The Dominican Republic is a vacation paradise. This country is working hard to preserve its natural resources. The hotels and tour operators are at the forefront of the effort to protect and nurture the environment.

Natural resources, a rich history (Santo Domingo is the oldest colonial city in America) and the perfect location, make the Dominican Republic a Caribbean haven. It is a place apart, where the happy and friendly candor of the Dominican blends easily with visitors and emigrants from the world over to create a rich international atmosphere.

Santo Domingo boasts the oldest Cathedral, University, Hospital, Hotel and many more buildings dating back to the early 1500's. Columbus chose this island to settle, and his son later was appointed governor. This was the seat of the Viceroy (representative of the Spanish king in the colonies) making the island a must-visit before continuing on to the rest of the Americas. Many people arrived on their way to other destinations, fell in love with the island and settled here instead... thus, the Dominican Republic boasts a true cultural melting pot, giving birth to its multicultural fusion cuisine which includes Spanish, French, Italian, German and Middle Eastern influences, among others.

Find your passion.

The Dominican Republic has varied terrain and an array of micro-climates, thus offering something for everyone.

The island is the second largest in the Caribbean with 76,480 square kilometers (29,529 square miles) and is shared by Haiti. The Dominican Republic occupies 48,308 square kilometers (18,651.823 square miles) of the island.

The highest point in the Caribbean—Pico Duarte, elevation 10,417 feet— is here. So is the lowest: Lago Enriquillo which lies 144 feet below sea level. Both are surrounded by lush tropical forests dripping with wild orchids and bromeliads, and alive with flocks of parrots and flamingos, dramatic dunes landscaped with cactus, thundering mountain waterfalls and quiet seaside lagoons — all framed by some of the world's most beautiful beaches.

Whether you're up for a stroll along a deserted beach, a hike to the Taíno caves in Parque del Este or an expedition into the heart of urban Santo Domingo—the oldest colonial city in America—there are plenty of places worth hiking to.

Off the east coast of the Dominican Republic, the Mona Passage is one of the most prolific habitats for billfish. Comfortable Marinas and experienced captains will take you into the blue to experience the thrill of the marlin. Be kind, release them afterwards. There are also many shallow estuaries and river mouths rife with tarpon and snook.

With three peaks over 10,000 feet, the Cordillera Central is often called the Dominican Alps. Repelling and rafting in the Río Yaque del Norte, a mild whitewater river, offers many thrills. A real challenging thrill is the climb to Pico Duarte. Guided tours that spend a night or two at shelters along the trail make the trip a little easier.

Beach, beach, and more beach. The coastline is fringed with some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean. Hammocks, beach bars and miles of palm tree shaded beaches beckon.

The Bay at Samaná and the nearby Silver Banks offshore offer some of the most dependable and thrilling animal encounters in the region. An estimated 3,000 humpback whales linger here from January to March during their annual migration between the North Atlantic and the Caribbean. Nearby, The Haitises National Park is protected by the United Nations as one of the most important sources of fresh water in the world. It's many keys are home to countless seabird habitats and hidden beaches and fresh water springs.

The island is host to surfers with Punta Cana, Encuentro and Macao being some of the hottest spots. If you are more of a Kite or Wind Surfer, the constant Caribbean winds will not disappoint you.

More than four million tourists visit the island every year and most return to the land where time passes at a slower pace than the rest of the world. This is due to the fact that for Dominicans, there is always time for fishing, playing baseball and golf, dancing Merengue, delighting in an exquisite local or international culinary masterpiece, and smoking a fine cigar, a great product of the Dominican Republic. This is a place to rest, relax and be happy.

 

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