Dominican Republic: Vacation Tips + Island Adventures

One of the best destinations in the Caribbean to visit is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. The Dominican Republic, known as the “DR,” is famous for its white sand beaches, turquoise blue waters, incredible resorts, and excellent golf courses. 

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How to Get to the Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Map
Photo Credit: [@Furian/DepositPhotos]

The best way to get to the Dominican Republic is by booking a flight. Most visitors fly into the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ). American Airlines, Delta, and JetBlue are the best airlines that fly into the DR.

For those who would instead visit the Dominican Republic by water, countless cruises stop by the Dominican Republic. Taking a cruise is an excellent option for those who want to avoid flying or want to take in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean views from aboard a cruise ship. Some of the best cruise liners that visit the DR include Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line, and Virgin Voyages.

Best Time to Visit the Dominican Republic

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@tiger_barb/DepositPhotos]

Deciding on the best time to visit the Dominican Republic depends on your preferences and what kind of experience you seek. 

Peak Season (December-April): This is the peak tourism season because many people head to the Caribbean during the winter months to escape the typical cold weather experienced in the United States, Europe, and many other countries. 

During peak season, you can expect weather ranging from highs in the low 80s and lows in the  mid-70s, making it an excellent time to relax on the Dominican Republic beaches, hit the links at one of the phenomenal golf courses in the area, or enjoy the warm Atlantic ocean water. However, you can also expect higher prices for flights and accommodations due to the popularity of the Dominican Republic during the peak season. 

Shoulder Season (May-June and September-November): These months are a great time to visit the Dominican Republic due to fewer crowds compared to the high season and less humidity and heat during the season. You can typically expect highs in the mid-80s and lows in the low 70s, making it a great time to visit for those looking for warm weather, enjoy the Caribbean beaches, and experience warm waters outdoors. 

Off Season (July-August): July and August are considered the low season in the Dominican Republic. Many people avoid traveling to the Caribbean during these months due to the high heat and humidity. Highs in the upper 80s and lows in the mid-70s with significant humidity. Due to July and August being the off-season, you can typically expect more accommodation and flight deals!

There is never a wrong time to visit the Dominican Republic. However, May-June and September-November are optimal for those looking to escape to the island with warm weather and fewer crowds.

Resorts in the Dominican Republic

tropical resort with pool
Photo Credit: [@Preto_perola/DepositPhotos]

There are several incredible resorts throughout the Dominican Republic, each offering wonderful amenities and excursions. Check out the top resorts below!

Melia Caribe Beach Resort (All Inclusive): This 5-star hotel in Punta Cana is known for its excellent service, delicious food, awesome bar, and impressive fitness center. The hotel sits along Playa Bavaro Beach, a 25-minute drive to the Punta Cana International Airport.

Casa de Campo Resort and Villas: This resort is another 5-star hotel known for its incredible property, beach, golf course, and tasty restaurants. This resort sits on a private beach and is a 50-minute drive to the Punta Cana International Airport.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana (All Inclusive): Another 5-star hotel in the Dominican Republic is the Hard Rock Hotel, known for its impressive casino, incredible resort atmosphere, family-friendly amenities, and nightlife. This resort sits on the Punta Cana beaches and is a 30-minute from the Punta Cana International Airport. 

Relax on Beautiful Beaches

Punta Cana - Domincian Republic
Photo Credit: [@valio84sl/DepositPhotos]

The Dominican Republic is famous for its pristine beaches. Whether you want to relax, soak in the Caribbean sun, play in the water, or embark on an epic oceanside adventure, the Dominican Republic beaches have something to offer everyone. 

Check out some of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic, such as Bavaro Beach, Macao Beach, Playa Dorada, and Playa Dominicus, for a remarkable time spent in the Caribbean. 

Go Snorkeling or Scuba Diving

Photo Credit: [@Patryk_Kosmider/DepositPhotos]

For those feeling adventurous, pack your favorite travel fins and get ready to explore the Caribbean from the ocean. 

One of the most vibrant coral reefs can be found in the Bayahibe area, making it one of the best places to snorkel or scuba dive. This allows you to truly take in the beauty of the coral reef from the waters and swim with the aquatic life that inhabits the area. 

Puerto Plata Cable Car Ride

Puerto Plata Cable Car - Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@Leonid_Andronov/DepositPhotos]

One of the best ways to take in the Dominican Republic and some fantastic country views is by taking the Teleferico Puerto Plata Cable Car

This cable car can be found in Puerto Plata, and it offers panoramic views of the nearby mountains, lush scenery, and the city of Puerto Plata below.

4×4 Excursions

Cayo Leventado ATVs - Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@mirceadobre78/DepositPhotos]

If you are interested in exploring the less-traveled areas of the country and experiencing its rich landscapes and mountains, a 4X4 adventure is a fantastic choice.

