Dominican Republic tourist attractions – top places to see while in the Dominican Republic
The beautiful and exotic Dominican Republic is an ideal destination for a holiday. With many breathtaking beaches, stunning natural surroundings, friendly locals and a rich cultural and historic background, the Dominican Republic promises to offer tourists a vacation they will never forget. Here are some of the most important Dominican Republic tourist attractions.
Dominican Republic beaches
Although there are numerous tourist attractions in the Dominican Republic, the beaches remain the number one spot, drawing millions of travelers from all over the world. With a shoreline almost 1300 km long along the Caribbean Sea, this is the home of some of the most spectacular beaches in the whole world. Here you will find anything, from secluded beaches to more crowded and lively places. Most of them provide all facilities and allow tourists to enjoy several water sports, such as windsurfing, kite surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving. Some beaches will offer you a unique chance to explore amazing coral reefs and the spectacular ocean life.
Some of the most popular beaches on the northern and north-eastern coast are Cabarete (famous all over the world for wind and kite surfing competitions), Playa Cofresi (here you can swim with the dolphins in the Ocean World theme park), Playa Grande, Playa Dorada, Playa Punta Rucia (where you can see some amazing coral reefs while snorkelling), Playa Sosua, Playa Bonita, Cayo Levantado and Playa Rincon.
Isla Saona, Bavaro Beach, Punta Cana (the most popular Dominican beach in the world), Dominicus Beach (where snorkelers and scuba divers can explore coral reefs), Isla Catalina and Playa Minitas are among the best beaches on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic.
The southern coast is as spectacular as the northern and eastern coasts, sprinkled with lovely beaches such as Boca Chica (close to the capital), Playa Pedernales (close to the Haitian border) and San Rafael (perfect for surfers).
Historic landmarks in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is home of Santo Domingo, the oldest settlement in the New World. This city and the surrounding towns offer numerous historical and cultural landmarks that will enchant any tourist.
If you are passionate with history, you will love visiting old forts. Fortaleza de San Luis protected the Dominican Republic from the 17th century and was later turned into a prison; nowadays is a military museum. Built in 1502, Fortaleza Ozama is the oldest military building from the New World.
The old Spanish architecture can be noticed in some historic buildings in Santo Domingo: Alcazar de Colon (one of the most popular historic sites, the home of Diego, Christopher Columbus’s son, also one of Dominican Republic’s governors); Cord House (built in 1504 this is the oldest house made of stone in the Western Hemisphere); El Faro a Colon (a lighthouse built in the 20th century in honor of Christopher Columbus; his remains were transferred here).
Dominican Republic religious landmarks
Among top Dominican Republic tourist attractions we can count a series of religious sites that impress with their grandiose architecture. Be prepared to be amazed by the Gothic 16th century church Capilla de Nuestra Señora de los Remedios or by the mixed Gothic and Baroque styles found in both Catedral de Santiago Apóstol and Catedral Primada de América. Panteon de la Patria has had numerous purposes throughout the years, from a church to a theater; nowadays it serves as a chapel.
Famous museums in the Dominican Republic
If you want to explore the Dominican Republic’s culture and history check out the National Theater, the Modern Art Museum, the Natural History Museum or the History and Geography Museum; all of them are located in Plaza de la Cultura in Santo Domingo. Other museums worth exploring are Centro Leon (a multi cultural center dedicated to the island’s history), the Amber Museum (the Dominican Republic produces the world’s most clear and valuable amber) or the Museo de Tabac (dedicated to the cigar and cigarette industry).
The Damajaqua Cascades
Damajaqua Cascades refers to a group of 27 waterfalls on Rio Bajabonico. Located close to Cabarete and Puerto Plata, this is an amazing tourist attraction you shouldn’t miss. However, you have to be fit for such an exhilarating adventure. In order to see them and appreciate them you must hike up the mountain; once you get there, you need to climb down to see all of them; be aware that sometimes you may be required to jump, slide and swim if you want to check all 27 waterfalls. For those who are not up for such an experience, there are tours available that cover only 7 waterfalls from this group. Make sure you have a guide and proper equipment.
The Dominican Republic is a magical place where tourists will find anything they need to have the perfect vacation. The Dominican Republic tourist attractions are various, from exotic beaches and stunning natural landscapes to historical places and monuments in one of the oldest nations from the New World.