Quick Guide to Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic holidays are one of the Caribbean's up-and-comers, thanks to the beautiful scenery, fantastic beaches and some well-preserved historic colonial architecture on show on this half of this shared island. Its ever-increasing popularity means that in 2014 and 2015 holidays to the Dominican Republic are sure to become more and more widespread - so get there before the crowds!

The Dominican Republic sits right on the edge of the Caribbean Sea, so the resorts on the south side of the island are on the Caribbean coast whilst the resorts on the north side of the island have an Atlantic coastline. As you might imagine from this, the north coast resorts are usually cheaper cheaper, although the sea is still warm and clear with plenty of sea creatures to spot.

The capital of Santo Domingo and the miles of lovely beaches are both must-sees on a holiday in the Dominican Republic, but be sure to take time to explore some of the interior of the island too. National parks with lush vegetation and dramatic scenery are waiting for you, and make a great change from sunbathing every day!

Fab holidays for:

Palm fringed beaches, Caribbean sea, Excellent rum

Main Airports:

Punta Cana and Santo Domingo

Did you know?

The Dominican Republic flag is the only flag in the world to have a picture of the bible on it!

Map

What To Do In The Dominican Republic

Most people will find it hard to go much further than the stunning beaches on their Dominican Republic holiday. These are plentiful and include Playa del Macao, Playa Dorada and Playa Boca Chica - although avoid this at the weekends as it's a local getaway from the weekday living in Santo Domingo.

To see some of the local nature be sure to take a trip to Lago Enriquillo on your cheap Dominican Republic holiday. This saltwater lake is home to flamingos, iguanas, captivating crocodiles and more.

Eastern National Park showcases all the diversity of the Dominican Republic. It takes in the coast and the sea and offers a diverse range of habitats that are home to a wide variety of creatures. Explore the caves, or dive the coral reefs and relax away from it all on one of the tiny beaches.

For culture on your Dominican Republic holiday the make a beeline for the appropriately-named Plaza de la Cultura in Santa Domingo. This pretty square is filled with museums and art galleries, and many of the colonial buildings in the surrounding streets have been renovated and converted into restaurants.

Where To Stay In The Dominican Republic

For an all inclusive holiday to the Dominican Republic you will be spoilt for choice, from pocket-friendly places with a beach, a pool and a few watersports, to luxurious resorts with all the mod cons. From cheap holidays in Punta Cana to getaways in Santo Domingo, here's our run-down of all the best places to stay.

Santo Domingo is where Christopher Columbus landed and stayed, and you can see plenty of colonial architecture here today. This is combined with Latin charisma, a lovely spot on the Caribbean coast and plenty of vibrant nightlife.

Puerto Plata has a stunning coastline on the Atlantic side of the island, as well as a charming Victorian style. A romantic air abounds with Latin beats pervading the air by night. There are plenty of secluded beaches backed with lush vegetation and Mount Isabel del Torres is unmissable.

Punta Cana sits on the east coast of the Dominican Republic and holidays feature white sandy beaches and relaxation in a big way. This is a growing holiday area so one to watch in 2013 and 2014. The area's top attraction is Manati Park.

Bavaro is best known for its 10 kilometres of unbelievable coast, dubbed the Coconut Coast. Big crowds are rare so you can be sure of your own little slice of paradise. Nightlife is up-and-coming and the epicentre is the hotels and their bars, like most of the entertainment here.

Cabarete is the windsurfing and kitesurfing capital of the Caribbean. It's a small seaside resort with a youthful vibe thanks to all the extreme sports available. This also means that there is also a good beachside bar and restaurant scene with everyone wanting to be close to the action.

Sosua is near to Puerto Plata and this small resort is clustered around a pretty crescent-shaped bay. It's got a wide selection of bars, cafes and restaurants with a large Jewish influence and a cosmopolitan vibe. Be sure to visit the Columbus Aquapark - it's one of the country's best attractions and it will be on your doorstep.

Cofresi offers a peaceful and relaxed getaway on the Atlantic coast. Private villas and quiet golden beaches are the norm here, so don't expect a mad night life or loads of activities.

How to Get to the Dominican Republic

It's easy to get a direct Dominican Republic flight from the UK, and these take around 10 hours to arrive. There are three international airports with one in in Puerto Plata, one in Punta Cana and the third in Santo Domingo. Be ready to buy for a tourist visa on arrival - this can be in US Dollars or Euros and the price is currently $10.

All inclusive holidays to the Dominican Republic are currently the most popular way to visit this country with flights, coach transfers and accommodation all included, so that you don't have to worry about how to get to your hotel once you have touched down on Dominican Republic soil.

If you have arranged your accommodation and flights separately for a tailor-made Dominican Republic holiday, then you will also need to arrange onward travel. Renting a car is fantastic if you're after, although don't expect the roads to be like they are in the UK, and finding your way can be tricky. You might be better served by the local buses, known as Guaguas, or by jumping in a taxi - at least until you get your bearings.