Top 10 things to do in Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic

A country of stunning beauty and diversity known for its beaches, mountains and colonial architecture

Dominican Republic is a country.

The Dominican Republic (i/dəˌmɪnɨkən rɨˈpʌblɪk/; Spanish: República Dominicana [reˈpuβlika ðominiˈkana]) is a nation on the island of Hispaniola, part of the Greater Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean region. The western three-eighths of the island is occupied by the nation of Haiti, making Hispaniola one of two Caribbean islands, along with Saint Martin, that are shared by two countries. Both by area and population, the Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation (after Cuba), with 48,445 square kilometres (18,705 sq mi) and nearly 10 million people, one million of which live in the capital city, Santo Domingo.

Christopher Columbus landed on the island in 1492, where the Taíno people inhabited since the 7th century. It became the site of the first permanent European settlement in the Americas; namely Santo Domingo, the oldest continuously inhabited city and the first seat of the Spanish colonial rule in the New World. After three centuries of Spanish rule, with French and Haitian interludes, the country became independent in 1821. The ruler, José Núñez de Cáceres, intended that the Dominican Republic be part of the nation of Gran Colombia, but he was quickly removed by the Haitian government and Dominican slave revolts. Victorious in the Dominican War of Independence against Haitian rule in 1844, the Dominican Republic over the next 72 years, experienced mostly internal strife and encountered a brief return to colonial status under Spanish rule proposed by general Pedro Santana, becoming the only nation in the hemisphere to do so after gaining its independence. The United States occupation lasted eight years between 1916–1924, and a subsequent calm and prosperous six-year period under Horacio Vásquez Lajara, were followed by the dictatorship of Rafael Leónidas Trujillo Molina until 1961. The civil war of 1965, the country's last, was ended by a U.S.-led intervention, and was followed by the authoritarian rule of Joaquín Balaguer, 1966–1978. Since then, the Dominican Republic has moved toward representative democracy, and has been led by Leonel Fernández for most of the time after 1996. Danilo Medina, the Dominican Republic's current president, succeeded Fernández in 2012, winning 51% of the electoral vote over his opponent ex-president Hipólito Mejía.

The Dominican Republic has the ninth largest economy in Latin America and the second largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. Though long known for agriculture and mining, the economy is now dominated by services. The country's economic progress is exemplified by its advanced telecommunication system and transportation infrastructure. Nevertheless, unemployment, government corruption, and inconsistent electric service remain major Dominican problems. The country also has "marked income inequality". International migration affects the Dominican Republic greatly, as it receives and sends large flows of migrants. Haitian immigration and the integration of Dominicans of Haitian descent are major issues. A large Dominican diaspora exists, mostly in the United States. They contribute to national development as they send billions of dollars to their families.

The Dominican Republic is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. The year-round golf courses are among the top attractions on the island. As the Caribbean's most geographically diverse nation, the Dominican Republic is home to the region's tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, as well as the Caribbean's largest lake and lowest elevation, Lake Enriquillo. The island has an average temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F) and great climatic and biological diversity. The country is also the site of the first cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress built in all of the Americas, located in Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone, an area declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Music and sport are of great importance in the Dominican culture, with Merengue and Bachata as the national dance and music, and baseball as the favorite sport.

Overall rating: 4.5
Country
Typical length of visit: 7 days

Top 10 things to do in Dominican Republic

La Romana, La Romana

La Romana, La Romana
La Romana is the third-largest city in the Dominican Republic with a population estimated in 2010 at 130,426 within the city limits , of whom 127,623 are urban and 2,803 ...

Las Terrenas

Las Terrenas
Las Terrenas is a town on the northeast coast of the Dominican Republic, located in the province of Samaná. It is known for its scenic landscapes coupled with white sand ...

Boca Chica

Boca Chica
Boca Chica is a municipality of the Santo Domingo province in the Dominican Republic. Within the municipality there is one municipal district : La Caleta. As of the 2012 census ...

Sosúa

Sosúa
Sosúa is a small town in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. Located approximately 4 miles from the Puerto Plata International Airport , the town is accessed primarily ...

Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata
Puerto Plata may refer to:Puerto Plata , a city in the Dominican RepublicPuerto Plata Airport, the city airport Puerto Plata Province, a province of the Dominican RepublicPuerto Plata , a ...

Jarabacoa

Jarabacoa
Jarabacoa is a town and the second largest municipality in La Vega Province, Dominican Republic.HistoryAlthough many historical details are still unknown, Jarabacoa lies along the borderline between ...

Samaná

Samaná
The term Samaná or Samana can mean one of several things:PlacesDominican RepublicSamaná Province, a province in the Dominican RepublicSamaná , or Santa Bárbara de ...

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo , known officially as Santo Domingo de Guzmán, is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic and the largest city in the Caribbean by population. In ...

Higüey

Higüey
Higüey mey refer to:Salvaleón de Higüey, a city also known as Higüey in the Dominican RepublicHigüey Province, see La Altagracia Province, Dominican RepublicHiguey Taíno ...

