< Back to Travel Guides

Dominican Republic Travel Guide

Nestled in the heart of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a nation that effortlessly blends natural beauty with vibrant culture. This tropical paradise, known for its pristine beaches, lush rainforests, and warm hospitality, promises an enchanting experience for all who visit.

The country's coastline stretches along the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, offering an array of stunning beaches. From the renowned Punta Cana with its all-inclusive resorts to the untouched shores of Samaná, each coastal region presents a unique charm. Turquoise waters and swaying palm trees set the stage for unforgettable days of relaxation and water adventures.

Beyond its beaches, the Dominican Republic boasts a rich history and diverse culture. The capital, Santo Domingo, is home to the first European settlement in the Americas, with its historic colonial district recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Travelers can stroll through cobblestone streets, visit historic cathedrals, and immerse themselves in the legacy of Christopher Columbus.

For nature enthusiasts, the country's interior reveals a world of adventure. The Cordillera Central mountain range invites hikers and nature lovers to explore its pristine landscapes, while the lush jungles of the Samaná Peninsula provide a glimpse into the Dominican Republic's biodiversity.

With a vibrant blend of sun, sea, history, and culture, the Dominican Republic beckons visitors to embrace its warmth and explore its treasures. Whether you're savoring local delicacies, dancing to the rhythm of merengue music, or simply sipping a coconut cocktail on a serene beach, the Dominican Republic promises a captivating journey. It's a place where the enchantment of the Caribbean meets the charm of the Dominican spirit.

Food & Local Cuisine

La Bandera Dominicana:

Try the national dish, "La Bandera," featuring white rice, red kidney beans, and stewed meat, often served with salad and fried plantains.


Experience the deliciousness of Mofongo, a mashed green plantain dish mixed with garlic and pork cracklings, served with savory sauces.


Don't miss the hearty Sancocho, a traditional Dominican stew with a mix of meats, vegetables, and spices, often accompanied by rice and beans.

Fresh Seafood:

Savor the ocean's bounty with fresh catches like red snapper and lobster, cooked with flavorful garlic and butter sauce.

Tropical Treats:

Indulge in tropical fruits, street food, Tres Leches Cake, and local coffee like Café Santo Domingo, as well as unique concoctions like Mamajuana, a potent rum and wine elixir.

Libations and Entertainment

When the sun sets, the Dominican Republic comes alive with lively nightlife. Whether you prefer sipping cocktails at beachfront bars in Punta Cana, dancing to merengue rhythms in Santo Domingo, or exploring the eclectic nightlife of Cabarete, the country offers an array of options for an unforgettable evening of music, dancing, and mingling with locals and fellow travelers.


The Dominican Republic offers a wide range of accommodations, from luxurious beachfront resorts to cozy boutique hotels and budget-friendly options. Here are some types of places to stay, along with a few examples to consider:

Beachfront Resorts:

The Dominican Republic boasts a multitude of all-inclusive resorts along its pristine coastlines. Punta Cana is known for its high-end resorts like the Paradisus Palma Real and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

Boutique Hotels:

For a more intimate and unique experience, boutique hotels offer personalized service. Casa Colonial Beach & Spa in Puerto Plata and Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences in Las Terrenas are fantastic choices.

Eco-Lodges and Rainforest Retreats:

If you're an eco-conscious traveler, explore the Dominican Republic's lush interior with eco-lodges like the Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge in Barahona or Jarabacoa River Club & Resort in Jarabacoa.

Vacation Rentals:

Ideal for families or groups, vacation rentals are available throughout the country. Consider villas in Casa de Campo, apartments in Santo Domingo, or beachfront cottages in Cabarete.

Budget Accommodations:

Backpackers and budget-conscious travelers can find affordable hostels and guesthouses. Zingara Hostel in Las Terrenas and Hostel Laguna Park in Santo Domingo are great examples.

Countryside Retreats:

Experience the tranquility of the countryside in places like the Rancho Baiguate in Jarabacoa or Rancho Don Cesar in the Constanza valley.

Treehouse Stays:

For a unique experience, consider a treehouse accommodation like Casa Bonita Treehouse in Barahona, nestled in a lush tropical forest.

Historic Inns:

Immerse yourself in the country's history by staying at a charming historic inn like Hotel Frances in Santo Domingo.

