Dominican Republic Travel Guide
The ultimate guide to the best things to do and see in Dominican Republic
Two thirds of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic is one of the most populous countries in the region. With amazing beaches, friendly locals, great food and stunning scenery, it’s really not a place you should miss! Start here with my basic Dominican Republic travel tips, or jump down below to read my latest Dominican Republic travel blogs.
When to Visit
The most popular time to visit the Dominican Republic is in northern hemisphere winter, as this is when the weather is most pleasant and reliable, but also when hotels are busiest and prices are highest. Spring and summer months are also nice times to visit, though there may be strong rain and it gets breezy. August to early December is the time fewest people visit the Dominican Republic, as this is hurricane season, which mostly affects the east of the country. This means there are storms for a couple of hours a day, but otherwise it is beautiful. Plus, accommodation is usually a lot cheaper at this time, so it can be a great time to find a bargain!
Top Things To See
Cuevas de las Maravillas – Decorated with hand paintings by the indigenous Taino people, for whom this cave system played an important role in their origin myth, this is a fascinating place to explore. You must visit with a guide, and the tour takes an hour, but this strict regulation of visitors to the caves is what helps keep them in the condition they’re in.
Los Tres Ojos – This is one of the most visited sights in the Dominican Republic, and it’s easy to see why. They’re noted for their great variation in color, from blue to green to yellow, which is due to their varying depth and composition (some are freshwater, others sulphuric). It’s also a fun place to see some of the nation’s diverse wildlife in a relatively small area: bats, turtles and many kinds of fish can all be spotted here.
Museo de Ambar – A small but fascinating museum in the capital, this place looks at the history of amber mining, the many forms it comes in and how it became such a coveted natural resource. It’s free to visit, and the shop downstairs is also worth checking out for souvenirs.
Dominican Republic Tours
Taking a tour around the Dominican Republic can be a great idea. It’ll save you time trying to figure our local bus schedules and stress of driving yourself, plus some tours will take you out to places you might overlook by yourself. Take a look at this selection of recommended Dominican Republic tours.
LGBT – Gay Dominican Republic Travel Guide
The situation concerning LGBT rights in the Dominican Republic is rather tricky. While homosexuality activity is legal, there are basically no protections for LGBT people against open discrimination or hate crimes, and as a result, you will likely not see same-sex couples being openly affectionate with each other. There is, however, a lively gay scene, mostly concentrated in the capital, Santo Domingo. These are a few of the best things you should know about visiting gay Dominican Republic.
Parios – This relatively new bar in the colonial zone of Santo Domingo is a friendly and welcoming place to meet some locals and have a few drinks.
Club Arena – Also in the colonial zone, this place sees a mixed clientele, though the majority are gay. At first it might seem a bit out of place in the historical center of the city, but it’s actually a high-end rave joint. It’s open Wednesday to Sunday and the best time to come for pure hedonism is after 2am.
More gay travel resources here.
Dominican Republic Hotel Deals
Dominican Republic has plenty of cool and quirky hotels, as well as all the big chains you’d expect. I’ve found that using Booking.com, Agoda.com or Hotels Combined can be really useful for finding last-minute deals.
Follow @travelsofadam on Instagram for more travel tips!