Bavaro Punta Cana
Birthplace of the New World
The Allure of La Romana
Perhaps the fastest growing tourism destination in the world, the Dominican Republic will forever remain largely undiscovered by all those who come to visit. The nation is simply too vast and too rich to truly get to know it.
One could step on these verdant shores dozens of times before even catching a glimpse of the Dominican Republic’s majesty. That’s because, no other place in the West Indies can claim the spectrum of geography that this island can. The mist-covered summit of Pico Duarte rises 10,700 feet from the forests of the Cordillera Central mountain range—the highest elevation in the Caribbean.; nearby, Lake Enriquillo and the surrounding desert lie 144 feet below sea level.
That diversity is the island’s seduction. The Dominican Republic draws you back time and time again because once is never enough, and twice leaves you wanting even more. There are waterfalls cascading down the mountain gorges skirting Jarabacoa to explore and swim under. The resting place of Christopher Columbus anchors Santo Domingo, a city that gave birth to the modern Caribbean. There are hidden islands like Cayo Levantado to sail to for picnics under the coconut trees. Visitors can sip strong mountain coffee with the locals in quaint fishing villages such as Boca Chica, while watching fathers and sons cast their nets offshore. Then there are the pulsating rhythms of latin music – merengue and salsa, plus the smooth grooves of bachata, beckoning from hip nightspots all over the island.
And, of course, there are the beaches. All over the Dominican Republic, endless miles of sugary white-sand beaches rim crescent bays of cobalt, sapphire, emerald and turquoise seas. This is the primary playground for more than three million visitors a year, who come to soak in the pristine, warm waters and stare agape at the marine life trolling the reefs. Some find their inner-Hemingways fishing for blue marlin, while others wake early to hear migrating humpback whales serenade potential mates off the coast of Samaná.
The real beauty of the Dominican Republic, however, is that much still exists as it did when Columbus dropped anchor here in December 1492. The Indians called this land “Quisqueya,” and to this day, Dominicans refer to their country as “Quisqueya la bella” (Beautiful Quisqueya). First-time visitors to the Dominican Republic will see few hi-rise condo hotels or sprawling concrete malls outside of the capital city of Santo Domingo. This tropical island paradise exploded onto the tourism scene long after global awareness exposed the benefits of sustained and low-impact development. Its vast resources— whether it be the national mahogany tree or the delicate ibis waterfowl— remain stridently protected for the grandchildren of tomorrow.
And that’s only half the story. While many islands boast the Caribbean’s friendliest people, Dominicans know in their hearts that there’s no contest for that particular accolade. A quiet passion is their identity, whether it be for family, food, merengue, Mass or baseball. Nowhere in the islands will you find a more unassuming people ready to lend a hand, offer a smile, a handshake, or wave from the back of a passing motorcycle.
There’s an easy pace here, along with a sense of peace and purpose. Dominicans pride themselves on their island and love showing it off. Just try making it through your vacation without someone telling you about this one particular place you must see next time you come back to the Dominican Republic. And come back, you will. This island offers a lot of choices. We won’t be able to cover them all, but in our site you’ll discover enough about “Quisqueya la bella” to make this one of your most memorable vacations ever.