Eclectic Island Paradise
Dominican Republic villa rentals offer a venue for everything you seek: romantic escape, family vacation location, cultural and historical experience, or wedding venue. The Dominican Republic is the destination that truly meets every need. Neatly nestles between the North Atlantic and Caribbean Sea, the island of Hispanola is home to both the Dominican Republic (approximately the eastern 2/3 of the island) and Haiti. The island, originally discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1942, became a spring board for the Spanish conquest of the Americas.
Adventurers and beach goers alike will find a space to enjoy on this eclectic island paradise. The Dominican Republic (and entire island of Hispanola) is one of the most diverse locations offering every geographic attraction from tropical rain forests, parched desert, alpine mountain ranges and also mangrove swamps all in one destination.
Dominican Republic Must-See
The Zona Colonial (Santo Domingo) is a square mile of pretty streets, shady city squares and some of the oldest colonial and pre-colonial buildings in the hemisphere. Retrace the steps of the conquistadores while you shop, dine, and people atch in a city center. In the Zona Colonial, you’ll find the Cathedral of Santa Maria, the oldest Spanish Renaissance cathedral in the D.R. still in use (built in 1523). The walls of this cathedral have seen their fair share of history; for example, when Sir Francis Drake captures Santo Domingo, he used the cathedral as his headquarters.
For rum lovers, don’t miss a tour of the Brugal Rum Factory to get a taste of dark brugal rum from the Amber Coast. Colonial
Dominican Republic Activities
No matter where you decide to stay, your Dominican Republic villa has a host of activities for you to experience. Enjoy whale watching or shopping for local crafts. Any number of tours and excursions can be arranged. Enjoy a relaxing sightseeing trip and take in the area’s art, culture, and historical attractions. Eco-tourism is becoming more common and include tours climbing Pico Duarte in addition to biking, canyoning, and hiking.
As with most Caribbean destinations, watersports are common; the Dominican Republic is no different. Guests will easily find surfing, kite boarding, wind surfing, diving, snorkeling, and kayaking. Sailing is also a common past-time; small group sailing can be arranged to make your visit memorable.
Dominican Republic Golf
With 26 golf courses to select from the D.R. is becoming one of the premier destinations for golf enthusiasts. The island is home to five Pete Dye courses including the renowned Teeth of the Dog at Casa de Campo. Not to be left out, Cap Cana has a series of three intended Jack Nicklaus courses (including Punta Espada) and Tom Fazio has designed the Corales Golf Course in Punta Cana. Other know designers include Robert Trent (Playa Grande) and Paul Burke Dye (La Cana, La Estancia).
Dominican Republic Beaches
Dominican Republic villas rest on over 800 miles of the most beautiful beaches the Caribbean has to offer. Highlights include:
Bayahibe Beach: Secluded with white, powder-soft sand; easily access a few small islands, where you'll find wildlife preserves. Golf and water sports are all available on the beach or nearby.
La Minitas: This is the perfect place to enjoy a massage on the sand. Plan your trip ahead of time, this beach can get crowded.
Samana Peninsula: Plan a visit between December and March and enjoy a boat trip to whale watch from this beach. Outside of whale watching this beach offers white sand and crystal-blue water; use caution when entering the water the undertow can be strong here.
When To Go
When you are planning your stay at a Dominican Republic villa rental, bear in mind that there are two distinct tourist seasons: July and August and then December – late February. The climate of the D.R. is at its best during the winter season (December – late February) when the temperatures break slightly.
February is also Carnival season. During this time, many Dominican cities throw huge celebrations including parades, colorful costumes and include vibrant music and dancing. If you are looking for a cultural experience, this is a time not to miss. This is bound to not only be a memorable moment in your Dominican Republic vacation, but a highlight as well.
Dominican Republic Travel Tips
- DR is noted by Frommer's as the most popular country to visit in the Caribbean.
- Direct flights to Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and Punta Cana depart from New York, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico.
- Average temperature is 77°. Hurricane season typically runs from June – November.
- Electricity is generally 110 volts (same as U.S.). Confirm details about your Dominican Republic villa rental with your villa specialist.
- The official language is Spanish, although many people working in tourism and hospitality speak at least some English.
- The Dominican Peso is the official currency, though USD is widely accepted. Be aware, credit card cloning is common, it may be easier to use cash while you visit.
- Stick to bottled water for drinking and cooking.
- No tourist visas are required for stays less than 30 days; however, a tourist card will need to be purchased upon entry at the airport or prior to travel ($10USD). There is a departure tax of $20, check with your airline to inquire if this was included in your airfare.
- It's best to leave valuables in your Dominican Republic villa safe when possible. We recommend that you don't bring irreplaceable valuables with you on your vacation.