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20 Reasons to Holiday in the Dominican Republic
In 2010, more than 4 million tourists and vacationers visited the Dominican Republic, with the majority (54%) coming from the US and Canada. While this may sound like an impressive number of visitors, it pales in comparison to other island destinations around the world. The reason is quite possibly that people just don’t hear about it in the field of travel advertising. So for the uninitiated below is a list of 20 reasons to vacation in the Dominican Republic.
1. The weather!
As the Dominican Republic is located in the Caribbean, the climate is predominantly tropical. In summer, the temperature peaks around 32 °C (90 °F) and the average daily temperature is 25.8 °C (78 °F) with around 6.3 hours of sunlight each day.
2. It has great beaches!
The Dominican Republic has nearly 1,000 miles of coastline on its northern, eastern and southern borders, a third of which are some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Most of these beaches are pristine oases of brilliant white sand thanks to the high coral and shell content, lined with tall shaded palm trees and offset by crystal clear water. Not only do the beaches look beautiful and are great places to relax, but the water temperature is a constant 28-30 degrees Celsius almost all year round, making swimming an added pleasure.
3. It has great hotels and resorts!
In addition to a wide variety of fantastic hotels, the Dominican Republic is the undisputed leader in all-inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, with more than two dozen all-inclusive properties currently in operation ranging from budget to luxury. These resorts are located in breathtaking locations and offer world-class facilities, including golf resorts, spas, weddings and water sports.
4. The food is amazing!
The Dominican Republic has an excellent reputation for its varied and delicious food. The local cuisine is unique and delicious, and as a culture, Dominicans love to eat. Tourists will find plenty of places to eat, from upscale restaurants with gourmet menus to casual street cafes, all of which offer a wide variety of cuisines including Oriental, Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian and of course Creole. You definitely won’t go hungry!
5. It’s a great place to take the kids!
In addition to great weather, beautiful beaches, great accommodation and great food, the Dominican Republic offers a wide range of fun activities for children. In addition to a range of water sports including surfing, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, diving and sailing, there are options for horse riding, go-karting and mountain biking. In addition, the trampoline museum, the children’s library, the national aquarium, the national zoo, the national botanical garden, the water slide and the Las Canquiñas children’s park will keep the little ones entertained.
6. It’s a fantastic place to get married!
Due to its weather and breathtaking location, the Dominican Republic is a fantastic location for weddings. Many resorts offer complete wedding packages and specialized coordinators to take the worry out of organizing your wedding. The Dominican Republic is of course a fantastic place for a honeymoon and just imagine how these wedding photos will look, especially against the backdrop of a pristine white beach!
7. It’s a great place for a golf vacation!
If you love golf, then you will love golf in the Dominican Republic as it features 28 world-class courses designed by such legends of the game as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, Nick Price and Greg Norman. Nine of the country’s golf courses are included in Golfweek Magazine’s 2010 list of the 50 Best Courses in the Caribbean and Latin America. Not least because the breathtaking coastline, lush green fairways and magnificent unspoilt views of nature make these courses an absolute joy to play.
8. There is no better place for an eco-adventure!
The Dominican Republic has at least nine distinct ecological zones. This natural diversity allows you to enjoy an extraordinarily diverse eco-adventure on one beautiful island. Containing the highest and lowest points above and below sea level in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic entertains virtually all forms of nature. From luscious tropical rainforests to arid deserts, each area offers a wide variety of very different activities. Places like Jarabacoa and Constanza provide opportunities for rock climbing, hiking, horse riding and rafting, while Pedernales, Bahoruco, Bani, Azua and Barahona reveal pristine beaches, geological formations, lagoons, deserts and dunes. In Cabarete and Samaná, on the northeast coast near Puerto Plata, you can experience deep diving, windsurfing, kiteboarding, jeep safaris, waterfalls and even humpback whales. While across the island you can admire more than 5,000 different species of plants, 254 species of birds and 1,411 species of reptiles, many of which are endangered or simply cannot be found anywhere else in the world. If eco-adventure tourism is your thing, then the Dominican Republic is definitely for you.
9. You will love water sports!
Surrounded by warm waters and breathtaking views, the Dominican Republic is a mecca for water sports. Sailing is extremely popular, attracting regattas from all over the world, such as the Rolex Farr 40 Pre-World Cup in April 2010 and the World Sailing Championships in Casa de Campo Marina. In addition to hosting the Windsurfing World Cup, Cabarete Beach is also revered as the “Kiteboarding Capital of the World”, as the perfect combination of beaches, wind and waves create optimal conditions for the sport. Surfing is of course an extremely popular activity and there are 16 fantastic surf spots on the north coast from Puerto Plata to Playa Grande and Río San Juan with classic or standard waves that reach over 4 meters between December and March. . Diving is also a major attraction and with 1,000 miles of coastline dotted with coral reefs, caves, shipwrecks and a superb array of fish and fauna, the Dominican Republic is also known as one of the best places for snorkelling or diving in the entire Caribbean. If you love water sports, either watching them or participating in them, the Dominican Republic is a place you simply must visit.
