Santo Domingo
Spanish, Haitian Creole, Samana English
Dominican Peso
Flight time
14 hours and 20 minutes from the UK
time difference
UTC/GMT -4 hours
best time to go

Introducing Dominican Republic

As one of the most well-known islands of the Caribbean, the Dominican doesn’t struggle to impress. It’s an island filled with wow moments; from the first glimpse of its pristine beaches and catching sight of a bright pink flamingo in the distance to the unique style of its colonial cities, its all night festivals, and its cool Spanish influences, the Dominican Republic is a nation made for holidays. From luxury spa hotels and golfing holidays to nature trails and trekking in the rainforest, the Dominican is a destination for every type of traveller. And with an interesting past in Spanish colonial rule, this country is a melting pot of cultures and influences. Typically Caribbean with a distinctive Spanish flair, a journey here will be utterly unique. And with its colonial history going back some 500 years, Spanish influences have long been embedded into Dominican life; from the country’s passion for Spanish dance and music to serving rice and beans with almost every meal, it’s clear that this island is a cultural crossroad of two different worlds.

The Dominican Republic shares an island of Hispaniola with Haiti to the west and its subtropical landscape comprises gorgeous coastlines with beautiful beaches, stretches of savannah and lush green rainforests together with complex highlands with white-water rivers and gushing waterfalls. The diverse terrain offers explorers a new discovery every single day and the huge choice of luxury hotels, all-inclusive resorts, stylish villas and boutique stays ensure that this corner of the Caribbean can appeal to everyone. Whether you come here for the dream-like beaches and the luxury retreats, the nature and amazing waterfall walks, or the colourful culture and mouth-watering food, your time in the Dominican will be filled with excitement.


The Dominican Republic is one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for families, simply because there is so much to do. This island getaway offers more variety and more cultural activities than perhaps any other destination in the Caribbean Sea. Not only that, but the Dominican is also home to so many different luxury hotels and resorts, including all-inclusive and half-board, plus huge family villa holidays and boutique stays – the choice is yours and there’s something for every budget. The Dominicans are also extremely friendly and you’ll be received with the warmest hospitality, and food is at the centre of everything they do so you’ll never feel at a loss when it comes to finding a great place to eat with the kids. Bus companies also provide an excellent service at very affordable prices so getting around will be very easy.


The food of the Dominican Republic is very much influenced by its Spanish past. Just as it is in Spain, lunch is the largest and most important meal of the day. Rice and peas are typically served with many meals and you’ll find that sausages and stews taking influence from Spain are popular on many restaurant menus. There’s a huge variety of dishes in Dominican cuisine so it won’t be hard finding something that everyone likes. Some must try dishes include Mondongo tripe stew, Asopao de Pollo or Shrimp Asapao (similar to a rice gumbo), La Bandera (stewed meat, beans and rice), Mangú mashed plantains, Tostones fried plantains, Sancocho seven meat stew, Dulce De Coco (coconut and cream dessert) and Tres Leches sponge cake. You’ll also be able to find some amazing street food snacks, with plenty of sweet treats that can appeal to the kids such as Memelos caramel lollipops. Jugo De Chinola (passion fruit juice) is the fruit drink of choice in the Dominican and most resorts, hotels and restaurants will serve a large selection of wines, beers and spirits.

History and Culture

Sharing an island with Haiti on the west, the culture of the Dominican is extremely different. The two nations contrast dramatically; whilst Haiti was colonised by the French, the Dominican was under Spanish rule for more than five centuries. Many of the Dominicans identify themselves as “Indos” and are very proud of their unique culture. Their culture today can be defined by their dedication to music, their many festivals which take place throughout the year, and their incredible fusion food which blends Spanish cooking influences with traditional Taino cuisine.

Top Locations in Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo
Perhaps the country’s most popular destination, the capital of Santo Domingo is a clash of old and new. It’s fantastic for sightseeing, eating out and shopping. If you love architecture, don’t miss Fortaleza Ozama, the Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor, National Palace and Museo de las Casas Reales.
The Samana Peninsula
This small strip of land comes out of the Dominican Republic’s northeast corner and is one of the most beautiful areas of the country. Here you will find the sort of Caribbean beaches that everyone dreams of; soft white sand, clear and shallow waters and plenty of opportunities to go whale spotting.
Punta Cana
Punta Cana is a popular region and resort offering long stretches of beach and crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkelling. There’s a huge choice of luxury hotels and resorts, including family friendly accommodation and the area is also well-known for its lively nightlife. Some of the most popular activities here include windsurfing, kayaking and sailing.
Another fantastic area is Bayahibe, a great place for families in search of luxury, honeymooners, or couples in search of romance. Bayahibe Town was originally founded as a fishing village in 1874 and it has still managed to keep some of its old world charm. Come here for paradisiacal beaches plus fantastic diving and snorkelling.
Jarabacoa is a town in La Vega Province and it’s the gateway into the Dominican’s central highlands. Come here for mountain hikes up the Cordillera Central, waterfall walks such as the Baiguate Salto, or wild swimming and picnics by the Balneario la Confluencia.

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