Must do in the Dominican Republic
From the footsteps of Christopher Columbus to relishing the freshest seafood while partying away on the picturesque beaches of Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic commands a great respect as a top class tourist draw. Tourists throng to this splendid destination to explore the misty peaks of the Central Caribbean to the west stretching to the pristine sands of Isla Saona to get a glimpse of the whales off the Samana coast.To make it simple for the first time visitor, here is a list of the premier tourist spots and homes for rent in the Dominican Republic which every visitor to this beautiful country must explore to sample the luxury this charming place has to offer.
Delve into the serenity of Punta Cana
There is little doubt that the unrivaled king of tourism in the Dominican Republic is simply the one and only Punta Cana. Located at the eastern end of the island of Hispaniola, Punta Cana simply swarms with upscale hotels and resorts which lie on this Coconut Coast area where the sparkling blue waters of the Caribbean Sea merge with the Atlantic Ocean. The hotels here offer the best of relaxation in a many high-end accommodations which caters to all the modern creäture comforts anyone may ask for. The international airport here is well-connected with a large number of countries and the ground transport infrastructure is well established to transfer the visitor quickly to La Romana and its attractions.
The pretty streets of Zona Colonial harbor some of the oldest and finest colonial buildings that can be found anywhere in the Western Hemisphere. This region is the real epicenter of the Republic, with Santo Domingo being its heart.The memories of the first invaders from Spain, who used Santo Domingo as a base for their Latin American operations, can be seen by just taking a stroll along the Calle de las Damas. Today the place abounds with restaurants, cafes, shops housed in old colonial buildings reminiscent of the Spanish invaders.
The Dominican Alps
This nature lovers paradise of protected national parks comprising of valleys and fast flowing streams offers a great respite to visitors from the heat and humidity of tropical Santo Domingo. Dominated by Pico Duarte, the tallest of all peaks in the of the Caribbean, the entire mountain range of Cordillera Central acts as a backbone to the island. Crops like strawberries are known to be grown here, while ground frost is common in the higher reaches. The area is located barely 80 km away from the heart of Santo Domingo and is extremely popular with tourists and locals alike.
This is the second largest city in the Republic, which is said to have been discovered by 30 Spanish noblemen in the year 1495. Located in the fertile valley of Cibao, Santiago presently is considered to be a better rich and well-off city than the Capital itself. This is primarily because the region sits on a rich agricultural zone and has more millionaire families than anywhere else in the country. The large number of sugar and tobacco plantations in the area bear ample testimony to the richness of the resources of the region.
La Isabela Bay
Surrounded by some of the most spectacular beaches on the side and a rugged and raw terrain on the other, La Isabela is all about history and the first colonial settlements set up by the Americans here. The Bay itself serves as a protective barrier to the placid white beaches, which at some time may have prompted Christopher Columbus to set up a town here in honor of the reigning Spanish queen. The ruins here bear witness to this fact as does the archeological remains that make this place extra special to explore if only to trace the course of history this country has gone through.
Once an indiscreet fishing village, not so long ago, Las Terrenas is a well known and most sought after tourist destination of the Dominican Republic. The presence of many of expats from Europe and America has resulted in mushrooming of large number of different restaurants and an array of staying options for the traveler of today. Located on the northern coastal strip of the Samana Peninsula, Las Terrenas even as of now has managed to keep its original identity and relaxed atmosphere. The region is further blessed with an extensive number of coconut groves that slope gradually into the warm and clear ocean waters resulting in the greatest picture postcard landscape.
Traveling to any destination, especially a new one, is always loads of fun and discovery of something new, not only about the destination but yourself as well. While the Dominican Republic has everything one can ask for in a relaxed vacation, there are things to be aware of to make it a perfect getaway. One thing to remember is that every tourist getting down at the Punta Cana international airport has to shell out a 10$ fee, in cash, before heading for immigration.
As of date, a visa is required for travel through the Dominican Republic for certain countries as indicated on the Travisa website. These visas are valid for multiple entries within a period of sixty days from the date of issue. Extensions can be obtained from the Migration Department in Santo Domingo by paying USD 22 for an extended stay of 90 days.