A guided tour is one of the most epic ways to embark on a 4X4 excursion. This way, a knowledgeable local guide can lead you to the country’s most stunning viewpoints and locations. 

27 Waterfalls of Damajagua

Salto Jimenoa Waterfall - Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@mathes/DepositPhotos]

If you want to visit one of the country’s most beautiful locations, visit the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua. 

The best way to reach this attraction is through a guided tour. Doing so lets you jump into the water and experience the waterfall from a unique viewpoint.

Explore National Parks

Los Haitises National Park - Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@Robertobintti70/DepositPhotos]

Several National Parks within the Dominican Republic offer beautiful views and countless things to do. Some of the best National Parks to visit include Parque Nacional Montaña La Humeadora, Valle Nuevo National Park, Los Haitises National Park, and Máximo Gómez National Park. 

For one of the best hikes in the DR, check out Valle de Dios Trail. This hike is about 7.5 miles out and back and is considered challenging. You will experience incredible mountain views throughout the Parque Nacional Montaña La Humeadora during this trek.

Due to how long and challenging the hike is, pack your favorite energy bars for hiking to stay healthy and happy while exploring this beautiful National Park and its various hiking trails. 

Visit Historical Sites

Columbus Statue - Santo Domingo - Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@shaparenko/depositPhotos]

There are several different historical sites throughout the Dominican Republic. Some of the most amazing spots are in the country’s capital, Santo Domingo. 

Be sure to check out Columbus Park, the square in the heart of the Ciudad Colonial Historic District. One of the main attractions within this park is the Christopher Columbus statue. 

Another popular attraction to visit is the Alcázar de Colón, which used to be the house that Christopher Columbus’s son used to live in. 

Whale Watching

Whale Watching - Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@ead72/DepositPhotos]

Whale watching is one of the best activities in the Dominican Republic, but you must visit from December to March to see these incredible creatures. 

Humpback whales migrate to the DR to mate and give birth during these months, making it an optimal time for whale-watching in the Dominican Republic. 

One of the best places to see whales is in Samaná Bay. Be sure to check out one of the best whale-watching tours in the Dominican Republic to get the best experience watching these majestic animals.

Hit the Links

Golf Course - Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@valio84sl/DepositPhotos]

Another incredible activity to try when visiting the Dominican Republic is golfing at one of the excellent courses throughout the country. 

Some of the best golf courses include Punta Espada Golf Club, Corales Golf Course, and Teeth of the Dog Golf Course. 

Golfing is a fantastic way to have fun outdoors while enjoying beautiful views. It’s also an excellent option for those who want to do something active instead of just relaxing at the beach or by the pool.


Photo Credit: [@pierivb/DepositPhotos]

For those who are seeking the ultimate adventure, you must try kiteboarding. One of the best locations to kiteboard in the Dominican Republic is Cabarete. 

Check out Cabarete Kite Point, an excellent company where you can rent gear and even book kiteboarding lessons. 

Offshore Fishing Excursions

deep sea fishing
Photo Credit: [@project1photo/DepositPhotos]

The Dominican Republic is renowned for its stunning coastline. Whether you are interested in surf fishing or setting off on an offshore excursion, there are numerous fishing opportunities in and around the Dominican Republic.

You can look forward to catching various fish species, such as Marlin, tuna, mahi-mahi, sailfish, and more. 

Don’t forget to pack your go-to saltwater tackle box and prepare for an exciting fishing adventure in the Dominican Republic.

Taste the Local Cuisine

Mangu - Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@mathes/DepositPhotos]

You should definitely try the Dominican Republic cuisine while on vacation. One great dish is Sancocho, a stew made with seven types of meat. Another is Mangu, which is plantains that are mashed. They also serve empanadas, which are pastries filled with different stuffings. 

For an excellent dining experience, check out El Mesón de la Cava (Santo Domingo), the Jellyfish Restaurant (Punta Cana), and Don Pepe (Santo Domingo).

Your Dominican Republic Vacation

Punta Cana - Dominican Republic
Photo Credit: [@Gerisima/DepositPhotos]

The Dominican Republic features gorgeous beaches, incredible scenery, immense water sports, and a wide range of experiences to enjoy in the Caribbean. 

Whether you are an adventure seeker looking to go on hikes or try various water sports, a history buff looking to learn more from historical sites, or just seeking a peaceful island escape, the Dominican Republic offers something special for everyone to enjoy.


Dominican Republic: Vacation Tips + Island Adventures
Abby Price

Abby and Sam Price are the founders and storytellers behind Trekking Prices, a couple's travel and outdoor adventure blog. They are passionate about sharing their travels, tips, and recommendations with others.