10. It has world class fishing!
The Dominican Republic is a world-class fishing destination. It has been a legendary destination for anglers for years and has hosted several international fishing tournaments such as the Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament at Cabeza de Toro, the ESPN Billfish Xtreme Tournament at Punta Cana Resort & Club and the new International Billfish Shootout at Cap Cana. Marina, the largest port in the Caribbean. If you like fishing, then the Dominican Republic is the place to be!
11. National parks are incredible!
The Dominican Republic has a beautiful topography; so much so that more than 25 percent of the country has been protected in the form of national parks, reserves and marine reserves. These beautiful ecosystems are protected areas under a conservation plan that boasts 83 distinct areas, including 19 national parks, 15 nature reserves, 6 scientific reserves, 32 natural monuments, 2 marine reserves and 9 protected island areas with panoramic views. Providing breathtaking views of unspoiled landscapes and moments of peace and solitude, the Dominican Republic’s national parks include everything from green pine-forested mountains to pristine white-sand beaches and arid desert lands. If you like connecting with nature, the Dominican Republic is the place to go.
12. Nightlife is great!
If you like to party, the Dominican Republic will not disappoint you as most bars and cafes throughout the country are open and serving alcoholic drinks until midnight from Sunday to Thursday and until 2am on Friday, Saturday and public holidays.
While most resorts offer different musicals, shows, discos and performances every night, if you really want to party, then head to Santo Domingo! The capital of the Dominican Republic is the center of the country’s nightlife. It enjoys arguably the most entertainment in the Caribbean, with a wide range of trendy and popular bars, discos, casinos and restaurants, and some refer to it as the ‘New York’ of the Caribbean.
13. The spa is stunning!
The Dominican Republic is home to a number of world-class spas. Many of these are located in luxury “all-inclusive” resorts that offer the most modern and advanced treatments, including some that use traditional Dominican herbs and minerals. Set in a beautiful setting, with the soft sounds of relaxing music, the ocean or waterfalls to soothe your ears and the sweet scent of natural oils to tantalize your nose, this spa provides the perfect place to pamper your body and free your mind. Many spas also provide a range of beauty treatments, hairdressing services; treatments, depilation, manicure and pedicure. So there is everything you need to completely relax!
14. The place breathes history and culture!
Santa Domingo is generally recognized as the “first city in the Americas”, the place where the New World began. As a result, Santo Domingo has an impressive parade of historical monuments that are as breathtaking as they are rewarding. The most famous of these, the “Colonial City”, was recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992. The city was also recently confirmed as the US Capital of Culture for 2010. To celebrate, the Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic has planned more than 600 events to be held throughout the year, including the 2nd National Theater Festival and the International Book Fair, as well as various exhibitions, festivals and the inauguration of the new National Library and the long-awaited Museum of the Dominican Man.
15. You can shop till you drop!
If you love to shop, then the Dominican Republic is the place to go as it has a wide variety of many great places for discerning shopaholics to choose from!
In most tourist areas and in larger cities you will find luxury open-air markets and large well-known shopping malls. But if you really want to shop, the place to go is Santo Domingo, where the range of shops, boutiques and department stores is just great. You sell everything from the latest fashion, leather goods, bags, cosmetics, jewelry and shoes to books, electronic games, liquor, cigars, water sports equipment and art. Here you will find an endless range of fantastic products for every budget and taste.
Shops in Santo Domingo are usually open Monday to Saturday from 9am to 7pm and on Sundays from 9am to 6pm, so there’s plenty of time to browse even in between lounging on the beach.
16. No language barriers!
If you don’t know a word of Spanish, don’t worry! Although it is the official language of the Dominican Republic, English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Russian are spoken by many staff at tourist and hotel destinations throughout the country. So you shouldn’t have a problem finding someone to communicate with. As a common courtesy, it always pays to learn a few basic Spanish phrases. After all, you are visiting a country that does not speak your native language as a first language.
17. You can log in anywhere!
Internet cafes can be found in most tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic. Additionally, almost all larger resorts and hotels offer on-site Internet access, and most offer high-speed DSL Internet access for laptops in your room. So even when you are in paradise, it will not be difficult for you to follow all the news, events and results from the outside world.
18. The drinking age is 18!
The legal drinking and gambling age in the Dominican Republic is 18, so while you may not be old enough to drink in the US, you can legally do so in the Dominican Republic.
19. It’s close to other Caribbean islands!
Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a fantastic place to use as a base for other destinations in the region. Neighboring Haiti and with the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos to the north, Cuba and Jamaica to the west, and Puerto Rico and the West Indies to the east, you can visit any other destination in the entire Caribbean within a few hours. Imagine what a vacation could be like.
20. You don’t need any special vaccinations
In order to travel to the Dominican Republic, you will not need any vaccinations other than those normally required for Europe and North America. In fact, you can go on vacation right away!
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