Pure Imagination

We know what kind of traveler you are. You bring the same appetite to street food as you’d bring to an upscale restaurant. You’d rather find your way to the beach (or museum, shop, restaurant, etc.) yourself than go with a tour. You’ll take a local’s advice over a guidebook’s every time. Bottom line: You embrace local flavor. You want to travel like a local. And you’ve picked the right place.

The Dominican Republic offers some of the friendliest people, best food, most beautiful beaches, widest choice of accommodations and the diverse range of activities in the Caribbean.

When to go? There are no bad times. June through December, roughly, is hurricane season, and some resorts close in October. But assuming no hurricanes, temperatures are steady, rooms are discounted and crowds are smaller.

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.

Santo Domingo on the southern coast will likely see frequent, brief rain that may continue into October. And days can get breezy. But temperatures are balmy. May and June will see partly cloudy days with an occasional afternoon shower.

Mid-December through February and the week before Easter constitute the high season, meaning higher prices and bigger beach crowds.

Note that water sports are prohibited throughout the country during the week before Easter. You’ll find accommodations in virtually every price range and category, from all-inclusive resorts and the Dominican Republic villas to hostels and budget hotels.

In the budget range, you can get by on about US$60 per person per day, including a hotel room or hostel for one person, meals, and transportation via local motorcycle taxis (motoconchos) and minibusses (guaguas).

In the mid-range, figure an average daily cost of US$110-$150, including first class bus transportation between cities and entertainment including guided tours. The local currency is the Dominican Republic peso, so don’t forget your currency conversion calculator. And don’t be alarmed at the 28% service charge typically tacked onto your restaurant bill; it includes a 10% tip (though you can add more).

By the same token, hotels build in a service charge, although a couple of U.S. dollars per night for housekeeping will always be appreciated. Most resorts have beaches. But in a country noted for its beaches, you can do a lot better with a bit of traveling. The calmest waters are those on the south side.

Specifically, Boca Chica is a gorgeous, white sand beach just a few miles east of Santo Domingo.


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uan Dolio beach a few minutes further east is quieter. And there are plenty of alternatives, including the beach at the small town of Las Terrenas, Cayo Levantado near the Bay of Samana (only accessible by boat), El Rincon beach and – for a gorgeous coral reef and great diving – Playa Cofresi.

Wherever you go, remember that on Sundays, accessible beaches are likely to be more crowded with locals. But the Dominican Republic is about a lot more than just beaches. Santo Domingo is the country’s capital and cultural center. It features museums, parks, upscale restaurants and street food, music and nightlife.

The Colonial City is a particularly fascinating historic area. And Malecon, the seafront promenade, is a great place for a drink at sunset at one of the many hotels, casinos, and restaurants facing the Caribbean.