Dominican RepublicCascading waterfalls, crystal clear lagoons, palm trees dancing in the slight tropic breeze on a beach of snow-white sand. Is there any wonder why the Dominican Republic is considered one of the most beautiful places in the world? The country is -- in a word -- stunning. A culture rich with history, the Dominican Republic is not anxious to catch up with the modern, fast-paced way of life found in most western states. In fact, you can say that the slow, relaxed way of life is what makes the island so special and it is definitely one of the reasons so many people vacation here. The Dominican Republic offers you a chance to get away from it all -- the stress, the worry, the over-demanding boss -- and supplies all the essentials necessary to relax and center your spirit.
Arriving in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic shares the Caribbean island of Hispaniola with Haiti. Over twice the size of New Hampshire, the Dominican Republic takes up two-thirds of the island's land mass. Most international air traffic to the Dominican Republic arrives at the Las Americas International Airport, situated about 25 minutes from the capital city of Santa Domingo. This airport accepts flights from a few select cities in the U.S., such as Philadelphia, Boston, New York and Miami. Once arriving in the Dominican Republic, guests will be required to purchase a tourist card and it costs around ten dollars.
Punta Cana International Airport is another arrival point for many international flights due to the number of popular Dominican Republic resorts in the Punta Cana area. With so many vacationing guests, the area's resorts usually have transportation at the airport, so just look for the sign listing your resort's name.
The Climate of the Dominican Republic
The climate on the island of Hispaniola is tropical. Guests can expect warm, if not hot weather during their stay and some days can get quite humid. There's virtually no change in temperature among the seasons, but if you visit between June and November you should exercise caution because of the potential for heavy rains and/or hurricanes.
The Resorts of the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is famous for its gorgeous resorts. Many of them offer all-inclusive vacation packages that really add a level of convenience and value to your vacation. The luxury of an all-inclusive resort vacation is that everything is taken care of ahead of time. There is no need to bring an excess of money because all of your meals, drinks, amenities and even gratuities are already paid for. It's the ultimate carefree vacation.
Punta Cana is home to many of the country's most popular resorts, and it is not hard to find a Punta Cana all inclusive vacation package. The Excellence Punta Cana Resort is $225 per night will provide you with sublime accommodations and exceptional service and amenities. The Paradisus Punta Cana Resort is another fine example of Punta Cana's sensational resorts. It features 40 acres of tropical heaven for only around $207 per night. There are even all-inclusive resorts for those traveling on a budget. The five-hotel complex of the Barcelo Resort offers significant savings. From the most opulent five-star accommodations of the Barcelo Bavaro Palace to the comfortable refinement of the Barcelo Bavaro Casino, all-inclusive packages start as low as $65 per night and up.
The Cuisine of the Dominican Republic
The cuisine of the Dominican Republic is very similar to most other Latin regions. It is made up of predominantly Spanish, Taino and African influences. As in many non-western cultures, lunch is the largest meal of the day. One of the most popular dishes of the region is "La Bandera," a deliciously healthy meal of broiled chicken, rice and red beans. Salads almost always accompany your lunch. Much of the Dominican Republic food incorporates the local spice mixture called "sofrito" into their recipes for a delightfully spicy, yet delicious, accent.
The Sights of the Dominican Republic
With so much heavenly nature, it makes sense that most of the Dominican Republic's best sights are natural. Some fine examples of the natural beauty of the island include the beaches at Playa del Macao, the wildlife refuges at Lago Enriquillo and Eastern National Park and a captivating cable car ride up the side of Mount Isabel de Torres.
The brilliant man-made spectacles of the Dominican Republic include the gothic charm of the Catedral Primada de America, the inspired architecture of the Basilica de Nuestra Senora and the artistic village of Altos de Chavon, just to name a few. It doesn't matter what you wish to experience on your vacation to the Dominican Republic, a relaxing escape from everyday life or an adventurous site-seeing excursion, you be both surprised and delightfully satisfied by your visit to this real life "fantasy island."