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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you think of the Dominican Republic? I’m guessing beaches and all-inclusive resorts are high on the list. While the DR does have some stunning beaches and a wide selection of resorts, the country has a host of other attributes that make it a a place that should be on your must visit list.

A lot of the items on this list will are all about getting away from the resort and exploring the country. Crystal and I always do this when we travel to the Caribbean. Sure resorts are way to relax and indulge in rum drinks and cabanas, but we are always drawn to find out what’s around that next turn, or what sits over that hill. Hopefully this list will help you explore the Dominican Republic and add things to your must visit list.

And if you are in the planning phase of your Dominican Republic vacation, use this link to check out the resorts, villas, and homes you can stay at. We always use this site when traveling to the Caribbean because it helps us save a ton of money!

The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean’s most geographically diverse countries, offering visitors stunning mountain scenery, desert scrublands, historic colonial architecture, vibrant city life, and famously warm people. Where do you start?

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Dominican Republic vacation

Here are seven reason to visit the Dominican Republic.

1. Descending the 27 waterfalls of Damajagua

dominican republic waterfalls

A short drive from Puerto Plata is the famous 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua. Experiencing this series of waterfalls involves wading through clear pools, swimming through narrow canyons, hiking through forest, and climbing rocks, ropes and ladders through the roaring falls themselves. Visitors make their way up the falls and then can slide and jump their way back down.

2. The Beaches

Yes the beaches obviously have to be mentioned, and for good reason, they are spectacular! The Dominican Republic has nearly 1000 miles of coastline on its north, east and southern borders, a third of which is beckoning soft white sand. DR beaches are a great places to relax, enjoy a feel-good rum drink and play in the crystal clear water.

3. Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, is the oldest new-world city in the Americas. Founded in 1594, Zona Colonial has beautiful colonial buildings and more than 500 years of history. The City of Santo Domingo is also a vibrant urban city, known for its active nightlife and wide variety of bars, clubs, restaurants, and hotels.

4. The Resorts

Dominican Republic resorts

The Dominican Republic is arguably the leader in Caribbean all-inclusive resorts. With more than two dozen all-inclusive properties ranging from budget to luxury. These resorts (a lot of them are located in the Punta Cana area) are based in breathtaking locations and offer world class facilities including golf, spas, weddings and any type of water sport you can imagine.

5. The Food

Rich and flavorful, the Dominican food scene is dominated by Creole cuisine. Though it varies throughout the island, the staples are rice, meat, beans, fresh vegetables and seafood. The dishes are also influenced by Spanish, African and Taino cuisine.

Dishes not to miss include Mangu (boiled, mashed plantain with onion, cheeses, scrambled egg and salami), casaba (cake made from yucca) and La Bandera, which comprises of meat, rice and red beans. This dish is traditionally served with fried plantain.

6. Whale Watching

Whale watching Dominican Republic

People aren’t the only ones that migrate south to the Caribbean to escape the winter. Every year, thousands of Humpback whales congregate off the Península de Samaná to mate and give birth. Charter with whale-watching boats and watch (from a respectful distance) as these amazing animals relax in the Caribbean blue.

7. Nightlife

If you like to party, and what Castaway doesn’t, the Dominican Republic doesn’t disappoint. A wide range of bars and cafes cater to visitors and locals alike. Whether you’re looking for casual beach bars, sophisticated lounges, or dance clubs–the DR has it all.

While most resorts offer live music and shows, Santo Domingo is the place to be if you really want nighlife! The Dominican Republic’s capital is the hub of the country’s nightlife. It enjoys arguably the greatest entertainment in the Caribbean, with a wide range of trendy and happening bars, clubs, casinos and restaurants.

The Dominican Republic is a big piece of Caribbean paradise that many of us seek. Relaxation and excitement awaits you and your family – and with all the above reasons to go, what are you waiting for?! Here is the guide book we have will help you get to know the DR better.

If you’ve been to the Dominican Republic or live there, we would love to expand our list and add even more places to visit or things to do. Hit us up on Instagram at @CaribbeanCastaways and send us direct message about what you think is a must do in the Dominican Republic.

If Punta Cana is on your list, you can see what the Secrets Resort is like here. We stayed there for 4 days and loved it. To check out more resorts in Punta Cana and the rest of the Dominican Republic you can browse them here.


P.S. – Leaving soon? These recommended links below will help you save money and book your trip:

We use all the companies listed here or on the resource page. By booking through these links, the small commission we earn helps us bring you more Caribbean content so that you can save money and have a better island vacation. Crystal and I greatly appreciate any support!

About the Author: RumShopRyan

Just a salty pirate looking to explore and document the wonders of the Caribbean. Professional blogger, rum judge, consultant, marketer, and consumer of blue water beauty. To learn more, visit our About Us Page.