About 2 million visitors make their way to the Dominican Republic every year; visiting the island for the superb sprawling beaches, great year round weather and the excellent value for money resorts. There’s so much more on offer too, from arid desserts and vast mountain ranges to magnificent waterfalls, lush tropical rainforests and of course the Latin American charm. The north is the most popular area, providing affordable accommodation, great golden beaches and a lively nightlife. The west coast is quieter, offering more upscale resorts and some stunning white sandy beaches. In the south you’ll find the most secluded resorts, the island’s most breath-taking beaches and it’s ideal for exploring the island’s capital Santo Domingo.
Things to see and do in the Dominican Republic:
Attractions: The island’s UNESCO-listed capital, Santa Domingo, in the South of the island is a wonderfully energetic city with beautiful sights to explore. Head to the heart of the city, the Zona Colonial, with its cobbled streets and stunning historic sights such as the The Cathedral of Santa María la Menor (also known as Catedral Primada de América) the oldest cathedral in the Americas – and the equally historic fortress the Fortaleza Ozama. Elsewhere on the island, if you can tear yourself away from the stunning white beaches, there are plenty of other attractions to explore. Take an exciting excursion to the Damajaqua Cascades (also called 27 Waterfalls) in Puerto Plata to view some of the country’s thrilling cascades or discover the colourful tropical birds and butterflies at the Parque del Este National Park in Bayahibe.
Events/festivals: In February, head to the streets of Santo Domingo or La Vega for the biggest of the island’s Carnival celebrations. The carnival began as a religious pre- Lent activity but has now included the celebration of Dominican independence, which is on the 27th February and you will find parties, processions, salsa dancing and live music taking place across all the weekends in the month. The Dominican Republic Jazz Festival (or DR Jazz Fest) is an annual event that takes place in November in the North of the island where local and international artists come together to perform, take workshops and generally make music!
Sports: Baseball is big business in the Dominican and the Winter Professional Baseball Championship sees the island’s six professional teams compete against each other in an exciting event. This event takes place between mid October at the end of December and is a great time to catch a game. If watching golf is more your thing, head to Punta Cana in November for the Dominican Republic Golf Open when top class golfers compete in this event. The Dominican Republic is renowned for having some great golf courses with several championship courses dotted across the island. Watersports are also in abundance and you’ll find some fabulous scuba diving sites and and snorkelling opportunities.
Nightlife: The Dom Rep has plenty of nightlife options to suit all tastes – from bars with live music, nightclubs to more relaxing spots where you can chill out with a cocktail or two or a bottle of the island’s most famous beer, Presidente. The capital of Santo Domingo has a vibrant nightlife scene as has the more tourist spots of Puerto Plata, Punta Cana and Bavaro where you’ll find lots of bars and clubs. For the most authentic night out in the Dominican, visit a car wash at night – it might sound a little crazy, but these are transformed at night into mini nightclubs with a heady mix of booze and Dominican music and lots of locals.
Eating/Drinking: Many of the hotels on the island offer an all-inclusive option with a range of gourmet international cuisine. Dominican cuisine itself is a mix of Spanish, Taino and African flavours. Some of the tasty local dishes include pastele en hoja which is a meat turnover wrapped and steamed in banana leaves, and chicharrones de poola which is chicken fried in a mild spicy batter. Popular drinks are Presidente beer which is produced on the island and Mama Juana which is a heady concoction of local wines, rum, honey which is soaked in a bottle with herbs and tree bark.
Shopping: Shopping in the more tourist parts of the Dominican Republic usually involve open air markets and small shopping centres where you can pick up some local crafts, souvenirs cigars and rum. For the best shopping on the island however, head to the capital of Santo Domingo where you will find larger shopping centres and many smaller shops and boutiques.
When to go
The Dominican Republic is a great destination for warm weather all-year-round, thanks to its location next to the equator. The most popular time of year to visit is in the winter months when crowds escape cooler climes in other parts of the world. Hurricane season runs between July and September, however, storms don’t often linger and usually pass in about 24 hours.
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We can use any hotel, in any destination, so we will craft an itinerary to suit your exact needs. Also, as we can provide any itinerary, the only holiday we'll offer, is the one that's right for you.
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We have recently returned from a multi centre holiday in Thailand. Everything went smoothly as planned, the hotels were all lovely. We would definitely recommend eShores and would book through them in the future. Thanks to Laura who organised the trip for us.Posted 3 weeks ago
Been using eshore for several years,always come up with requirements we need.Always happy to rearrange. Staff are very knowledgeable and we always use Leanne as our point of contact. Experts for multi centre holidays.Posted 4 weeks ago
I booked two holidays in 4 months with Dave at eshores. First one a 16 day trip around Vietnam north to south which included numerous flights and taxis. My second holiday was in October traveling around Vietnam again and Cambodia. Every hotel in both countries was spot on, every transfer went smooth with no problems. I'll Definitely use eshores again and thanks to Dave who arranged everything, a fantastic experience 👍👍Posted 4 weeks ago
Recently booked a four centre holiday to Asia. The process was straightforward and seamless. Rob, the agent who dealt with our requirements was extremely helpful and not pushy. He was very easy to talk with and seemed genuinely interested in our plans. He managed to put together exactly what we wanted and at a great price.Posted 1 month ago
Andy at eshores has been great, he worked hard to meet all our needs and went the extra mile for us! We're looking forward to a great Honeymoon!Posted 1 month ago
As always Michelle mainly but with some help from Leanne have once again booked an hopefully (as not yet travelled) amazing customised trip to America next September with our family this time.Posted 1 month ago
First time I have used eshores and it won't be the last. Emma was so helpful in booking my 3 centre holiday to Portugal. Really pleased with accommodation selected and the overall cost. Emma was very quick to respond with different options and I'm looking forward to our holiday next year. I highly recommend this companyPosted 1 month ago
We have just booked a trip to the Far East having previously used this company twice, Vietnam/Cambodia and a Road Trip in the USA. Both trips were problem free with all aspects going to plan. Easy to talk to and never pushing for a decision. A lovely company , thank you Dave for your time and assistance.Posted 1 month ago
We booked what appeared to be a busy holiday to South Africa and Mauritius. This consisted of five different fights and hotels with the various transfers included. Rachael organised the holiday for us and every aspect of the trip went well. Took a lot of the stress out and allowed us to have a fantastic holiday. Friendly,Professional service with professional staff. Will use them again.Posted 1 month ago
All went well on our recent NY trip booked through Matt at EShores. Worth noting: -Newark Airport and Train Station great with transfers on the NYP Train (about 1 hour) to and from Penn Station/Airport Terminal (easy!) -Sanctuary Hotel great location and staff! Room and breakfast spot on. -Brooklyn Bridge walk back great, 1 stop over on subway as suggested. -United Airlines great - direct to and from Edinburgh! Recommended -weather spot on, temperatures just like here. Thanks for all your help and advice. Julie and Georgia (21st birthday girl!)Posted 1 month ago
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