Every adventurous traveler should visit the Dominican Republic at least once in their lifetime. And when they do, they need a Dominican Republic bucket list! Trust me, this vibrant destination has something for absolutely everyone. From exploring Los Haitises National Park to wandering the streets of Zona Colonial and chillin’ on Coconut Coast. There are so many unique things to do in the Dominican Republic that we’ve decided to narrow it down to what we consider to be the top 10 things you must do on a visit!
Top 10 cool things to do on a trip to Dominican Republic
Los Haitises National Park
Tucked into a corner of the Dominican Republic lies one of the country’s most spectacular hidden gems: The Park Nacional Los Haitises. Established in 1976 on the remote northeast coast of the Dominican Republic the National park has a massive expanse of red and white mangroves west of Sabana de la Mar that protects several plant and bird species. It also consists of a limestone karst plateau with conical hills, sinkholes and caverns. You can find multiple wild animal species like the Dominican hutia or swallow-tailed gull here too.
The Dominican Republic’s capital city, Santo Domingo, or ‘La Capital’ is one of the Caribbean’s oldest cities. A collage of cultures Santo Domingo is also the most modern and dynamic metropolis in the Caribbean and a city that deserves more attention than it gets. Head to the cafe-lined Plaza de España and visit the Alcázar de Colón palace which is one of the city’s many museums, featuring Renaissance and medieval art.
Explore Coconut Coast
Punta Cana sits at the eastern most tip of the Dominican Republic where the Caribbean Sea meets the Atlantic Ocean. The region’s 32km of white sand beaches and clear waters are known as La Costa del Coco or the Coconut Coast. With its white beaches, protected by reefs and placid clear waters Costa del Coco is the ultimate tropical paradise.
Constanza and the “Dominican Alps”
Jarabacoa and Constanza are known as the Dominican Alps, the central mountain region dotted with eco-lodges and small hotels for travelers who are drawn to the lush green landscapes. The two inland cities of Constanza and Jarabacoa are known as the jewels in the crown of the Central Mountain Range which happen to be the tallest range in the Caribbean. For a break from the beaches head to this paradise for nature lovers and receive a dose of streams, valleys and crisp fresh air.
Wander the streets of the first European Colonial district in the New World and admire its historical buildings. Ciudad Colonial (Spanish for “Colonial City”) is the historic central neighborhood of Santo Domingo and the oldest permanent European settlement of the Americas. Visit the most romantic, lively and cultural neighborhood in the Dominican Republic and be inspired by the vibrancy and history.
The largest lake in the Caribbean and one of the Dominican Republic’s top attractions, Lake Enriquillo is one of few saltwater lakes known to support a population of crocodiles so be careful. It’s a hypersaline lake located in the southwestern region of the country. Its waters are shared between the provinces of Bahoruco and Independencia, the latter of which borders Haiti.
Puerto Plata, officially known as San Felipe de Puerto Plata, is the ninth-largest city on the Atlantic north coast of the Dominican Republic, and capital of the province of Puerto Plata. Best known for its beautiful beaches, luxury resorts and golf courses.
Humpback Whale Watching
Not only does the Dominican Republic offer plenty of whale watching guides, but there are several tour options available too. A visit to the Sanctuary of the Humpback Whales in Samana is one of the most beautiful excursions in the Dominican Republic. Visit the beautiful Samana Bay and the Silver Bank, located in the Northwest of the country between December And March, to witness about 2,000 humpback whales returning to reproduce in warm waters.
The Damajaqua Cascades (also known as the “27 Waterfalls”) are one of the most thrilling sights and experiences in Puerto Plata. Visit all 27 waterfalls of Damajagua. For an unforgettable adventure swim, slide and jump through the refreshing crystal clear water.
The Basilica of our Lady
Located in nearby Salvaleón de Higüey and inaugurated in 1971, this cathedral ranks among the most important religious sites in the Dominican Republic. The Basílica Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia is a Roman Catholic minor basilica and cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of Altagracia, patroness of the nation. The basilica is the seat of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nuestra Señora de la Altagracia en Higüey.
More cool things to do in the Dominican Republic
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There is so much more to see and experience in the Dominican Republic. Plan ahead so that you can take your time exploring and be prepared to be flexible because sometimes travelers you meet along the way will have the best suggestions for undiscovered gems and top things to add to your Dominican Republic Bucket List.
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