Book cheap holidays to Dominican Republic
There are two sides to the Dominican Republic, just like there are two sides of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, which the Dominican Republic shares with neighbouring Haiti. On one side, tourists languish in luxury inside the confines of the many resort hotels along the beautiful coastline, sipping cocktails under the palm trees and bathing in beautiful blue lagoons.
The other face of the Dominican Republic can be found along the country roads, among the sugar cane, coffee and cocoa bean fields, where people labour in the sun and men play dominoes outside tumble-down shacks. For the local people (there are 8.5 million inhabitants of this well-populated part of Hispaniola), tourism is an important source of income, and the thousands of visitors who come to enjoy the resorts and to explore the Spanish Colonial legacy in this country 'where America began', are warmly welcomed.
The South Coast contains some of the country's bigger cities and national parks. The capital, Santo Domingo, was the first Spanish settlement in the Americas. Christopher Columbus initiated the first European New World settlement here in 1496. His legacy is preserved in the bricks and mortar of the historic old section of Santo Domingo, which has been turned into an entertaining and interesting Colonial 'theme park'.
The other tourist spots in the Dominican Republic are the northern Amber Coast region around Puerta Plata, the beautiful Samana Peninsula, and the resort communities of the east coast, where stretches of pristine tropical beach have been bought and developed into all-inclusive resorts. However, those who take the trouble to explore a little behind the scenes will find plenty of unspoilt tropical paradise off the beaten track in the Dominican Republic, and locals ready and willing to offer warm hospitality.
The Dominican Republic is hot and tropical, with little seasonal variation in temperatures, which average about 77°F (25°C). Seasons can, however, be determined by rainfall, with October to April being the rainy season on the north coast, while May to November is the wettest month in the south of the country. The driest area is the west. Cooler temperatures and less humidity are generally experienced between November and April, while the mountainous interior is always cooler than the rest of the country.
Hurricanes occur on average once every two years on the island, most striking the south of the country and most happening in August and September. The busiest time of year to visit the Dominican Republic is between December and April when North Americans take a tropical break from their winters, and from June to September, which coincides with European summer holidays.
The Dominican Republic is renowned as an affordable beach destination brimming with package tourists and enticing all-inclusive resorts. But the country is also a captivating blend of culture, history, and stunning natural beauty. The main tourist magnets are the areas around Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, La Romana, and Samaná. However, the country's cultural jewel is the capital, Santo Domingo, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
In addition to well-developed beach resorts and world-class golf courses, the Dominican Republic is home to vast coral reefs, waterfalls, jungles, secluded islands, pine forests, and the highest peaks in the Caribbean. Thanks to these diverse ecosystems, recreational opportunities abound. Adventure seekers head to the mountains to raft the white waters of the Río Yaque del Norte. The rugged alpine terrain also lures hikers and bikers with its many mountain trails. Along the coast, water lovers can snorkel, dive, kayak, kite board, sail, and surf. Blessed with this abundance of attractions and activities, no wonder visitors flock here from around the world