Saona Island

Saona Island
Saona Island is a tropical island located a short distance from the mainland on the south-east tip of the Dominican Republic. It is a government protected nature reserve and is ...

Santiago de los Caballeros

Santiago de los Caballeros
Santiago de los Caballeros or simply Santiago is a city in the Dominican Republic. Founded in 1495 during the first wave of European colonization of the New World, today Santiago ...

Juan Dolio

Juan Dolio
Juan Dolio is a small seaside community and tourist destination in the province of San Pedro de Macoris on the southern coast of the Dominican Republic on the island of ...

Barahona

Barahona
Barahona may refer to:PlacesDominican RepublicBarahona ProvinceBarahona or Santa Cruz de Barahona, capital of the province abovePort of BarahonaRoman Catholic Diocese of BarahonaBarahona Men

Cabarete

Cabarete
Cabarete is a town in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic, noted for its tourism and beaches. It was founded in 1835 by Zephaniah Kingsley along with his ...

Cabrera

Cabrera
Cabrera is the feminine of cabrero, which means goatherd in Spanish and Catalan. It may also refer to:PlacesColombiaCabrera, CundinamarcaCabrera, SantanderDominican RepublicCabrera, ...

Constanza

Constanza
Constanza as a place may refer to:Constanța, RomaniaConstanza, Dominican RepublicConstanza may also refer to:R. v. Constanza , an English legal case in 1997José Constanza , Dominican baseball player ...

Río San Juan, María Trinidad Sánchez

Río San Juan, María Trinidad Sánchez
Río San Juan is a municipality in the María Trinidad Sánchez province of the Dominican Republic. ...

Las Galeras, Samaná

Las Galeras, Samaná
Las Galeras is a Dominican Municipal district of Santa Bárbara de Samaná, Samaná province. It is on the east coast of the Samaná Peninsula, on the Rincón Bay that is ...

San Cristóbal

San Cristóbal
San Cristóbal, the Spanish name of St. Christopher, is a common geographical name. It could refer to any of the following:Argentina San Cristóbal, Santa FeSan Cristóbal, Buenos Aires Bolivia San ...

San Juan de la Maguana

San Juan de la Maguana
San Juan de la Maguana is the capital city and the largest city in the province of San Juan and is the 10th largest city in the Dominican Republic.The term ...

San Pedro de Macorís

San Pedro de Macorís
San Pedro de Macorís is a municipality and the capital of the San Pedro de Macorís province in the Dominican Republic.EducationSan Pedro de Macorís is home to ...

Nagua

Nagua
Trinidad Sánchez Nagua or simply Nagua is the capital of María Trinidad Sánchez province, in the northeastern Dominican Republic.A medium-sized town, Nagua's economy relies on the production of agricultural products, ...

El Limón, Samaná

El Limón, Samaná
El Limón is a municipal district of Santa Bárbara de Samaná, Samaná province, Dominican Republic. It is on the north coast of the Samaná Peninsula, on the Atlantic coast.There ...

Baní

Baní
Baní is a capital town of the Peravia Province, Dominican Republic. It is the commercial and manufacturing center in a region producing bananas and coffee.OverviewThe city of ...

Miches

Miches
Miches is a town in the El Seibo province of the Dominican Republic. Miches is a small town with many smaller towns surrounding it. Historically, it has its roots as ...

San Francisco de Macorís

San Francisco de Macorís
San Francisco de Macorís is a city in the Dominican Republic located in the northeast portion of the island, in the Cibao region. It is the capital of the Duarte ...

Sabana de la Mar

Sabana de la Mar
Sabana de la Mar, usually spelt in English as Savana de la Mar, is a town in the Hato Mayor province of the Dominican RepublicSabana de la mar is located ...

Monte Cristi

Monte Cristi
The name Monte Cristi or Montecristi may refer to the following places.Dominican RepublicMonte Cristi Provincea hill, nowadays El Morro de MontecristiSan Fernando de Monte Cristi Monte Cristi ...

Dajabón

Dajabón
Dajabón is the capital city of the Dajabón province in the Dominican Republic, located on the border with Haiti. It is a market town with a population of about 10,000, ...

Bayaguana

Bayaguana
Bayaguana is a municipality of the Monte Plata province in the Dominican Republic.As of the Dominican Republic's 2002 census, the municipality had a total population of 34,786 inhabitants, of which ...

Luperón, Puerto Plata

Luperón, Puerto Plata
Luperón is a town in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. It lies in the north of the country and is a small tourist center with one all-inclusive ...

Moca

Moca
Moca or MOCA may refer to:PlacesMoca, Dominican RepublicMoca, Equatorial GuineaMoca, Puerto RicoMoča, SlovakiaScience and technologyMoca , a genus of mothsMOCA , a protein involved ...

Mao

Mao
Mao Zedong , also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao , was a Chinese Communist revolutionary and the founding father of the People's Republic of ...

