican Republic
A shaman who lives in El Naranjo and is a representation of how little rural Dominican villages have changed since the 16th century.

Monte Cristi National Park (Parque Nacional Monte Cristi), Dominican Republic
This desert park near the Haitian border is also called "El Morro" for the tall mesa within it which overlooks the ocean.

Parque Nacional Los Haitises, Dominican Republic
This 78-square-mile park is known for the numerous small tropical islands within its borders.

Folk Art Museum, Dominican Republic
This museum has an impressive collection of native Dominican art.

Tobacco Museum, Dominican Republic
Located in Santiago De Los Caballeros, this museum has a collection of tools, art and photographs related to the tobacco industry.

Hickory, Dominican Republic
This long shipwreck, which has rested on the ocean bottom since 1986, is covered with corals and sponges and is home to schools of fish.

El Limon, Dominican Republic
This dive site is a 69-foot-long tugboat that sits intact on the seafloor.

Tanya V, Dominican Republic
This popular dive site is a recently sunk 120-foot-long steel ship.

Gabriela, Dominican Republic
This 50-foot-long boat sits in shallow water and is popular among divers.

St. George, Dominican Republic
This 170-foot-long steel ship is home to a plethora of interesting marine life, including the occasional barracuda.

Cibao Valley, Dominican Republic
This remarkably fertile region is reputed for its excellent agriculture and friendly, hard-working people.

Monument of the Restoration of the Republic, Dominican Republic
This 220-foot marble structure houses a collection of Vela Zanetti murals and offers great views of Santiago.

Catedral de Santiago Apostol, Dominican Republic
Free admission is offered to this nineteenth-century cathedral which houses the tombs of several Dominican heroes and also includes beautiful stained-glass windows.

Parque Duarte, Dominican Republic
This small plaza in Santiago is popular among the locals and contains the Catedral de Santiago Apostol.

Museum of the City of Santiago, Dominican Republic
This museum explores the history of the area from the ninth century through modern times.

Church of San Felipe, Dominican Republic
This simple church, which sits in the center of Puerto Plata, is known for its white towers.

Guarapito, Dominican Republic
There is plenty of cool shade to relax under at this less crowded beach located to the west of Puerto Plata.

La Playita, Dominican Republic
One of Sosúa's more secluded beaches.

Playa Chiquita, Dominican Republic
This small beach is located next to a casino and resort that share the same name.

Samana Bay, Dominican Republic
This bay is best known for the frequency with which humpback whales and dolphins are seen here.

Playa Galera, Dominican Republic
This beach has stunning scenery with impressive cliffs looming overhead and a forest serving as the background.

Mercado, Dominican Republic
Tourists bargain for local arts and crafts at this popular Santiago shopping locale.

Numismatic and Philatelic Museum, Dominican Republic
This museum has one of the largest collections of historic coins, paper money and stamps in the Caribbean.

Charon River, Dominican Republic
This river is a popular boating destination for wildlife enthusiasts.

Runway, Dominican Republic
This dive site features three huge underwater coral-covered pinnacles.

The Caves, Dominican Republic
This group of connected rocks and boulders provides an interesting site for divers.

Tropical Garden, Dominican Republic
One of Sosúa Bay's deepest dive sites.

The Canyon, Dominican Republic
This reef drops from 15 feet to 60 feet.

El Acuario, Dominican Republic
A shallow dive site, featuring narrow passages and caverns.

Enriquillo Lake, Dominican Republic

Modern Art Museum (Museo de Arte Moderno), Dominican Republic

Museo Arqueologico Regional, Dominican Republic

Long Beach, Puerto Plata
This mile-long beach is one of the most popular in Puerto Plata.

Museum of Taino Art, Puerto Plata
This museum features works of art and an excavated tomb of the native people who inhabited the island before European contact.

Concepcion de la Vega, Puerto Plata
The ruins of the once thriving fortified city that Columbus built to protect the gold supply of the island's interior.

Calle de Las Damas, Santo Domingo
This cobblestone street, the first ever built in the New World, is known for its numerous beautiful structures from centuries past.

Gazcue, Santo Domingo
A quiet residential neighborhood that exudes a suburban atmosphere with its shaded trees and attractive middle-class homes.

Avenida Mella, Santo Domingo
A crowded downtown shopping strip.

Plaza de la Cultura, Santo Domingo
A stretch of the city known for its cultural influence and the museums and galleries that constitute it.