All-Inclusive Spa Resorts:

Rejuvenate your body and soul at luxurious spa resorts like the Zoëtry Agua Punta Cana in Uvero Alto.

Guesthouses in Cultural Centers:

Stay in the heart of cultural hubs, like La Casa del Libro in Santo Domingo, offering a vibrant atmosphere with access to local attractions and events.

Best times to go to 

Dominican Republic

The ideal time to visit is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. This period offers pleasant weather with less chance of rain and hurricane activity, making it perfect for outdoor adventures and beach vacations.

Things to do in 

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic's diverse landscape offers an array of captivating sights, from pristine beaches and lush mountains to historic landmarks and vibrant towns. Here are some of the must-see attractions that will leave you in awe:

Punta Cana's Beaches:

The eastern coast of the Dominican Republic is renowned for its breathtaking beaches. Punta Cana's white sandy shores and crystal-clear waters are perfect for relaxation, water sports, and soaking up the tropical sun.

Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone:

Step back in time in the capital city's Colonial Zone, where cobblestone streets, historic cathedrals, and preserved architecture tell the story of the first European settlement in the Americas. The Alcázar de Colón and the Catedral Primada de América are highlights not to be missed.

Los Haitises National Park:

Explore the untouched beauty of Los Haitises National Park, where limestone karsts rise from the water, creating a surreal landscape. Boat tours take you through mangroves, caves adorned with Taino Indian petroglyphs, and bird-watching opportunities.

Samaná Peninsula:

The Samaná Peninsula offers a glimpse into the Dominican Republic's lush natural world. El Limón Waterfall, hidden deep in the rainforest, is a sight to behold. Whale-watching in Samaná Bay during the winter months is also an unforgettable experience.

Pico Duarte:

For adventurous souls, conquering Pico Duarte, the highest peak in the Caribbean, is a must. Hiking through the Cordillera Central rewards you with panoramic views and a sense of accomplishment.

Altos de Chavón:

Located in La Romana, this replica of a Mediterranean village is a cultural gem. Wander through cobblestone streets lined with galleries, craft shops, and a Roman amphitheater that hosts concerts and events.

Saona Island:

Just off the southeastern coast, Saona Island's powdery beaches, turquoise waters, and swaying coconut palms epitomize Caribbean paradise. Catamaran and speedboat tours make it an accessible tropical escape.

Cascading Waterfalls:

The Dominican Republic boasts an abundance of waterfalls. Among the most famous are Salto El Limón, Salto Baiguate, and the 27 Charcos of Damajagua, offering exhilarating waterfall adventures in a pristine natural setting.

Punta Rucia and Cayo Arena:

Discover the serene beauty of Punta Rucia and the nearby Cayo Arena, a sandbar surrounded by crystal-clear waters. Snorkel among colorful coral and tropical fish, making it a top spot for underwater exploration.


Nestled in the mountains, Jarabacoa offers outdoor enthusiasts a playground. From white-water rafting on the Yaque del Norte River to horseback riding and paragliding, it's an adventure lover's paradise.

The Dominican Republic's natural wonders, historic treasures, and cultural delights provide an endless array of captivating sights. From the lush forests of the interior to the idyllic beaches along the coast, every corner of the country invites exploration and discovery.

Didn't find what you're looking for?

Our Travel Experts can help, simply get in touch.

Call us now 1-800-503-8173

Make an Appointment

Best Ways to Get To 

Dominican Republic

Arriving by Air:

Most international travelers arrive in the Dominican Republic by flying into one of its major airports. The primary gateway is Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), serving the eastern region. Other key airports include Las Américas International Airport (SDQ) in Santo Domingo, and Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP) in Puerto Plata. You can also opt for airports in Santiago, La Romana, or Samaná, depending on your destination.

Direct Flights:

Numerous airlines offer direct flights to the Dominican Republic from major cities in the United States, Canada, Europe, and South America. You can conveniently book non-stop flights to Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, or Puerto Plata, depending on your itinerary.

Connecting Flights:

If you're traveling from regions without direct flights, connecting flights are widely available. Major international hubs, such as Miami, New York, Madrid, and Panama City, serve as connecting points for travelers to reach the Dominican Republic.

Visa and Entry Requirements:

Most tourists from North America and Europe don't require a visa for stays of up to 30 to 90 days. Be sure to check the specific entry requirements for your country of origin and the purpose of your visit. A valid passport is typically required with at least six months' validity remaining.

