The Dominican Republic is a mixed bag of cloud-scraping mountains, crumbling colonial architecture, brochure-worthy beaches and desert scrublands. Though it’s most famous for the all-inclusive beach resorts of Punta Cana, anyone looking to escape the sands will never be bored with jungle treks, white water rafting, lively towns and even fascinating museums to choose from. Here are the things you shouldn’t miss when visiting this vibrant Caribbean nation.
With rainforests, mountains and waterfalls all within reach, it would be a shame if you only see the Dominican Republic’s beaches, beautiful though they are. Instead, try white water rafting on Rio Yaque del Norte – twisting and winding through frothing canyons –horse ride through the rainforest or fly over treetops at the Samana Treetop Zipline course. You’ll really feel like you’ve earned that pina colada on the sunlounger.
Treat yourself to a holiday souvenir you’ll still love after your tan fades by picking up some amber, the national gem of the Dominican Republic. In Puerto Plata, the Museo Del Ámbar (Amber Museum) offers tours in English and Spanish and a collection of rare amber exhibits, often featuring prehistoric fossils. If you’re in Santo Domingo, head to the Amber World Museum instead, which explains amber’s origins, the history of mining and how amber is turned into a covetable jewel.
Now that you’ve seen what the Dominican Republic’s got to offer, book your stay now through Culture Trip. Check out the best hotels in the Dominican Republic and the best resorts in the country now. For more things to do once you get out there, read how to make the most of your stay.
This is an updated rewrite of an article originally by Shimon Brathwaite.