Museum of History and Geography, Santo Domingo
One exhibit at this museum, which focuses on Dominican history, is dedicated to Generalísimo Trujillo and includes the car in which the dictator was assassinated.

Avenida George Washington, Santo Domingo
This popular thoroughfare is home to luxury hotels and casinos as well as historic monuments and statues.

Fray Anton de Montesinos, Santo Domingo
A 150-foot statue of Fray Antón de Montesinos, the priest who protested Spanish treatment of the natives.

El Obelisco, Santo Domingo
A sculpture of a male figure next to the female La Obelisca constructed on the Malecón during Trujillo's reign.

La Obelisca, Santo Domingo
A sculpture of a female figure next to the male El Obelisco constructed on the Malecón during Trujillo's reign.

Monasterio de San Francisco, Santo Domingo
The ruins of the first New World monastery lie here, destroyed by two different earthquakes.

National Palace, Santo Domingo
The lavish building that has been the home and offices of the Dominican president since 1947.

Museum of the Dominican Man, Santo Domingo
Set in the beautiful Plaza de la Cultura, this museum has exhibits on the Tamno natives that inhabited the island before the arrival of the Spanish.

National Botanical Garden, Santo Domingo
Full of flowers and plants native to the island, the gardens offer tram tours of the facilities.

National Zoological Park, Santo Domingo
Visitors can view exotic African animals roaming freely in their natural habitats.

Chapel of Our Lady of Remedies (Capilla de Nuestra Senora de los Remedios), Santo Domingo
A small stone sixteenth-century chapel.

Chapel of the Rosary, Santo Domingo
One of the oldest churches in the Americas, this chapel was built in 1544.

House of Gargoyles, Santo Domingo
Once the home of Jesuit monks and now the home of the Institute of Hispanic Culture, this sixteenth-century building has a facade covered with gargoyles.

Gate of San Diego, Santo Domingo
The old entrance to Santo Domingo from the city's port.

Gate of the Count (La Puerta del Conde), Santo Domingo
Once part of the city's original walls, this gate is an important landmark in old Santo Domingo.

Gate of Mercy (Puerta de la Misericordia), Santo Domingo
Once part of Santo Domingo's original city walls, the Gate of Mercy provided protection for the island's natives from natural disasters.

Cathedral of Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo
This impressive cathedral, one of the earliest built in the Americas, is known for its dramatic architecture.

House of Tostado (La Casa de Tostado), Santo Domingo
The former house of Francisco de Tostado, the first native professor at the local university, has been transformed into the museum of the Dominican Family.

Juan Dolio Guayacanes, Santo Domingo
This beach area to the east of Santo Domingo is filled with fishing villages and less crowded beaches.

La Atarazana, Santo Domingo
This area is home to a collection of 16th-century houses that now serve as art galleries and jewelry stores.

National Museum, Santo Domingo
This science park features an aquarium.

Arawak Art Gallery, Santo Domingo
A collection of original works of art by the island's native Arawak Indians.

National Theater, Santo Domingo
Hosts frequent drama, dance and musical performances.

Theater of Fine Arts, Santo Domingo
The home to frequent art exhibits.

Quisqueya Stadium, Santo Domingo
Many of Major League Baseball's biggest stars got their start in this stadium of the prestigious Dominican League.

National Aquarium, Santo Domingo

Jardin Botanico Nacional, Santo Domingo

Bellapart Museum (Museo Bellapart), Santo Domingo

Altos de Chavon School of Design, La Romana
Located in a small Mediterranean-style town, this school trains top Dominican artists in a wide array of fields.

Minitas, La Romana
This small beach makes for a relaxing afternoon in a quiet atmosphere.

La Aleta, La Romana
Numerous Taino artifacts were uncovered at this ancient Indian site following a 1996 excavation.

Metamorphosis Spa, La Romana

The Tower, Samana Peninsula
This huge underwater rock structure rises over 150 feet to just under the surface and is an interesting place for divers to explore.

Bay of Punta Tibisi, Samana Peninsula
This quiet bay is popular among divers seeking to avoid more crowded areas.

Cabo Cabron, Samana Peninsula
This uninhabited region on the island's northern coast is one of the most remote spots on the island.

Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island), Samana Peninsula
A short boat ride off the north coast will take you to the island of Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island), with its beautiful white sand beaches.


Playa Grande Beach, Samana Peninsula

 
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