Customs and Immigration:

Upon arrival, you'll go through customs and immigration procedures. Make sure to have all necessary documents, including your passport, completed immigration forms, and any required visas.

Traveling within 

Dominican Republic

Car Rentals:

Explore at your pace with rental cars available at airports and cities.

Public Buses:

Convenient long-distance and urban buses connect major destinations.


Taxis are readily available in cities, airports, and tourist areas.

Local Buses and Guaguas:

Use budget-friendly local buses for town-to-town travel.

Domestic Flights:

Save time and enjoy scenic views with domestic flights to major cities and regions.

Money Matters in 

Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic primarily uses the Dominican Peso (DOP). While credit cards are widely accepted, having cash on hand is recommended, especially in more remote areas. ATMs are readily available in cities and tourist destinations for convenient currency exchange, and it's advisable to notify your bank of your travel plans to avoid any issues with card usage.

Dominican Republic

 Trip Ideas

Whether you're seeking adventure, relaxation, or cultural exploration, the Dominican Republic offers diverse experiences. Here are three suggested itineraries to help you make the most of your visit:

Beach Bliss and Island Retreat (7 Days):

Days 1-3 (Punta Cana):

Start your trip in the alluring Punta Cana. Spend your days soaking up the sun on its pristine beaches, enjoying water sports, and exploring Higuey for local culture.

Days 4-5 (Bayahibe and Saona Island):

Head to the charming village of Bayahibe and embark on a catamaran trip to the paradise of Saona Island for serene beaches and turquoise waters.

Days 6-7 (La Romana):

End your beach getaway in La Romana, with a visit to the cultural village of Altos de Chavón and a round of golf at Casa de Campo.

Mountain Retreat and Ecotourism (10 Days):

Days 1-3 (Jarabacoa):

Begin your journey in the highland town of Jarabacoa. Enjoy hiking, river rafting, and exploring the lush countryside.

Days 4-5 (Constanza):

Head to the cool and tranquil town of Constanza for birdwatching and a visit to the Aguas Blancas Waterfall.

Days 6-8 (Samaná Peninsula):

Discover the stunning natural beauty of the Samaná Peninsula, from El Limón Waterfall to Whale-Watching Tours.

Days 9-10 (Las Terrenas):

Conclude your eco-adventure in Las Terrenas, with relaxing beach days and local cuisine.

Historical and Cultural Immersion (6 Days):

Days 1-2 (Santo Domingo):

Commence your cultural journey in the capital, Santo Domingo. Explore the historic Colonial Zone, visit the Alcázar de Colón, and savor local cuisine.

Days 3-4 (Samaná):

Head to the Samaná Peninsula, known for its unique blend of culture and natural beauty. Enjoy Las Terrenas and a visit to Los Haitises National Park.

Days 5-6 (Puerto Plata):

Conclude your trip in Puerto Plata, where you can explore the historic town, visit the Amber Museum, and take a cable car ride to the peak of Mount Isabel de Torres.

These itineraries offer a glimpse of the diverse experiences awaiting you in the Dominican Republic. Customize your journey based on your interests, from beach vacations to mountain adventures and cultural explorations.

If you decide to go away, book your hotel, flights and activities through our trip concierge for discounts and benefits. We offer free upgrades, free breakfasts, free hotel credit and VIP gifts at many luxury hotels for the same price as the hotel’s own websites. (Book direct and you don’t get these benefits so why would you?). Our packaged vacation prices tend to be considerably cheaper than flight and hotel prices available online.

See Vacation Packages

To make the most of your Dominican Republic adventure, consider these additional features:

Language Skills:

Learning a few basic Spanish phrases can greatly enrich your experience and help you connect with locals.

Local Cuisine Workshops:

Join cooking classes to master Dominican dishes and take home a culinary souvenir.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Give back to the local community by engaging in volunteer work, from teaching to conservation efforts.

Cultural Events:

Check the local calendar for cultural events, festivals, and celebrations. Don't miss the lively Carnival festivities in February and March.


Discover eco-friendly options, from sustainable accommodations to guided nature tours.

Each of these features can add depth and authenticity to your Dominican Republic experience, allowing you to create lasting memories and connections while exploring this captivating country.