The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular, family-friendly Caribbean islands of them all. Here, busy tourist hubs provide a good mix of luxury resorts and five-star hotels, though away from the crowds you’ll find a culture rooted in its UNESCO World Heritage Sites, artisan cigar rolling workshops, rum distilleries and coffee plantations. Look a little harder still, and lush inland foothills are primed for wildlife walks, jungle waterfalls to swim in and even whale watching tours off the coast, depending on the time of year you visit. With no less than 25 golf courses on the island, music festivals, shopping outlets and watersports as well as natural wonders to admire, the Caribbean’s second largest island is a grown-up playground that has something for everybody.
The island’s capital, Santo Domingo, is a vibrant city alive with outdoor bars, food markets and shopping outlets, though also the UNESCO-stamped Zona Colonial, a 500-year-old warren of cobblestone streets, monasteries and thick stone buildings, one of the oldest historic centres in the Caribbean. A gentle stroll through the Zona Colonial is a real highlight of the Dominican Republic and offers a great insight into the island’s varied past, if seeking a momentary break from the comforts of your resort, that is.
Another standout feature of this often-misunderstood Caribbean island is the biodiversity, beauty of its landscapes and range of national parks which provide the most spectacular walks and one or two adrenaline-packed adventures too. The Cordillera Central is a blissful spot to hike and birdwatch its myriad trails, mountain bike or kayak, while the 27 waterfalls of Rio Damajagua near Puerto Plata are a top-rated Caribbean experience; trekking through scenic jungle between the falls and sliding down each one into a crystalline plunge pool below.
Then, with quite literally hundreds of miles of tropical coastline, from dramatic cliff-edged bays to idyllic golden beaches punctuated by palm trees, time spent with sand between your toes simply must feature as part of your visit to the Dominican Republic. Whether at Playa Rincon, Punta Cana, Puerto Plata or the desert island retreat of Cayo Levantado, to name only a few, the attraction and appeal of the Dominican’s vast coast is its variety. While one beach resort will be awash with watersports, scuba diving, kite-boarding and surfing, the next may be home to a quaint colonial town and rich cultural heritage. This is before even mentioning the empty stretches of pristine shoreline to be found in between.
Ultimately, if you’re an active type or in need of rest and relaxation, looking for a family holiday in the Caribbean or romantic break, the Dominican Republic is big and varied enough, with abundant luxury resorts, world-class spa hotels and restaurants for the Elite Travel Concierge team to plan the perfect trip, just for you.
The Private gated estate of Cap Cananr. Punta Cana where the exclusive Eden Roc is situated offers 5 star luxury together with having the No 1 golf course in the Caribbean.