With Latin rhythms and sunny sandy beaches, the Dominican Republic is a laid back beach resort where worries are forgotten. The Dominican Republic wins the tourist side with its white sandy beaches, turquoise waters and Caribbean hospitality. When the explorer Kristoffer Columbus once stepped on the island of Hispaniola, he described it in his diary as paradise. Still in the Dominican Republic, huge palm trees sway in the wind and turquoise seawater washes away the sugar-white sandy beaches.
Sunny Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a state of about ten million inhabitants that shares the island of Hispaniola together with its neighbor Haiti. The beaches of the Dominican Republic extend along both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
According to countryaah, the Dominican Republic was discovered in 1492 when Columbus and his entourage got lost there on their first expedition in search of the New World. At that time, the island was inhabited by Indians. Columbus fell in love with the island and its friendly inhabitants forever and crossed the place into La Hispaniola.
Today, the Dominican Republic is a colorful blend of Spanish, French, Haitian and African influences, and offers its visitors an unparalleled cultural experience.
The currency used by the Dominican Republic is the peso. The price level is affordable in Finnish. Good English is spoken in tourist areas and especially in large hotels, but it is nevertheless polite to learn a few words of Spanish before you travel. In smaller restaurants, the menus are often only in Spanish.
On the shores of Punta Cana, it is worth sitting on a beach chair and listening to the noise of the sea.
A popular destination in winter
Package tours to the Dominican Republic are made during the winter season from November to April. The winter months are the best travel time in the country, when the tropical heat pampers holidaymakers. Showers may occasionally occur, but the summer will dry out the wet tourist.
The Dominican Republic is located in a hurricane zone. The official hurricane season runs from early June to late November. Hurricanes are a threat that is worth taking seriously, but modern satellites usually warn of disasters in advance.
Merengue rhythms and white sand
In the Dominican Republic, people are friendly and laughing, and the joy of life is fueled by a swinging merengue dance. There is also plenty of sun and activity in the country, so it’s no wonder many want to head for their own expeditions to this Caribbean island in the footsteps of Columbus.
Short for DR by abbreviationfinder, the Dominican Republic has mountains, lush jungle, pine forests, coral reefs, pristine beaches, small villages, lovely towns – and all of these side by side at relatively short distances apart. The Dominican Republic’s most popular and fastest growing tourist area is located on the country’s east coast.
Depending on the destination, the beaches have a range from sheltered coves to windier beaches that will thrive even world-class windsurfers and surfers. Other activities include diving, golf and horse riding.
The Dominican Republic is a popular destination for both beach holidaymakers and backpackers. You can experience both an adventure trip and a holiday in the country – a tourist looking for rest and relaxation can live in a holiday village where all services are at hand.
Food culture and nightlife
In the Dominican Republic, a lot of meat and chicken is eaten, usually served with rice and beans. Exotic fruits are also widely used. The highest quality restaurants can be found in the hotels, while authentic Caribbean cuisine can be discovered on the city streets.
As a food drink in the Dominican Republic, beer or fruit drinks are more common than wine. The most popular drink in the country is, of course, rum, which is worth bringing home as a gift. A well-known rum producer is Barceló from Santodoming, for example. During the trip, you should try Mama Jana , a drink made from local roots, herbs, honey and rum, at least once .
Music and dance are an integral part of the nightlife of the Dominican Republic. Rhythmic merengue and bachata music makes your hips sway in both discos and beach bars. Local music is fresh from passing cars, shops, restaurants and houses. As the sun sets, the Latin beats make both locals and holidaymakers navigate their steps towards the crowded dance floors of nightclubs.
Cigars, rum and amber
As the world’s largest cigar producer, the Dominican Republic is called the “Cigar Country” among enthusiasts. There are more than 600,000 hectares of tobacco plantations in the country. Most cigars are produced in the central part of the island in the Santiago and Cibao regions, where the growing environment is ideal. Local cigars can be found in a wide range of different flavors, colors and price ranges.
On the drink side, rum, the national drink of the Dominican Republic, often slips into the gift bag. There are several different rum producers in the country, from which everyone can choose their favorite.
The country’s northern coastal strip, the amber coast, is considered the best amber discovery site in the world. Jewelry made from this gemstone can be purchased around the island.
In addition to rum, cigars and amber, popular souvenir shops include colorful crafts and paintings by locals and dark roasted coffee.
Holiday safely in the Dominican Republic
In the Dominican Republic, the hidden dangers often seem to be exaggerated, scaring potential tourists away. As this is a poor country, it is good to exercise a certain degree of caution and common sense there. Moving alone outside tourist areas, especially in the evening, is not desirable.
The problems faced by tourists are usually related to pickpocketing and robbery. Valuables should be kept in the hotel safe and there is no need to carry large sums of cash. Most robberies take place in larger cities.
The government of the Dominican Republic has set up a separate “tourist police,” or Politur, to take care of the safety of foreign tourists. In case of problems, it is best to turn to them.
Holidaymakers staying at all-inclusive hotels should also take a peek outside their hotel grounds – a safe way to explore the Dominican Republic is to take part in guided tours by tour operators. Excursions take tourists to the historic capital of Santo Domingo and the countryside of the Dominican Republic, among others.
Finns do not need a visa to the Dominican Republic. The required travel documents are a passport and a tourist card, which the holidaymaker who has booked the package will receive from the tour operator.
