Dominican Republic

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Thanks to its size and diversity, the Dominican Republic offers everything from cosmopolitan cities and ritzy resort towns to pristine (for now) beaches and mountain villages in the Cordillera Central range. Punta Cana, on the eastern coast, is the island's top draw, with the Caribbean's longest stretch of sand, while Puerto Plata, in the northwest, is a solid secondary consideration.

Dominican Republic Cities and Regions

Punta Cana/Bávaro

The country’s eastern tip lacks a true central city; instead, development sprawls along 40 miles of beaches, broken only by all-inclusive resorts, many of which are relatively affordable. See our Punta Cana Travel Guide.

Puerto Plata/Playa Dorada

This northern stretch includes beaches, golf courses, historical attractions, mountain cable cars with stunning views, and Ocean World Adventure Park (a theme park/casino). See our Puerto Plata Travel Guide

Santo Domingo

The Western Hemisphere’s oldest capital features the 16th-century Zona Colonial (including the New World’s first university), museums and theater in the Plaza de la Cultura, and fantastic shopping and nightlife.


Part of the Amber (North) Coast, Cabarete has windsurfing and a boho feel, while Sosúa sports gorgeous beaches and a thriving expat population (including many displaced Jews from the 1940s).


This easily accessible eastern peninsula has exquisite beaches and typical fishing villages with brightly painted houses. It’s a mecca for humpback whale-watchers (in winter) and game fishermen year-round.

Santiago/Cibao Valley

The D.R.’s “second” city boasts Victorian architecture, cigar factories, and museums. The region encompasses the country’s breadbasket and the “Dominican Alps” (Cordillera Central), including the Caribbean’s highest peak.


The mountains here in the “Dominican Garden of Eden” bubble with restorative hot thermal springs shrouded by bougainvillea and orchids. Lush rainforest meets golden sand to a backdrop of birdsong.

Boca Chica/Juan Dolio

Both resort areas, the former accesses La Caleta National Submarine Park’s wrecks and reefs; the latter is near San Pedro de Macorís, a town famous for producing an inordinate number of major league ballplayers.

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