Pristine white sands & breathtakingly blue waters: the beaches of the Dominican Republic had me in awe. I have been longing back to this beautiful country ever since I set foot back on Dutch land. But it’s not only the beautiful beaches that made an impression. Colorful colonial houses, bits of street art, the most delicious soul food & sweet Dominican people made this press trip with Go Dom Rep into a travel experience never to forget. In this blogpost I am telling you everything about the many treasures that the Dominican Republic holds. Oh, and all of these places are 100% instagrammable!
We started our journey through this tropical paradise at Cabo Rojo, a remote beach, named after the bauxite “rojo” (red) area where it is situated. Staying at Eco del Mar, an eco lodge, gave us the ultimate experience of nature at it’s best. It’s a long road to get there, but the captivating coastal view is 100% worth it and finally there, the long stretched beaches lend themselves for dreamy strolls or, as my photos may suggest, the perfect instagram photos!
It is no wonder that Barahona goes by the nickname “Pearl of the South”. The cliffs that are scattered along this province’s coasts are truly impressive and so are the pristine beaches. Its beaches are surrounded by idyllic landscapes and wild nature. The area is also perfect for ecotourism since the area presents different ecosystems that range from interior dry forests to tropical humid forests. In Barahona we stayed in Casa Bonita which was a dream all by itself. Can I get an “amen” for the wonderful view from the swimming pool, surrounded by nature. I felt at peace and lively all at once.
Bahia de las Aguilas
Bahia de las Aguilas is known as one of the most beautiful beaches of the Dominican Republic, and of the world. It’s part of nature reserve Jaragua National park, quite deserted and best reached by boat. Normally this is the type of beach where celebrities come as it is so beautiful and private. Since it is so quiet here, this is one of the places where we were able to make beautiful drone shots. I am not sure what I found most impressive: the beach itself or the boat ride along the rocks & cliffs to get there. How incredible!
Now let’s go back in time and experience Santo Domingo’s old city center, often referred to as Zona Colonial (Colonial City). This five-hundred-year-old area has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO due to its tremendous historical significance. Walking down the streets of Santo Domingo, or better yet, biking down the road, one will get an authentic taste of the Dominican Republic. This is also the best place for cultural events, social movements, art galleries, museums, nightlife and trendy restaurants. The ruins of hospital San Nicolas de Bari, Museo the de las Casas Reales & parque Colon are amongst some of the places that are definitely worth a visit. Ohh and don’t forget to stop by Desiree Cepeda, a super cute souvenir store where one can also have a quick drink to relax from a bike ride or stroll. Also try their homemade Mamajuana, a traditional drink, also referred to as the “babymaker”. Oo la la!
“Vibrant” is the word that comes up when thinking of Puerto Plata. Even though Puerto Plata is well known for its white sand beaches, it has a colorful historic city centre. Starting from the Independence Square one can take a walk to the Paseo de Doña Blanca and Umbrella Street. If there’s time left, you might also wanna visit Cabarete. The warm waters and strong winds here make this area to one of the best in the world for windsurfing and kiteboarding. On top of the water sports, the white sand beach is lined with cafés, restaurants, and shops that make it a great place to visit. We also had our shoulders massaged while waiting for our delicious pastas.
Paradise sounds like something that is far far away, a “no mans land” that is not for everyone. Little did I know that Paradise was easily reached by speedboat from Punta Rucia. Paradise Island is best described as a small cay in the middle of light blue water, on which one will only find 4 little wooden cabins that serve tropical drinks & provide you with snorkeling gear as this is the perfect spot to go snorkeling. The water is crystal clear and there’s plenty of coral & exotic fishes. Tip: come early if you want to take photos. Since it’s such a beautiful place, it’s quite popular!
We ended our trip in Samaná, a less touristy alternative at the north eastern shore of the Dominican Republic. This narrow peninsula is home to secluded wild beaches, rain forests and waterfalls. Besides, it’s perfect for whale watching! Another adventurous option would be to hire quads and drive along the shore and through the small city centre. When in Samaná visit Las Terrenas at night to get a taste of DR’s night life. If you’re in it to swing it, try Replay Glam club to learn a few steps of bachata or visit Mosquito bar for a more European vibe & house music.
Have you ever visited the Dominican Republic or are you planning to go? Let me know if you need any more tips or have any nice tips that I might need when I go back. Find more travel info on GoDominicanRepublic.com.
Words to live by when in the Dominican Republic:
Como esta? – How are you?
I am fine, and you? – Estoy bien. Y tu?
Thank you! – Gracias!
Please – Por favor
Que rico – How delicious (you’ll say this a lot!)
Photos by Joyce van Galen