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20 Reasons to Holiday in the Dominican Republic
In 2010, more than 4 million tourists and vacationers visited the Dominican Republic, the majority of which (54%) came from the United States and Canada. While this might sound like an impressive number of visitors, it pales in comparison to other island destinations around the world. The reason is, quite possibly, that in the realms of travel advertising, people simply don’t hear about it. So for the uninitiated below is a list of 20 reasons to vacation in the Dominican Republic.
1. The Weather!
Because it is located in the Caribbean, the climate of the Dominican Republic is mostly tropical. In the summer the temperature peaks at about 32 °C (90 °F) and the average daily temperature is 25.8 °C (78 °F) with about 6.3 hours of sunlight per day.
2. It Has Great Beaches!
The Dominican Republic has almost 1000 miles of coastline on its northern, eastern and southern borders, a third of which consists of some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Most of these beaches are pristine oases of brilliant white sand due to the high content of coral and shell, lined with tall shady palm trees and offset by crystal clear waters. Not only do the beaches look beautiful and are great places to relax, the water temperature is also a constant 28-30 degrees Celsius almost all year round, which makes swimming an added pleasure.
3. It has Great Hotels and Resorts!
As well as a wide range of stunning hotels, the Dominican Republic is the Caribbean’s undisputed leader for all-inclusive resorts, with more than two dozen all-inclusive properties ranging from budget to luxury currently in operation. These resorts are based in stunning locations and offer world class facilities including Golf Resorts, Spas, Weddings and Water Sports.
4. The Food is Amazing!
The Dominican Republic has an excellent reputation for its varied and delicious food. Local cuisine is unique and delicious and as a culture Dominicans love to eat. Vacationers will find plenty of places to eat, from fancy restaurants with delicious menus to casual street cafes, all of which offer a delicious array of foods including Oriental, Mexican, Mediterranean, Italian, and of course, Creole food. You definitely won’t go hungry!
5. It’s a great place to bring the kids!
In addition to the great weather, magnificent beaches, an excellent range of accommodation and the wonderful food, the Dominican Republic offers a wide range of fun activities for children. As well as a full range of water sports including surfing, kayaking, canoeing, windsurfing, diving and sailing, there are opportunities for horse riding, go-karting and mountain biking. In addition to that, the Trampoline Museum, the Children’s Library, the National Aquarium, the National Zoo, the National Botanical Gardens, the Water Slide and the Children’s Park Las Canquiñas will certainly entertain the little ones.
6. It’s a great place to get married!
Because of its weather and stunning location, the Dominican Republic is a great place to get married. Many resorts offer complete wedding packages and dedicated coordinators who take the hassle out of organizing the wedding for you. The Dominican Republic is of course a wonderful place for a honeymoon and just think how those wedding pictures will look, especially against the backdrop of a pristine white beach!
7. It’s a great place for a golfing vacation!
If you love golf, then you will love golfing in the Dominican Republic as it features 28 world-class courses designed by such legends of the game as Jack Nicklaus, Gary Player, Nick Faldo, Nick Price and Greg Norman. Nine of the golf courses of the country are included in the 2010 list of Golfweek Magazine of the top 50 courses in the Caribbean and Latin America. Not least because the stunning coastlines, lush green fairways and magnificent unspoilt views of nature make these courses an absolute joy to play.
8. There is no better place for an Eco-Adventure!
The Dominican Republic has no less than nine distinct ecological zones. This natural diversity allows you to enjoy an extraordinarily diverse eco-adventure on one beautiful island. Containing the highest and lowest points above and below sea level in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic entertains almost every form of nature. From luscious tropical rainforests to arid deserts, each area offers a wide range of very distinct activities. Places like Jarabacoa and Constanza provide opportunities for mountain climbing, hiking, horse riding and rafting, while Pedernales, Bahoruco, Bani, Azua and Barahona will reveal untouched beaches, geological formations, lagoons, deserts and dunes. At Cabarete and Samaná, on the northeast coast near Puerto Plata you can experience deep dives, windsurfing, kitesurfing, jeep safaris, waterfalls and even humpback whales. While around the island you can marvel at more than 5000 different species of plants, 254 species of birds and 1411 species of reptiles, many of which are endangered or simply cannot be found anywhere else in the world. If eco-adventure tourism is your bag, then the Dominican Republic is definitely for you.
9. You will love the Water Sports!
Surrounded by warm waters and stunning views, the Dominican Republic is a mecca for water sports. Attracting regattas from around the world, such as the Rolex Farr 40 Pre-World Cup in April 2010 and the World Sailing Championship at the Casa de Campo marina, sailing is extremely popular. In addition to hosting the Windsurfing World Cup, Cabarete Beach is also revered as the “kiteboarding capital of the world” because its perfect combination of beaches, winds and waves create the optimal conditions for the sport. Surfing is of course an extremely popular activity and there are 16 fantastic surf spots located on the north coast from Puerto Plata to Playa Grande and in Río San Juan, with classic or standard waves that reach more than 4 meters high during the months of December to March. . Diving is also a major attraction and with 1000 miles of coastline housing coral reefs, caves, shipwrecks and brilliantly coated fish and wildlife, the Dominican Republic is also known as one of the best places to snorkel or dive in the entire Caribbean. If you love water sports, whether watching or participating, the Dominican Republic is somewhere you simply must visit.
