Welcome to the Dominican Republic
Christopher Columbus first set foot on the island of Hispaniola in 1492 and declared it “the fairest land under heaven” and many would claim this is still true today!
These days the island of Hispaniola is divided into two countries with Haiti to the west and The Dominican Republic to the east. When you first visit the Dominican Republic, the first thing that strikes you is its size. This is not just another tiny Caribbean island with a beach and a handful of gift shops. Instead, it’s a big country with spectacularly varied scenery that includes the tallest mountains in the region, stretches of white sand that run unbroken for miles, tropical rain forests and the Caribbean’s oldest and, some claim, most cosmopolitan city, Santo Domingo.
The main currency is the Dominican Peso but you will also find US Dollars are accepted in all the tourist areas.
With its historical links to the Spanish Empire, it’s no surprise that the native language is Spanish, however it is very common to hear the local people conversing with tourists in English, German, French and Italian.
And yet The Dominican Republic is one of the Caribbean’s more undiscovered locations. At least that’s been the case until recently, when the Dominican Republic’s government began splashing its assets around the world in colorful television and print advertisements. Dominican officials seem determined to elevate the country’s name on the list of Caribbean vacation spots. Evidence of their work is already visible throughout the country. Visitor numbers are rising along with the construction of new resorts. There’s also been an increase in visits by cruise ships to the ports of Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and La Romana. Other improvements can be traced to the pursuit of tourism income: Many of the country’s roads have been widened and paved, and historic areas in the major cities have been renovated. The growth in the property market on the island is particularly visible along the picturesque north coast from Puerto Plata to Cabarete. Many visitors and investors compare the area with Spain twenty-five years ago.
Sosua is a town full of great places to dine and visit and is made up of many ex-pats from all over the world as well as the local Dominican population. Depending on the time of year, it can be a very busy tourist destination. Then it becomes even more alive! Both the local Dominican and ex-pat community (who run many businesses in the area) welcome tourists with open arms. Sosua’s main beach is over 1 kilometer long; it has many shops, bars and restaurants and is world famous for diving and snorkeling on its reef.
Stretched along the C-5 highway between the beach and lagoon that bear its name, Cabarete is a crowded international enclave that owes its existence almost entirely to windsurfing and, more recently, kite surfing. Cabarete now hosts the annual championships. The world famous Kite Beach has ideal conditions for the sport, and the multicultural cross-section of its aficionados attracts a growing community from across the globe.
Puerto Plata Info
Puerto Plata is a vibrant Dominican town of 200,000 that’s well worth exploring for its historic architecture and nightlife. Its core, the Old City, borders the port to the east, and consists of a narrow grid of streets that was once the swankiest neighbourhood in the country. Around the original town sprawls a patchwork maze of industrial zones and concrete barrios known as the New City, formed over the past century with the growth of the town’s industry. Puerto Plata is the place to visit for a true taste of Dominican life and culture.