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The Dominican Republic

The rhythm of the Caribbean

Waterfalls, jungle and endless beaches. But also beautiful golf courses, lively merengue and delicious cuisine. A road trip through the Dominican Republic is diverse, impressive and breathtaking. Christopher Columbus already affirmed in 1492: "There is no island more beautiful than this in the world.”

Let’s go!
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Columbus first set foot in the Americas in what is now the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is one of the most geographically diverse countries in the Caribbean. With a surface area of nearly 49,000 km2 the country is relatively small making it perfect for a road trip. Distances are always short so you can spend most of your time admiring the scenery instead of spending your days in the car. From Punta Cana to Santo Domingo: don't miss these highlights!

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Punta Cana

Caribbean kick-off

Start your trip in lively Punta Cana. Its golden beaches, lush palm trees and turquoise sea are all unmistakeably Caribbean. Punta Cana is the most popular beach destination in the Dominican Republic offering luxury hotels and plenty of fun and entertainment.

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This is the perfect spot to acclimatize and get into the Caribbean spirit. You also have loads of options to escape the hustle and bustle. Visit Dolphin Island surrounded by the sea to swim with dolphins, or take a boat tour to Catalina Island for a snorkelling adventure.

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Just west of Punta Cana lies the impressive gorge of the Chavón river. Embark on a boat tour along this mighty river and look for turtles, eagles and dozens of species of aquatic birds.

A fun fact: Apocalypse Now, Anaconda and Rambo 3 were partially filmed here.

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Los Haitises

Rainforest and mangroves

Los Haitises National Park is the crown jewel of national parks in the Dominican Republic and leaves visitors awestruck. Towering rock formations arise from the emerald green bay. Turkey vultures glide through the sky, and manatees and dolphins are often spotted as well. Los Haitises is Taíno (a local dialect) for “highlands”. The park boasts magnificent rainforest, mangroves, caves and is home to more than 200 bird species.

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Whales and waterfalls

The further north you travel, the more quiet and pristine the landscape. The peninsula of Samaná is a tropical paradise filled with impressive sights. One of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, Playa Rincon seems straight out of a postcard.

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Further inland you will find the impressive El Limón waterfall easily accessible on horseback or a forty-minute hike through rivers and rainforest. From January to March, Samaná also offers prime whale watching. Between 3000 and 5000 of these magnificent mammals are travelling by close to shore, a truly amazing natural phenomenon.

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Playa Grande Golf

A round of golf with a view

The Dominican Republic is known for its beautiful beaches, but did you know that it's also one of the top golf destinations in the Caribbean? With more than 26 golf courses, you can easily spend an entire vacation teeing off around the island. If you only have time for one golf course, check out the one at Playa Grande.

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It will be hard to keep your eye on the ball. Surrounded by tropical jungle, this course overlooks one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. Perhaps instead of going for that hole-in-one, you can take time to drink in the spectacular scenery.

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Cordillera Central

The Dominican Alps

From the coast, continue through the mountainous interior to the Cordillera Central also known as the Dominican Alps. The mountain village of Jarabacoa is heaven for adventurers. Three rivers run through this village making this a popular rafting destination. From Jarabacoa, you can also undertake a hike to the highest peak of the Cordillera Central: Pico Duarte at 3,098 metres.

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Santo Domingo

A European vibe

Towards the east, the Cordillera Central flattens out towards Santo Domingo: the lively capital of the Dominican Republic. Although located right on the ocean, Santo Domingo is hardly a beach resort. Take a stroll through the Zona Colonial with its European streetscape to experience an Old World vibe.

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At night, enjoy dinner at Jalao. Located on the main square of the Zona Colonial, this restaurant is popular with the locals. The kitchen serves dishes such as chicken wings in Mamajuana barbecue sauces and fish with rice and beans, accompanied by loud, energetic merengue music.

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If you love music don’t miss the live music performances near the ruins of Saint Francis every Sunday evening.

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