10. It has World Class Fishing!
The Dominican Republic is a world-class fishing destination. For years it has been a legendary destination for anglers and has hosted several international billfishing tournaments such as the Blue Marlin Fishing Tournament at Cabeza de Toro, the ESPN Billfish Xtreme Tournament at Punta Cana Resort & Club and the new International Billfish Shootout at Cap Cana. Marina, the largest marina in the Caribbean. If you like fishing, then the Dominican Republic is where it’s at!
11. The National Parks are incredible!
The Dominican Republic has a beautiful topography; so much so that more than 25 percent of the country has been protected in the form of National Parks, Reserves and Marine Refuges. These beautiful ecosystems are protected areas within a conservation plan that boasts 83 separate areas, including 19 national parks, 15 nature reserves, six scientific reserves, 32 natural monuments, 2 marine sanctuaries and 9 areas of protected islands with panoramic views. Providing breathtaking views of untouched landscapes and moments of peace and solitude, the National Parks of the Dominican Republic include everything from green mountains with forested pine forests to pristine white sand beaches and arid desert lands. If you love to be one with nature, the Dominican Republic is the place you need to go.
12. The Nightlife is great!
If you like to party, the Dominican Republic will not disappoint as most bars and cafes throughout the country are open and serve alcohol until midnight Sunday through Thursday and 2:00 am on Friday, Saturdays and public holidays.
While most resorts offer a variety of music, shows, discos and performances every night, if you really want to party, then head to Santo Domingo! The capital of the Dominican Republic is the center of the country’s nightlife. It enjoys probably the greatest entertainment in the Caribbean, with a wide range of trendy and happening bars, discos, casinos and restaurants and has been promoted by some as the Caribbean “New York”.
13. The Spas are amazing!
The Dominican Republic contains some world-class spas. Many are located in luxury “all-inclusive” resorts that offer the most up-to-date and sophisticated treatments, including some that use traditional Dominican herbs and minerals. In a magnificent setting, with the subtle sounds of relaxing music, the ocean or waterfalls to soothe your ears and the sweet aroma of natural oils to tantalize your nose, these spas provide the perfect place to pamper your body and free your mind. Many spas also provide a range of cosmetic treatments, hairdressing services; makeovers, hair removal, manicures and pedicures. So it’s all you need to completely break free!
14. The place bursts with history and culture!
Santo Domingo is generally recognized as the “First City in the Americas”, the place where the New World began. Consequently, Santo Domingo has an impressive display of historical monuments that are as attractive as they are enriching. The most famous of which, the “Colonial City” was recognized by UNESCO as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. The city was also recently confirmed as the American Capital of Culture for 2010. To mark this celebration the Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic has planned more than 600 activities to take place throughout the year including the Second National Festival of Theater and the International Book Fair, as well as various exhibitions, festivals and the inauguration of the new National Library and the much-awaited Museum of Dominican People.
15. You can shop till you drop!
If you love to shop, then the Dominican Republic is the place to go as it has a wide range of many great places for the discerning shopper to get their fix!
In most tourist areas as well as in the larger cities, you will find high-end open-air markets and large well-known shopping malls. But if you really want to shop, the place to go is Santo Domingo, where the range of shops, boutiques and department stores is simply superb. Selling everything from the latest fashions, leather goods, bags, cosmetics, jewelery and shoes to books, electronic games, spirits, cigars, water sports equipment and art, you’ll find an endless range of amazing products to suit any budget and taste.
Typically the shops in Santo Domingo tend to stay open from 9am to 7pm Monday to Saturday and 9am-6pm on Sundays, so there’s plenty of time to browse even in between lying on the beach.
16. No Language Barriers!
If you can’t speak a word of Spanish, don’t worry! Although it is the official language of the Dominican Republic, many employees at tourist and hotel locations throughout the country speak English, French, German, Italian, Portuguese and Russian. So you shouldn’t have any problem finding someone to communicate with. Said as a common courtesy it’s always worth learning a few basic Spanish phrases. You are indeed visiting a country that does not speak your native language as its native language.
17. You can log in anywhere!
Internet cafes can be found in most tourist spots in the Dominican Republic. In addition, almost all larger resorts and hotels offer Internet access on-site and most of them offer high-speed DSL Internet connection for laptops in your room. So even though you will be in Paradise, you will not find it difficult to keep up to date with all the news, events and scores of the outside world.
18. The Drinking age is 18!
Both the legal drinking and gambling age in the Dominican Republic is 18, so while you may not be old enough to drink in the United States, you can legally do so in the Dominican Republic.
19. It is close to other Caribbean islands!
Located in the heart of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a great place to use as a base for other destinations in the region. Neighboring Haiti and with the Bahamas and Turks & Caicos to the north, Cuba and Jamaica to the west and Puerto Rico and the Caribbean to the east, in just a few short hours you can visit any other destination in the entire Caribbean. Imagine what a vacation that could be.
20. You don’t need any specialist vaccinations
To travel to the Dominican Republic, you will not need any vaccinations outside of those normally required for Europe and North America. In fact, you can have quite a vacation right away!
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