A myriad of watersports, championship golf courses, great spas and luxury resorts mean a holiday here is about as relaxing as you can get. Famed for baseball, beaches and a rich heritage of African, Spanish and Taino Indian culture, the Dominican Republic is vibrant, exquisite and sublimely unhurried, and with 1,000 miles of stunning coastline this is a beach devotee’s paradise.
The island is known for its breath-taking beaches ad glorious scenery, so if you aren’t a Christopher Columbus-type explorer this is an idyllic place to simply stay put. If you do have a bit more get up and go, the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park in Punta Cana is well worth a visit, as is a boat trip into the wilderness of Los Haitises National Park near Samana. The world is your oyster in the Caribbean Sea with everything from deep sea fishing and kitesurfing to scuba diving and snorkelling, with schools of multi-coloured fish greeting you as you swim amongst the transparent waters.
Go on an Outback Safari where you’ll be welcomed into a traditional Dominican home, pass by lots of schools and villages, see coffee and chocolate plantations, watch cigars being expertly rolled and even have a chance to try boogie boarding on a secluded beach. Samana bay offers a once in a lifetime opportunity to witness the impressive courtship displays of the humpback whale from January-March or sail off the coast of La Romana on a catamaran, but if you want something more relaxing and personal, take a private boat and avoid the crowds.
Head to the historical Spanish colonial capital city of Santo Domingo for a combination of cobbled streets, Baroque architecture and the bewitching Catedral Primada de America, where Christopher Columbus’s son Diego laid the first stone in 1514. After all the walking, sightseeing and shopping, it must be time to eat! Try the aromatic flavours of fusion street food or the Meson de la Cava for fresh seafood in a unique cave setting.