Things to do in the Dominican Republic

Several years ago I went to the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean on a cheap all-inclusive package deal. It was winter in the UK, I was fed up of the cold, and it seemed like a much more exciting way to spend Christmas Day. It really was my best Christmas ever and sipping on rum cocktails on a powdery white beach felt like absolute bliss! The Dominican Republic is well known for its all inclusive holidays, luxury resorts, stunning beaches and crystal clear waters, but there are also plenty of activities and things to do to keep you occupied.

Swim with dolphins

Swimming with dolphins is one of those bucket list experiences that you’ll never forget. At Ocean World in Puerto Plata you can don a life jacket and get up close and personal with the friendly creatures. They’ll mimic your actions, jump over your head and even give you a kiss! In addition to dolphins you can encounter sea lions or swim with stingrays and nurse sharks. There’s also a tropical bird park and a snorkel reef to keep you entertained for the day.

swimming with dolphins in the dominican republic

Boat trip to Saona Island

On the Saona Island boat trip you’ll hop in a speed boat and be taken to a natural pool in the ocean to see the giant starfish. You are then whisked over to Saona Island to enjoy a buffet lunch, play games and soak up the rays on sun loungers. After a day of sunbathing and drinking fresh coconut water, you’ll return on a relaxing catamaran listening to the sounds of Bob Marley. The perfect chilled-out day in the sun!

Saona island boat trip in the Dominican Republic

Visit the capital, Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is the capital of the Dominican Republic and the largest city in the Caribbean.  Founded in the 15th century by Bartholomew Columbus, it holds the title of the oldest continuously inhabited European settlement in the Americas. Highlights of the city include the colonial quarter, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Alcazar de Colon (Columbus Palace), built for Christopher Columbus’ son Diego. Santo Domingo also boasts the oldest church in the New World, the Cathedral of Santa Maria La Menor.

A Monster Truck Safari

The monster truck safari takes you to the island’s interior to explore the unspoilt countryside and sugar cane fields. The 8×8 truck goes where ordinary vehicles don’t go, so you’ll go down bumpy country roads and cross streams. You’ll visit a local Dominican school and meet the children, then taste some of the locally produced coffee. You’ll pass through local villages and even meet the island’s voodoo doctor.

local school in the Dominican Republic countryside

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5 Responses to Things to do in the Dominican Republic

  1. Michaela Hall November 14, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    Did it feel like Christmas in the DR? Any decorations or Christmas music? I’m going to London for Thanksgiving and I think that I’m going to miss the feel of celebrating the holiday. Does it feel like you’re missing something, or are you just having too much fun to think of what you’re missing? Hope it’s the latter!

    • victoria November 16, 2011 at 1:27 am #

      It really did feel like Christmas Michaela!! Christmas eve was really big there and they put on a big seafood banquet and a nativity scene. Then on Christmas Day Santa arrived on a speed boat to give presents to the children!! Yeah we don’t celebrate Thanksgiving in the UK, but I’m sure you’ll be having so much fun you won’t notice!! I’ve actually been at the airport on Christmas Day before, and in transit on my birthday- to me every day is a special day so it doesn’t matter!

  2. SoloMate Travel March 8, 2012 at 8:01 pm #

    The boat trip to Saona Island sounds like a lot of fun – the only thing you do on the island is eat, sounds like something I would enjoy! The Monster Truck Safari sounds pretty intense too, it’s cool that they try to spice up the safari using a monster truck instead of a regular vehicle.

  3. Excursions Bayahibe October 3, 2012 at 4:07 am #

    Hi Victoria! I know it’s been a while since you were in the Dominican Republic, but we just stumbled across your blog post and had to commment – especially because most of the spots you enjoyed are our favourite spots too! Saona Island, Santo Domingo, and Bayahibe (to name a few) – isn’t it heaven on earth!? Thanks for sharing your experiences and pics.

  4. Juan Neder December 26, 2012 at 3:45 pm #

    The Dominican Republic in not just amazing beaches, our land offers all possibilities to any traveler. Theme travel like diving, honeymoon traveling, golf, corporate travel and specialized travel as agro tourism, cultural traveling, fishing, mountain tourism, eco and alternative tourism, among other choices.
    DeChepa Travel presents wide range of services to satisfy all your expectations. Visit http://www.dechepatravel.com for more information.

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