The Dominican Republic is a land of contrasts and merging cultures, a place where sugar plantations give way to quiet villages and cobblestone streets, which give way to glamorous beach front real estate. Many people come here in search of a laid back, relaxing vacation on the beach. Others come here from all over the world to kite surf, go scuba diving, and explore the mountains and islands of the Dominican Republic's eastern National Park. No matter what you decide to do while you're here, you'll find the culture of the Dominican Republic warm and welcoming. The restaurants and spas here are extraordinary, and there are friendly, informative tour guides abound. Come here to leave your worries behind and enjoy the best of a classic Caribbean vacation.
Here are a few suggestions of things to do in the Dominican Republic:
-Learn to surf: Take lessons at surfing schools and camps in Punta Cana. There is no better place to learn, since the waves are beautiful and challenging but also manageable for beginners.
-Take a culture and history tour by boat: See some important landmarks, and learn about the unique landscapes and communities that make up the Dominican Republic.
-Take an excursion to the National Park: Take a boat to the National Park on the eastern side of the country and visit the Islands of Saona, Catalina, and Catalinita. Many excursions offer opportunities for snorkeling and scuba diving off the shores of these protected islands.
-Go horseback riding: Visit Rancho Lorilar, a popular riding stable in Puerto Plata, and explore some of the trails inland from the coast on horseback.
-Enjoy the nightlife: Experience the live music, dancing, and red hot energy of the bars and nightlife venues in Punta Cana and Bayahibe.
-Take an eco-tour and zipline adventure: Explore the serene beauty of the forest and jungle, and travel above them at high speed on the zipline adventure of a lifetime.
No matter where you decide to stay in the Dominican Republic, it will be easy to find a vacation rental that can become your home away from home. Look for a glamorous condo in the heart of Santo Domingo, or book a secluded beach villa close to Bayahibe or the European flair of Peninsula de Samana.
As featured in USA TODAY and recommended by Travel + Leisure in its annual Villa Guide:
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