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Overview to the Dominican Republic: Travel Guide and Tourist Information

Dominican Republic

Sitting alongside Haiti on the gorgeous Caribbean island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic was the first permanent European settlement to be established in the Americas. Colonial traces are everywhere, not least in the country’s official language of Spanish.

Today, the country’s fraught beginnings – characterized by friction between colonial intruders and indigenous inhabitants – have been replaced by a happy-go-lucky ethos, helped in no small part by the island’s picture-perfect beaches and the delighted tourists they draw.

Before hitting the many beaches and coves, it’s worth taking a day or two to explore the capital, Santo Domingo. An intriguing quarter of cobbled streets and museums awaits in the Colonial City, which is recognized as the oldest continuously populated city in the New World.

Inland the country’s second city, Santiago, proves a relaxed and cultured experience from top to toe. Most, however, aren’t in the Dominican Republic for a city break, and Santiago remains primarily a stopover for those traveling from the north shores to the south.

The Dominican Republic really is a Caribbean idyll; any stretch of its coast line is guaranteed to herald only the purest sands and the clearest seas. Many choose to pick their own way around the enclaves, although some notable beaches do provide for specific needs…

For untouched seaside splendor, Catalina Island (just off the south coast) features coral reef snorkeling and sun-drenched sand. Alternatively, the terrain around Las Galeras provides for intrepid rock climbers and Cabarete maintains a fun windsurf-and-party atmosphere.

Indeed, in many ways, the Dominican Republic is made for partying. Its diverse origins have given birth to an exuberant, multi-faceted culture, inspired by European, Taino and African influences. Amongst the seaside chilling, there’s a good night out to be had here, too.