Dominican Republic travel: 5 facts you may not know
Create an immersive vacation experience using these fun facts about the Dominican Republic. By Jeremiah Crossing | July 16, 2021 (Updated March 31, 2022)
Stunning vistas, breathtaking beaches and a lively local culture are all hallmarks of this nation of Hispaniola, but there’s even more than meets the eye when it comes to Dominican Republic travel. From Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, grab your passport and make lasting memories by discovering unique experiences, such as:
History under your feet: Stroll down the first paved road in the Americas.
Aquatic adventures: Seek and spot majestic winter wildlife.
Go higher: Explore cloud forests with jaw-dropping views.
Merengue in Malecón, Dominican Republic
Don't miss a sunset stroll down the Malecón, where Dominican Republic locals and travelers alike go for panoramic views, people-watching, and sea-side merengue dance parties.
Santo Domingo is one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean
About a two and half hour drive from Punta Cana lies Santo Domingo, the nation's capital, one of the oldest cities in the Dominican Republic and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its maze of pedestrian-friendly streets take you past architectural masterpieces from the 16th to 20th centuries. As you meander Santo Domingo, you'll also find colonial buildings that have long since become museums, shops, hotels, restaurants, and sidewalk cafes.
To see Santo Domingo from a new perspective, take a 45-minute tour of the area onboard the Chu Chu Colonial train. If you prefer to walk, another great option is to hire a guide who can share local history as you traverse along the first paved road in the Dominican Republic. For a breath of fresh (and fragrant) air, add the National Botanical Garden to your Dominican Republic itinerary. It's the largest botanical garden in the Caribbean and is home to more than 69,000 plant species.
Whale-watching in the Dominican Republic
To see these majestic creatures in their natural habitat, plan a trip to northern coast of Hispaniola to the city of Samaná — one of the world's best locations for watching humpback whales in the wild.
Samaná is a seasonal home to humpback whales
In the winter, you may be surprised to learn that you can add whale-watching to your seemingly endless list of things to do. Every year, from mid-December to late March, more than 2,000 humpback whales call the northeastern coast of the island home. To take care of their young, the whales migrate south to the island’s coast for the winter, as the younger whales don’t have enough blubber to survive the seasonal chill.
Highs and lows in the Dominican Republic
For an outdoor adventure like no other, get your passport and reserve a multi-day trip with a guide and hike Pico Duarte – the Dominican Republic’s tallest peak at 10,125 feet (3,086 meters). Spend each day exploring cloud forests, which are a type of rainforest with much higher altitudes. The misty climate adds to the cloud-like experience. Or check out the Anamuya Mountains near Punta Cana. The highest mountain top reaches up to 1800 feet (548m) and offers amazing views of the Dominican Republic. You'll be well rewarded with memories that will stay with you long after your trip.
Christopher Columbus and the Faro a Colon projects light
This lighthouse was built to honor the island's rich history, and marked the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the Dominican Republic. Located in Santo Domingo, Faro a Colon projects light beams in the shape of a cross that are reportedly so powerful they can be seen in Puerto Rico.
The Dominican Republic has 300 days of sunshine a year
Although you may expect most island nations in the Caribbean to have perfect weather all year, that's not always the case. Many of the islands are plagued by tropical rains and hurricanes. But the Dominican Republic experiences 300 days of sunshine each year (which is significantly more in comparison to other Caribbean islands). With an average of 77 degrees Fahrenheit, or 25 degrees Celsius, the Dominican Republic boasts ideal weather, if not the best weather in the Caribbean.
From Punta Cana to Santo Domingo, the adventure of a lifetime awaits in the Dominican Republic. Whether you're traveling for a long weekend or planning an extended escape, earning a stamp in your passport for this sunny island paradise doesn't disappoint.
Jeremiah Crossing is always searching for his next travel adventure.