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32030 Travelers rated Dominican Republic highly for Beaches and Entertainment

Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
Due to coronavirus (COVID-19) travel advisories, some destinations may be unavailable for certain dates. Find out more.
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Experience Your Best Dominican Republic Vacation

A sugary-white sand coastline, sparkling bays and a lush, mountainous interior create a magical backdrop for a Dominican Republic vacation. Find "endless summer" weather and Merengue tunes wherever you land on this tropical island paradise.

From Punta Cana and La Romana to the pristine Samana and the capital of Santo Domingo, you can have your pick of world-class resorts and affordable hotels. The beaches are a favorite, but secluded prairies, rivers and high-mountain cliffs also make for remarkable stays. Go all-inclusive for family fun, choose something romantic and luxurious, or aim for adventure among nine ecological zones.

Our Orbitz travel guide will highlight the best time to go, top 10 highlights and hidden gems from Dominican Republic insiders.

Best time to take a trip to Dominican Republic

With warm, tropical temperatures typical of a Caribbean island, the Dominican Republic weather has been dubbed "endless summer" because of the typically sunny and warm conditions. Some months are warm and sticky (August) while others promise rain and the threat of hurricanes (June through November).

Winter through Spring (December to April) is the most popular time to visit, as travelers flock here for winter and spring break. But if you're looking for the best deals, wait for September, October and May.

Things to do in Dominican Republic

Altos de Chavon

Don't let your eyes deceive you – this medieval village replica was only built yesterday, from 1976 to 1980, to be exact. That's when former Paramount studios set designer Roberto Copa and business mogul Charles Bludhorn had the idea to use remnant stones from a nearby bridge blast. A beautiful rendition complete with a church and sparkling fountain, Altos de Chavon is also home to art galleries, a design school, an archeological museum, restaurants and shops, and a Roman-style amphitheater.

Colonial Zone

Founded in 1498 and a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Colonial Zone (also dubbed "Colonial City") is both the oldest city in the New World and the most happening in modern-day Santo Domingo.  Walk 11 historic blocks within this walled city and spy America's first cathedral, monastery, universities and hospitals -- all built on the original grid system. Unique restaurants, hotels, clubs and nightlife keep the area bumping.

Bahia de las Aguilas

Find the bluest-of-blue waters in Jaragua National Park, southwest of Pedernales. Deemed the most majestic beach by many Dominicans, it takes some work to get there. The secluded bay is only reachable by boat or via 4x4 down a steep incline. But the payoff is big with stunning waters, soft white sands, seashells and great snorkeling. Stop at the restaurant by the park entrance for a reasonable lunch.

Ocean World Adventure Park

Take a step closer to nature in all its wild glory: Here you can feed exotic birds, meet tigers, snorkel in a tropical reef aquarium, and see shark and sea lion shows. But the real draw is the chance to swim and interact with Atlantic bottlenose dolphins, all while learning about these playful ocean creatures.

El Limon Waterfall (Cascada del Limon)

Trek about two hours from Samana through a tropical rainforest  that opens up to a glorious sight: a 55-foot waterfall crashing down a greenish wall into a cool, natural pool. Swim in the blue waters or head to the top of the falls for a daring leap back down. The hike is mucho strenuous, so sign up for a horseback ride or tour-supported adventure.

Catedral Primada de America

Located in the Colonial City, the Cathedral of Santa Maria Menor is considered the first cathedral of the New World. Built after the arrival of Christopher Columbus, the cathedral pays tribute with a giant statue just outside the front entrance. With fine stained glass, a facade made of coral rock, and late Gothic and Romanesque characteristics, this important monument is a must-see.

Isla Catalina

Catch a tour from the dock at Altos de Chavon, Punta Cana, to Catalina Island for an unforgettable dive. Part of a national park and considered one of the Caribbean's best dive sites, Isla Catalina also offers great snorkeling right in from the white-sand beach. Explore the spectacular Wall (dropping over 330 feet), the Aquarium for a vibrant display of fish and a recently discovered sunken 17th-century ship.

Lago Enriqullo

Big is the word at Lago Enriquillo, the largest lake in the Caribbean and one of few lakes in the world inhabited by crocodiles. The behemoth measures a dramatic 102 square miles and is located in a rift valley formed by a 79-mile fault. Three islands span the lake, but the largest Isla Cabritos is the highlight. Splurge on a boat tour for a closer look at the park's crocodiles, flamingos and exotic birds.

27 Waterfalls of Rio Damajagua (27 Los Charcos de Damajagua)

Ready for some adventure? Head to the Northern Corridor mountain range beyond the sugar cane, where a spell-binding natural treasure awaits: 27 crystal pools, waterfalls and slides created by the Damajagua River. Anyone can play here, but a tour company can help guide you up the mountain through falls and channels. The real fun begins as you jump, swim and slide your way back down.

Insider tips for Dominican Republic travel

Hotels

When choosing a hotel, don't be too focused on the distance or travel from the airport since many fantastic hotels (and deals) are a bit farther away.

Samana

Still somewhat untouched, Samana is recognized as one of the best bays in the world. The crystal clear beach at the islet of Cayo Levantado is a must see.

Try local dishes

When visiting the Dominican Republic, be sure to at least try a local dish once, like a breakfast of Mangu (smashed plantains) with friend cheese and eggs.

Colonial City restaurants

For a variety of great restaurants serving everything from French to Mediterranean, head to the center of Colonial City in Santo Domingo.

Shopping tip

Price bargaining is a must when shopping from local merchants. Most items are overpriced at the start to allow for some marginal negotiation.

Top Rated Hotels for your Dominican Republic Vacation

Majestic Mirage Punta Cana - All Suites - All inclusive
Majestic Mirage Punta Cana - All Suites - All inclusive
5.0 out of 5.0 Bavaro, Playa Arena Gorda, Punta Cana, La Altagracia
$227
4.4/5 (273 reviews)

This property is extremely tranquil and friendly. Would highly recommend.

Reviewed on Feb 10, 2020
Majestic Mirage Punta Cana - All Suites - All inclusive features a full-service spa, 13 outdoor pools, and a casino. If you plan to drive, free parking is available. ...
Majestic Colonial Punta Cana - All Inclusive
Majestic Colonial Punta Cana - All Inclusive
4.0 out of 5.0 Carretera El Maca, Punta Cana, Punta Cana
$162
4.2/5 (745 reviews)

the staff was amazing, especially the entertainment staff.

Reviewed on Mar 16, 2020
Majestic Colonial Punta Cana - All Inclusive features a private beach, a full-service spa, and 3 outdoor pools. Free parking is included with your stay. Multilingual ...
Majestic Elegance Punta Cana - All Inclusive
Majestic Elegance Punta Cana - All Inclusive
4.5 out of 5.0 Playa Bavaro - Punta Cana, Punta Cana, La Altagracia
$188
4.3/5 (833 reviews)

it was very nice that everything was under a roof for when it rained.

Reviewed on Mar 15, 2020
Majestic Elegance Punta Cana - All Inclusive features a private beach, a full-service spa, and a casino. A stay here includes free parking. The front desk has ...

^Savings based on all package bookings with Flight + Hotel made on Orbitz.com from January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019 as compared to the price of the same components booked separately. Savings will vary based on origin/destination, length of trip, stay dates and selected travel supplier(s). Savings not available on all packages.

*Price based on the lowest price found within past 24 hours and based upon one night stay for two adults over the next thirty days. Prices and availability subject to change. Additional terms may apply.