As described by Christopher Columbus, the Dominican Republic is an abundant land as a beautiful island paradise with sky scraping forested mountains and large river valleys. This testimony from Columbus in 1492 is still as true as today. Besides the comforts of sun, sea and land, your Dominican Republic vacation will give you an exciting and exceptional cultural experience.The Dominican Republic occupies more than half of Hispaniola, the second-largest Caribbean island. Travelers can indulge in a variety of activities; adventurers might seek out canyoning and windsurfing opportunities. Hikers can scale Pico Duarte, the Caribbean’s highest mountain at 10,000 feet, while 1,000 miles of sublime coastline offer relaxation. For cultural immersion, visit the centuries-old capital Santo Domingo, the New World’s oldest city.
While it is true most tourists visit the island on holidays to Dominican Republic to enjoy the pristine beaches and other tourists destinations, there are also many festivals and activities that really shouldn’t be missed if you want to experience what life and culture in the Dominican Republic is really like. Holidays are celebrated throughout the year meaning no matter when you go there is bound to be an activity or festival that you can visit and experience. Just a few of the most famous holidays and festivals that shouldn’t be missed are the Catholic Day of the Epiphany on January the 6th, Independence Day on February the 26th and the chance to experience a unique Christmas celebration on December the 25th.
Many resorts are all-inclusive including those along the picturesque coastline in the Punta Cana/Bávaro area, where a sizeable coral reef draws scuba divers.
La Romana has the quaint Altos de Chavon artist enclave and a walled resort compound known for its three challenging golf courses, a polo field, horseback riding, sport shooting, tennis and a marina. Isla Saona, off the southern shore near Bayahibe, is a 45 square mile island with pristine beaches and mangrove-lined lagoons. The tiny 6 square mile Isla Catalina is a popular diving spot. The Samaná Peninsula has untouched beaches leading to brilliant coral reefs, gushing inland waterfalls and thick rainforests. The north coast is known as the Amber Coast because the gem of the same name is mined there. The beach at Cabarete is perfect for kiteboarding and windsurfing. At nearby El Encuentro, waves can get up to 14 feet high. In this jungle-rich region, adventure seekers spend time whitewater rafting, rock climbing and mountain biking. Two golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones are among the country’s 21 exceptional golf courses.
To the west of Cabarete lies Puerto Plata with its lively beaches. San Filepe Fort, used by the Spanish to fight off pirates in the 16th century, is a tribute to colonial days. Ocean World Adventure Park in Cofresi boasts a dolphin lagoon plus a swimmable aquarium and an interactive shark pool. Baní and Las Salinas offer some of the best windsurfing options outside Cabarete, and don’t have the crowds, while the towns of Boca Chica and Juan Dolio are popular for their busy beaches. The fertile lands of Santiago, La Vega and the Cordillera Central Mountain Range are found in the central region. Known as the Dominican Alps, it is prime for hiking, cycling and river rafting. The island’s highest mountain, Pico Duarte, calls to expert hikers; it takes three days to reach the summit.
It doesn’t matter if you are going for the amazing beaches, the exciting activities or to experience and get a glimpse of some of the holidays and festivals, vacationing in the Dominican Republic is bound to be an experience that you will never forget. There really is no other place quite like this island and you should make the most of your holiday by visiting not only the beaches and other tourist destinations but also partaking in the local holidays and festivals for a look at how life really is on the island.