9 top reasons why you should visit the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a country with a long and fascinating history. Each year, more than six million tourists visit the Dominican Republic, making tourism the country’s primary source of revenue. If you’re looking for top reasons why you should visit the Dominican Republic, start with the endless beaches and work your way to the country’s cuisine.
The Dominican Republic is known for so much more than its beautiful beaches and fascinating scenery. There’s a lot to see in the country, and although some of it may not be pleasant, it’s still the Dominican Republic.
If you wish to visit the Dominican Republic, you must know a little about the Dominican way of life and why it’s a year-long tourist attraction. The DR is a country with a troubled past and territorial invasions, but somehow, it managed to build a character and way of life that regularly draws tourists to its shores.
About the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic was the first country to be colonized in America, and from 1492 the country experienced invasions of many kinds. There were civil wars, Spanish invasions, US occupation, presidential dictatorship and assassination, and the invasion of tourists who arrived in millions searching for sunshine and beaches.
With more than 10.8 million in population, the country is inhabited by an exciting mix of Europeans and Africans. Further evidence of the Dominican experience is reflected in the country’s art and literature, as well as its music and dance. The language of DR is Spanish, and its currency is the Dominican Peso.
9 top reasons why you should visit the Dominican Republic
Why should you visit the Dominican Republic? Here are a few things that draw visitors to the DR, making each day a holiday:
#1 Visit the Beaches of the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has the best beaches. Which do you prefer?
- Punta Cana’s Bávaro Beach
- Playa Rincon of Samana Peninsula
- Cayo Levantado beaches
- Playa Dorada, Puerto Plata On the Amber Coast
- The Beaches of Las Galeras
- Cabarete’s Kite Beach, for all types of watersports
- Punta Rucia – a fishing village on the Amber Coast
- Playa Grande in Rio San Juan
- Bahia de Las Aguilas in Jaragua National Park
- Playa Juan Dolio
- Playa Fronton
- The El Lemon Waterfall
#2 Taste the Dominican Cuisine
Visit the Dominican Republic for simple but tasty meals. A regular Dominican meal would include beans, rice, green bananas or plantain, salted fish, chicken, pork, tomato paste, chicken soup (SOPA), or dried pasta. Add some seasonal herbs, and you have a perfect meal! But what makes it ‘Dominican’ is that every family has its unique way of combining these staples. Also, Dominicans have a way of cooking chicken and pork in oregano seasoning, and sometimes with the juice of sour orange. If you’re on a diet, don’t eat their pork because it is served with plenty of pork fat included.
#3 Try the Dominican Beverage
3a. The Dominican Coffee
Dominicans are known to make good coffee brewed locally. So expectSo expect a cup of coffee if you visit a local’s home, no matter the time of day. But the coffee is not usually scalding because of the weather. However, it is quite sweet and finely ground.
3b. Cocoa for chocolates
Lovers of chocolates should know this – almost every Dominican family produces its own chocolates. Locals would roast cocoa beans on an open fire, singing as they pounded. They believe that music is the secret ingredient that makes the Dominican cocoa sweet and distinct, and when you taste their cocoa, you might consider this!
3c. The Mamajuana
The mamajuana is a local brew that combines twigs, herbs and barks with honey, red wine, and rum. The locals love it, and visitors have a hard time trying to make up their minds if they hate it or not. But people claim that mamajuana is an aphrodisiac and a cure for most ailments. For a first-timer, it’s best to go slowly because the mamajuana can be intense.
#4 Listen to the Dominican Music
Music is a way of life of the Dominicans. Every town has a disco club (Discoteca), and you’re sure to find friends whenever you step into one. A great majority of the people love the Merengue, Dembow and the Bachata. These indigenous genres are more popular than Spanish Ballads, American Pop and Hip Hop, Reggaeton and Salsa. If you are a music lover, you’ll be quite at home in the cities of DR, where people go to bed to the sound of blaring music and probably wake up with the same.
#5 Dominican Carnivals are it
Visit the Dominican Republic in February, and experience the most colorful carnival in the world. The carnival is the oldest in the Caribbeans and is celebrated in February every year, spilling into March. All over the world, from city to city, Dominicans recount the history and folklore that trailed their beloved country through the years. The carnival features colorful and impressive costumes after the first settlers – the Taino Indians and the Africans.
#6 A taste of Dominican Sugars
Among the products that the Dominican Republic exports are sugar. It is not unusual to find sugarcane plantations everywhere in the country. No one stops you from stopping to cut off a cane and taste the goodness of this tropical plant. Alongside coffee, chocolates, rum, and cigars, sugar is one of the products the DR is known to export.
#7 An abundance of Dominican fruits
All year round, delicious fruits are waiting to be plucked. There are mangos, lychee, passion fruit, sapote, pitahaya, pineapples, coconuts, and many others. Vegetarians are not left out, either. There are assorted varieties of fresh vegetables for healthy eating and seafood of all types. The added attraction is that they all come cheap.
#8 Visit the ancient buildings of the Dominican Republic
Remember, Christopher Columbus made three voyages through Santo Domingo in the early 1860s. Walking through the streets of this first city, you feel the footprints of those who went before you. In the city, you will see the first university, the first cathedral and the palace of Christopher Columbus’s son, Diego. If you can squeeze out two days from your vacation, you will be able to visit Las Damas street and walk down the paths that noble European families took in the 15th century.
#9 Try the pocket-friendly hotels
There are hotels for all occasions. If you visit the Dominican Republic with your family (perhaps you have a baby?), some hotels offer 24-hour babysitting services for free. There are hotels with water parks and other attractions for little children. If you’re looking for some peace, there are cozy hotels and spa resorts to give you all the pampering you need. Whatever purpose you have for visiting the Dominican Republic, hotels are made to suit you. No two hotels are the same, each one built to serve a particular clientele.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does life in the Dominican Republic look like?
Firstly, the people here are warm-natured and friendly. Secondly, the beaches look like they belong in fairytales. Thirdly, living costs are cheap if you come from countries like the US and Canada. Fourthly, the food is as diverse as the weather. You can get a sunny, stormy, and rainy day in one day. But, the people are corrupt and unruly.
When is the best time to visit the Dominican Republic?
It depends on what you want. If you wish to go to beaches, there are sunnier days from November to February. Unfortunately, this is also a high season because most tourists visit now. As a result, rent is high. If you want the best rent bargain, try the weeks before and after Christmas and the week before Semana Santa (Easter). But if you don’t care about the cost, come when there are local celebrations.
Is it safe to visit the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is as safe and dangerous as every other country. But, of course, there are unsafe neighborhoods and places you shouldn’t go at night. And, you can’t expect to flaunt expensive jewelry and large denominations of money without attracting the attention of a few miscreants.
What are other reasons to visit the Dominican Republic?
BesidesBesides the fact that every day is sunny in DR, the natives are friendly, and the lifestyle is laidback. Also, the Dominican Republic is the only place where the precious larimar stone can be found on the earth’s crust. Added to this is the Dominican amber, found in the resin of the Hymenaea tree.
How much is a short-stay visa to the Dominican Republic?
You will need a tourist visa to visit the DR for a short stay of three months. The processing fee for this type of visa is USD$150 and it is non-refundable.
Visit the Dominican Republic with breathtaking beaches, five-star resorts and colorful carnivals.
But while you’re there, visit the real Dominican Republic that is outside these scenarios painted above. Find a way to support the locals by buying something you don’t need to give money to a poor person. Experience the mad DR traffic while you’re at it or loud music played at such volume that your eardrums would practically split. The real DR is where eight to ten hours a day of electricity is a luxury. How about really visiting that side of the DR?
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