Taking up the eastern two thirds of the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic is rightly famous for its beautiful beaches and its upscale all-inclusive resorts, including Punta Cana. Yet it would be a shame to settle for just sun and sea during a stay in the Dominican Republic. This dream destination is home to many natural wonders in its 17 national parks. From the salty Lake Enriquillo (the lowest point in the Caribbean measuring 44 metres below sea) to Pico Duarte, the highest point in the Caribbean at 3175 metres, the Dominican Republic is a paradise for ecotourism; with lakes, rainforests, waterfalls, caves and mangroves, not forgetting the whales that cross the Samana region from January to March. A stay in the Dominican Republic is also a rich cultural experience. Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, is heir to the colonial past of the first New World city, also classed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Add the joie de vivre of the people and rum, you get a destination of endless possibilities!
Holidays in the Dominican Republic are often limited by relaxing in large waterfront hotels. Many tour operators offer trips all inclusive package holidays (flight, accommodation and meals) at prices that beat all competition. This type of holiday will fully meet the expectations of those who want to enjoy the beach and relax as much as possible. For backpackers, the Dominican Republic also offers the opportunity to escape from the "beach-palm trees-idleness" routine. Many national parks can be discovered by foot or boat, especially the Los Haïtises and the Armando Bermudez National Park. To the east of Santo Domingo, the underwater park, La Caleta, is a delight for diving enthusiasts. The Dominican Republic can also be seen as a sports destination, especially with regards to water sports (surfing, windsurfing). The Dominican Republic offers a mix between Taino, European and Caribbean culture. This cultural mix can be explored in many museums (including the Taino museum in Santo Domingo) as well as the architecture and the general atmosphere of the country. While on holiday in the Dominican Republic, you must not miss out on one particular unforgettable activity; Merengue and Bachata dance. Do not forget to taste the local specialties; cigars and rum. Finally, if you feel like it, attend a cockfight; one of the most popular “sports” in Santo-Domingo.