In addition to basic vaccinations, hepatitis A protection is recommended in the Dominican Republic. Malaria and dengue fever occur in some parts of the country, so it is good to protect yourself from mosquito bites in these areas. For a week or two on vacation, malaria medication is not mandatory.
Traveling to the Dominican Republic during the hurricane season should be avoided. The hurricane season runs from June to November. You can check the current travel bulletin on the website of the Ministry for Foreign Affairs .
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
There is a place for every sun worshiper on the beach of the Dominican Republic.
Flights and package tours to the Dominican Republic
The easiest way to travel from Finland to the Dominican Republic is by package. Several Finnish tour operators, such as Apollomatkat , Tjäreborg and Aurinkomatkat , offer package tours to the white sands of the Dominican Republic. The country is also one of the most popular places to visit on a Caribbean cruise.
You can also travel to the Dominican Republic on a self-guided trip, but it may become more expensive than a package trip. Finnair flies from Finland directly to Puerto Plata once a week from November to March. There will also be direct flights to Punta Cana from December 2019.
The busiest airports in the Dominican Republic are located in Punta Cana and Santo Domingo .
Accommodation in Dominican Republic
A popular accommodation in the Dominican Republic is the all-inclusive hotel, where everything from accommodation to meals is included in the package price. All inclusive is an easy option especially for families with children and older travelers. A holidaymaker who has paid for full board also does not have to stress about the travel budget.
All inclusive hotels are often actual holiday villages with all the services from supermarkets to restaurants and casinos. The hotels also offer lots of guided activities as well as an entertainment program in the evenings.
You can also find regular hotels, hostels and apartment hotels in the Dominican Republic.
Movement in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic has a good local transport network – the bus can travel to almost any place relatively cheaply. Buses are called guagua in the Dominican Republic . Taxis, on the other hand, have fixed prices that are worth checking out before jumping aboard.
Car rental in the country is not recommended as traffic is heavy and roads may be in poor condition. However, if you decide to rent a car, you should pay special attention to the contract. When renting a car, it must also be taken into account that the driver is required to have a valid driving license and be at least 25 years old. It is customary to leave your passport as a deposit for the duration of the rental, and many car rental companies only accept credit cards as a method of payment.
Motorcycles are also available for rent, although this is only recommended for experienced drivers.
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC TRAVEL DESTINATIONS
In the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, you can spend time on the terraces of restaurants, among other places.
The historic capital of Santo Domingo
The capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, has just over three million inhabitants. The colorful Santo Domingo is the pulsating center of the country, whose colonial-style streets may momentarily forget you are in the Caribbean. At the same time, however, the city is filled with the rhythms of Latin music.
Santo Domingo was founded as early as 1496 by the brother of Christopher Columbus. However, behind the cobbled streets, Santo Domingo also has a modern side with its business centers and trendy clubs.
In Santo Domingo, you should go shopping and sightseeing. The Zona Colonial, or colonial-style blocks of the city, are a must-visit, as is the 17th-century Catedral Primada de América, the first church on the new continent.
Beachfront paradise in Punta Cana
Punta Cana is famous for its 30-kilometer coastline where travelers will find the Caribbean beach of their dreams. Punta Cana is the most famous resort on the east coast.
Punta Cana offers many activities, especially for water sports enthusiasts: diving, windsurfing and paragliding. Fishermen can try deep sea fishing in turquoise waters.
Activities and sun in Puerto Plata
As you ascend the Atlantic waves on the north coast of the island, you step in the footsteps of Columbus. His ships dropped their anchors off Puerto Plata in 1492. Today, the city of 180,000 inhabitants is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Dominican Republic.
Puerto Plata is reached to enjoy the tropical sun, miles of sandy beaches, lush nature and excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities. The way of life in the area has also remained nicely local.
Tourists often stay at the resort of Playa Dorada, about five kilometers from Puerto Plata. You can also play golf on the greenery of Playa Dorada or Playa Grande.
Holiday in Bayahibe
The fishing village of Bayahibe is known for its clear waters and clean beaches – a peaceful destination is a real beach paradise for a tourist looking for a holiday. In Bayahibe, you should also take a dip in the Caribbean with a snorkel.
Bayahibe is the perfect destination for a pampering vacation, with days filled with beach life, Caribbean delicacies and spa treatments. The area’s best-known attractions include the world’s largest cigar factory, the Tabacaleria de Garcia, in the nearby town of La Romana, and the Parque National del Este.
Along the Puerto Plata, on the north coast, tourists are attracted to Samana, whose surrounding nature is particularly beautiful. A unique UNESCO-protected ecosystem is flourishing on the Samana Peninsula. Efforts have been made to develop tourism in the area with respect for nature.
The same long sandy beaches are washed away by the crystal clear sea, under the surface of which there is much to see. The same is a place favored by divers, and there are several diving clubs in the area.
THE BEST OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
Punta Cana is one of the most popular destinations in the Dominican Republic.
Experience these in the Dominican Republic
- Take it easy in the Dominican Republic – laze on the beach and take a dip in the waves.
- Explore the city of Santo Domingo.
- Enjoy local delicacies as well as rum of course.
- Take a guided trip to the countryside of the Dominican Republic.
- Try water sports, golf or fishing.