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The Dominican Republic is the most visited country in the Caribbean, and for good reason. Its diverse landscape and rich culture have created attractions that cater to visitors with many different interests. Whether you’re interested in nature, jewelry, watersports, or just enjoying the tropical experience, the Dominican Republic has something to offer everyone.
Puerto Plata is well known for its white-sand beaches, and one of the most popular is Playa Dorada. This is Puerto Plata’s tourist hub, a huge resort complex located along a long stretch of beach. It consists of several hotels, restaurants, a shopping center, and the Robert Trent Jones golf course. The warm waters, and of course the sunshine, make it ideal for swimming and sunbathing.
Damajaqua Waterfalls consists of a series of 27 waterfalls and rock pools and is one of the biggest tourist attractions Puerto Plata has to offer. Tours of these waterfalls involve climbing up to the falls before sliding, swimming, or jumping into the pools they create.
Amber is the national gem of the Dominican Republic, and the Amber Museum celebrates its beauty. This museum is set in a beautiful Victorian-style building and displays several specimens of valuable Dominican amber, many of which feature fossilized flora and fauna. It also has a gift shop were you can purchase amber jewelry.
Within the Dominican Republic, the area of Samaná is home to the Sanctuary of the Humpback Whales. Every year between December and March about 2,000 humpback whales come to reproduce in the waters close to the coast. Studies show that all populations of Atlantic humpback whales come to reproduce in these waters. Humpback whales can sometimes perform acrobatic acts while mating, such as jumping out of the water, and some males will sing ‘songs’ to attract the attention of females.
Zipline Adventure in Puerto Plata gives you an opportunity to see the lush green forestry of the Dominican Republic from a bird’s eye view. Combine this with a trip to a tropical petting zoo, where you can pose for photos with resident animals such as parrots and squirrel monkeys, and you have an ideal adventure for animal and nature lovers.
Puerto Plata’s has an enormous amount of nightlife options on offer. All of the resorts have their own bars and discos which are free for guests and open to those who have purchased day passes. Try Sosua’s Ruby Lounge, which has live music and karaoke.
Puerto Plata offers a rich blend of cultures, and one way to enjoy them is at its cultural festival that takes place in the third week of June. It features merengue, blues, jazz, and folk concerts at San Felipe Fort, and troupes from Santo Domingo perform traditional dances to African spiritual music and salsa.
Ocean World Adventures is a very popular water park that emphasizes visitor–animal interactions. In addition to numerous water slides and aquarium viewings, visitors will have the opportunity to swim with dolphins and other tropical fish, play with sea lions, and pet sharks and stingrays. Ocean World Adventures also provides viewings of some land animals such as tropical birds and tigers.
Mount Isabel de Torres is a 2,600-foot (792-metre) mountain, the highest mountain in the Caribbean, making it one of the most unique experiences the Dominican Republic has to offer. At the top of the mountain you can expect a spectacular view of Puerto Plata, flower-filled gardens, a restaurant, and a statue of Christ similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro.
Fun City Action Park is the largest and most elaborate go-kart center in the Dominican Republic. It features three different tracks in one location and over two dozen different types of go-karts to choose from: a great place to visit if you are travelling with a group.
Cabarete is known as the wind-surfing capital of the country, but it has much more to offer on top of that. The warm waters and consistent strong winds make this area one of the best in the world for windsurfing and kiteboarding. On top of the water sports, the 4-mile (6-kilometer) white sand beach is lined with cafes, restaurants and shops that make it an overall great place to visit.