The Dominican Republic is a popular tourist destination for many US residents. There are many direct flights from the East Coast making it a popular tourist destination.
There is much to see and do in this country of 11 million people! We only had 4 days there, so we took the first day to relax at the resort and then ventured out and about!
Most tourists hover around Punta Cana where lovely resorts line the busy surfing beaches along the Caribbean Sea. We stayed at Eden’s Roc Cap Cana, about a 15 minute drive from the palm peppered Macao Beach and the queen tourist areas of Punta Cana. Eden’s Roc was tranquil, set on its own private white sandy beach. Most of the rooms come with your own concierge to set up day trips or excursions which I highly recommend. They also provide a private shuttle service to the Marina area where one of our favorite restaurants is located. Its base is Italian but with a Mediterranean flair, Barbudo is quaint but with a cool vibe and had the best prices and the most amazing cuisine. It may not be right on the water like Aura, which had amazing seafood and sunset views but Barbudo was by far our fav.
My top three places to see in the Dominican Republic
Sail to Isla Saona, it’s a private island about 40 minutes from the mainland. There isn’t much on the island but worth the ride to its white sandy beaches, colorful hammocks swinging between the coconut palm trees with a small cocktail and snack bar. It is hardly developed but oozes tropical charm in its paradisaical essence. Make certain you ask your captain to take to you see the hundreds of starfish in the shallow waters minutes before reaching the island and you will want to wade in the waist deep turquoise water in the natural beaches close by. No waves, no problem, pure crystal-clear water and picturesque postcard worthy photo opps! We spent over two hours swimming and enjoying the sea!
Take a day trip to Santa Domingo is you have the time. It is about a 2.5 to 3 hour drive from Punta Cana/Cap Cana to explore the capital. Roam around the Zona Colonial and immerse yourself in the history of this 500-year-old town rich with history and heritage. It is the largest city in the Caribbean and adorned with statues, parks, restaurants, live music and cigar bars. It’s best to go with a guide or hire Tours By Locals as it is very congested and there is a lot of traffic.
If you are in the Punta Cana area, the modern medieval village of Altos De Chavón is a must see. Sculpted entirely of stone, the iconic village is modeled after a 16th century Mediterranean village. It is an outdoor Grecian style 5000 seat amphitheater where Frank Sinatra and many world artists have performed since its opening in 1982. The village took 6 years to build and it is lined with fine dining restaurants, curated boutiques, famous cigar shops and it is also an archeological site that houses a museum with the most comprehensive history of the indigenous culture in the Dominican Republic. The church, St Stanislaus is found in the village centre with spectacular views of the river. It is a must see when visiting the DR.
Hope you enjoyed the four day itinerary of the Dominican Republic and the must see areas the country is known for.