The Dominican Republic is an exotic land, the cradle of fire-dancing, a magnificent example of Latin American culture with its particular way of life, ancient history and unique architecture. The state is located in the eastern part of the island of Haiti and on the offshore islands. Its coast is a continuous beach.
The Dominican Republic combines the beauty of the rainforest, white beaches, beautiful mountains (the highest in the Antilles), endless plains and delightful waterfalls. The coastal waters are never visited by sharks, since the coast is protected by the coral barriers.
Life in the Dominican Republic is totally devoted to dances. Merengue is the national dance of the country, and dancing shows involving the local performers are always a hit with the tourists. The residents of the Dominican Republic love to organize various carnivals and festivals and really know how to arrange them.
The carnival in Santo Domingo in late February is perhaps the most majestic holiday, which unites the Catholic and African worlds. Dominicans get ready for this fantastic costume parade, and dances and processions involve almost the entire population of the capital.
Santo Domingo is the oldest and the largest city in the Antilles, which developed on the site of the first Spanish city on the island. There is a huge number of historical monuments, many of which are the first structures of the Europeans in the New World. Santo Domingo has been declared the ‘Patrimony of Humanity’ by UNESCO. The oldest central part of the capital was built mostly in the 16th century, and it is rich in monuments of the colonial era. In addition, Santo Domingo is the capital of shopping in the Caribbean.
The largest commercial and shopping centers in the region are located here. The most popular one is the famous Malekon, the 15-mile coastal avenue, full of shops and entertainment venues. Another tourist attraction is the cave of Los Tres Ojos, where one can find three natural lakes with a completely different chemical composition and color.
The city of Puerto Plata was founded by Bartholomew Columbus in 1496. It is worth visiting the ruins of the house of Columbus and the church, where the first Mass in America took place. Other destinations include Fort San Felipe with a military museum, the church of San-Felipe, the funicular to the top of the mountain, the Museum of Taino Indians, and Fortaleza lighthouse.
Just 200 meters from the outskirts of the city, the beautiful Long Beach begins, and a little further down the coast one can find the fashionable resort Luperon, one of the best fishing sites on the northern coast. Luxurious beaches in Cabarete are among the world’s major centers of windsurfing.
The town of Monte Christi on the west coast is famous for its magnificent bay with the fleet of Spanish galleons resting on the bottom of the sea, the salt lakes of Lago Enrico and lots of old colonial houses. Immediately behind the coral reefs enclosing the bay, there lies the island group of Siete Hermanos, where one can watch large sea turtles.
Samana Bay is a tropical paradise with lush vegetation located on the north-east of the Dominican Republic. Apart from the luxurious nature and the pristine beaches, one can find the national park Los Gaitises, the caves of San Gabriel, the Marine Reserve Banco de la Plata, the waterfalls of El Limon and La Fuente del Amirante, the Crystal Lagoon on the Barakote River and the resorts of Las Terrenas, Las Galeras, and Playa Bonita.
In addition, Samana Bay is one of the best places in the world for whale watching. Hundreds of thousands of sea giants perform their unique ‘courtship dances’ in coastal shallows every year to the astonishment of tourists.