Lake Enriquillo

Lake Enriquillo
Lake Enriquillo is a hypersaline lake in the Dominican Republic located in the southwestern region of the country. Its waters are shared between the provinces of Bahoruco and Independencia, the ...

Imbert

Imbert
Imbert is a town in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. The town is named after José María Imbert. ...

Pedernales

Pedernales
Pedernales may refer to:Geography Salar de Pedernales, ChilePedernales Province, Dominican RepublicPedernales, Dominican Republic, a municipality of the Dominican RepublicPedernales Canton, Manabí Province, EcuadorPedernales, EcuadorPedernales, Vizcaya, Vizcaya, SpainPedernales River, Texas, United ...

La Vega

La Vega
La Vega may refer to:PlacesLa Vega Province, province in central Dominican Republic named for the town Concepción de La VegaLa Vega, Cauca, town and municipality in ColombiaLa ...

Polo

Polo
For traditional sport see ChovganPolo is a team sport played on horseback. The objective is to score goals against an opposing team. Players score by driving a small white plastic ...

Boca de Yuma

Boca de Yuma
Boca de Yuma is a village in the province of La Altagracia, in the Dominican Republic. It is situated west of the mouth of the Rio Yuma, near the Caribbean ...

Azua

Azua
Azua may refer to:Places:Azua Province in the Dominican RepublicAzua de Compostela, capital of Azua province in the Dominican RepublicOther:Azúa Australian ZX Users' Association ...

Hato Mayor del Rey

Hato Mayor del Rey
Hato Mayor del Rey is the capital of Hato Mayor Province, Dominican Republic. It is bordered on the North by the municipalities of El Valle and Sabana de la Mar, ...

Neiba

Neiba
Neiba is a city in the southwest of the Dominican Republic. It is the capital city of the Baoruco province, and is located 180 kilometres west of the national capital, ...

Cabo Rojo, Dominican Republic

Cabo Rojo, Dominican Republic
Literally meaning "Red Cape", is both a cape on the southwestern coast of the Dominican Republic, and a beach on the same location. More specifically, it belongs to Pedernales Province, ...

Gaspar Hernández

Gaspar Hernández
Gaspar Hernández is a city and a beach in the Espaillat province of the Dominican Republic. It is touristic and full with beaches.Gaspar Hernandez is a very typical Dominican town, ...

Monte Cristi National Park

Monte Cristi National Park
Monte Cristi National Park is a national park on the Caribbean Island of Hispaniola that extends from the borders of Haiti to Punta Rucia in the Dominican Republic and covers ...

Esperanza

Esperanza
Esperanza is the Spanish word for "hope" and may refer to:BotanyTecoma stans, a yellow flower sometimes called esperanzaPlacesEsperanza, Belize, a village in Cayo District, ...

San José de Ocoa

San José de Ocoa
San José de Ocoa is the capital of San José de Ocoa province in the Dominican Republic. It is a city located on the north side of the Peravia province, ...

Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor

Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor
The Cathedral of Santa María la Menor in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo is dedicated to St. Mary of the Incarnation. It is the oldest cathedral in the Americas, ...

Fortaleza Ozama

Fortaleza Ozama
The Fortaleza Ozama is a sixteenth-century castle built by the Spanish at the entrance to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and overlooking the Ozama River. Named this river, the castle, also ...

Museo de las Casas Reales

Museo de las Casas Reales
The Museo de las Casas Reales is one of the important cultural monuments built during the colonial era in Hispaniola, now the Dominican Republic. It is located in the Colonial ...

Monasterio de San Francisco

Monasterio de San Francisco
Monasterio de San Francisco in Santo Domingo de Guzmán, Dominican Republic, is a monastery that was built around 1508, with the arrival of the Franciscan fathers. The ruin is one ...

National Palace

National Palace
Buildings called National Palace include:National Palace , in Santo DomingoNational Palace , in San SalvadorNational Palace , in Addis AbabaNational Palace , in Guatemala CityNational Palace , in Port-au-PrinceNational Palace ...

Museo Bellapart

Museo Bellapart
The Museo Bellapart is a private art museum in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Its collection includes artwork from the mid-19th century to the 1960s. ...

Puerta del Conde

Puerta del Conde
La Puerta del Conde is the site in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic where Francisco del Rosario Sánchez, one of the Dominican Founding Fathers, proclaimed Dominican independence and raised the first ...

Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso National Botanical Garden

Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso National Botanical Garden
Dr. Rafael Ma. Moscoso National Botanical Garden is a botanical garden in the heart of Santo Domingo. The park was founded in 1976 and was named after Dr. Rafael Ma. ...

Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez

Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez
Estadio Olímpico Félix Sánchez is a multi-purpose stadium in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, built in 1974 for the XII Central American & Caribbean Games.It is used mostly for football and ...

Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple

Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple
The Santo Domingo Dominican Republic Temple is the 99th operating temple of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints . It was the first temple to be built ...