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Things to do in the Dominican Republic

Things to do in  Dominican Republic

Welcome to Dominican Republic

There's far more to the Dominican Republic than sandy beaches and rum bars, as the country also boasts a diverse array of natural landscapes, with scenery that swings between fertile farmland, forest-shrouded waterfalls, and majestic mountains. Punta Cana, the country's easternmost tip, entices travelers with idyllic beaches and luxury resorts. It's also an ideal jumping-off point for a handful of adventurous day trips, and active travelers will love the variety of recreation-based tours available. Explore off-road terrain in a dune buggy, take a catamaran cruise to Saona Island, go for a swim at El Limón Waterfall, or careen through the treetops on one of the longest ziplining circuits in the Caribbean. Tours to Catalina Island, where you can snorkel above a pristine coral reef, depart from Punta Cana, too. The island capital of Santo Domingo, home to a colonial Old Town that's a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is just two hours from Punta Cana. Sightseeing tours that include transportation allow visitors to hit many of its top attractions such as Calle de las Damas, Columbus Lighthouse, and Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor (Catedral Primada de América) in one day. Santo Domingo is also a logical gateway to Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park (inhabited by crocodiles, flamingos, and iguanas), and tours that combine both mean you don't have to choose between them.

Top 15 attractions in Dominican Republic

Macao Beach (Playa Macao)

Macao Beach (Playa Macao) is one of the Punta Cana region’s least-crowded public beaches, set away from most resort hotels. A favorite among locals, this stretch of white sand is considered one of the Dominican Republic’s most beautiful coastal escapes, with clear blue waters and a beach break known for its surf-friendly waves.More

Amber Cove

Amber Cove is one of the newest cruise ports in the Caribbean, but its nearby attractions are far from rookie. Built by Carnival Cruise Lines for the use of their cruise ships along with other large-capacity liners and located on the Dominican Republic’s so-called Amber Coast, Amber Cove is the gateway to Puerto Plata, a popular Dominican Republic vacation destination.More

Damajagua Falls (27 Charcos)

Hidden in a lush Dominican Republic jungle, Damajagua Falls—otherwise known as the 27 Waterfalls of Rio Damajagua or 27 Charcos—are a series of 27 cascading waterfalls that were discovered in the 1990s. Located in the midst of sugarcane fields in the Northern Corridor mountain range, the hidden falls are a true off-the-beaten-path experience.More

Los Haitises National Park

Los Haitises National Park is a hidden gem full of fascinating caverns, unspoiled beaches, and mangrove forests. Visit to enjoy hiking, kayaking, and caving, as well as some of the Dominican Republic’s best bird watching. The park is also home to caves full of carvings made by indigenous Taíno Indians.More

Bavaro Beach (Playa Bavaro)

In Punta Cana, an idyllic resort town on the Dominican Republic’s east coast, all roads lead to Bavaro Beach (Playa Bavaro). Visitors flock to this beach not just for its aquamarine waters, white-sand strip, and coconut palm forest, but also for its abundance of fun—from water activities to watering holes.More

Hoyo Azul Lagoon

Don’t let the name fool you, because Hoyo Azul Lagoon has more to offer than its simple moniker belies. This famous turquoise-water cenote (natural pool) in Punta Cana—the unexpected existence of which at the base of a 200-foot (61-meter) cliff surprises and delights visitors—is one of the Dominican Republic’s top destinations for the swimming, ziplining, nature tours, and other nearby activities.More

Ciudad Colonial (Zona Colonial)

The lively streets of Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial—one of the city’s most historic neighborhoods—are ripe with the sights, smells, and sounds of Latin America. This tiny enclave is filled with traditional European-style architecture, well-kept parks, cobblestone streets, and artistic nods to adventurers past.More

Saona Island (Isla Saona)

Saona Island (Isla Saona) is the Dominican Republic's largest coastal island, clocking in at 15 miles (25 kilometers) long and three miles (5 kilometers) wide, with a population of little more than 300. Part of the National Park of the East, the island features plenty of photo-worthy white sands, swaying palm trees, and turquoise waters.More

Coco Bongo Punta Cana

Travelers looking to dance the night away while sipping tropical cocktails under flashing lights with thumping beats will love the classic island party experience at Coco Bongo Punta Cana. This lively disco combines the best of a Las Vegas stage show with the music and dance floor of a contemporary club.More

Los Tres Ojos National Park

Los Tres Ojos National Park—one of Santo Domingo’s most unique natural attractions—is an open-air limestone cave that’s home to three beautiful lakes (hence the name “The Three Eyes”. An impressive network of stalagmites and stalactites surround the lakes and make a visit to Los Tres Ojos feel like stepping into another world.More
Santiago de los Caballeros

Santiago de los Caballeros

Santiago de los Caballeros, or simply Santiago, is located in the Cibao Valley, and with nearly 1 million residents, it’s the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic. Santiago’s origins date back to 1495, when Christopher Columbus built a fort on the banks of the Yaque del Norte River. Santiago was once named Santiago de los Treinta Caballeros (Saint James of the 30 Knights), a nod to the 30 Spanish aristocrats who helped form the original community.Many people refer to Santiago as the “heart city,” as it’s located at the center of what was once Hispaniola. Santiago has a large arts and culture scene. Do not miss the Museo del Tabaco (Cigar Museum), where visitors can learn about the art of making cigars and purchase some of the most famous brands. Other museums of note include Museo Folklórico Yoryi Morel, which features exhibits related to Santiago’s Carnival, and Museo Histórtico Fortaleza San Luis, which once served as a municipal prison.Sports are also a popular aspect of life in Santiago. Baseball and basketball are the most popular sports in the city. A number of notable Major League Baseball players are originally from the Dominican Republic. Fertile lands in the region support Santiago. Items like cigarettes, rum, furniture, soaps, leather goods and pharmaceuticals are produced in this region. Foods like cacao, dairy, coffee and milled rice are also staples in Santiago. While not typically a tourist destination, the city is seeing a slight increase in tourism.More

Alcázar de Colón (Columbus Palace)

This UNESCO World Heritage site located in Santo Domingo’s Colonial Zone, is the oldest Viceroy residency in all of the Americas. Once the home of the famous Columbus family, the symmetrical structure was built by the famous explorers son is 1515.This historic site, which is now home to the Museo Alcazar de Diego Colon, was once an architectural constellation of fifty rooms, gardens and courtyards. While this once impressive palace is today approximately half the size, the artifacts, tapestries and documents on display in the museum showcase a rich and colorful history that grants travelers a deeper understanding of the culture and stories of Santo Domingo, as well as one of the world’s most well-known explorers.More

Columbus Lighthouse (Faro a Colón)

Like much of this capital city, Faro a Colon, a bold and imposing cross-shaped structure, serves as a tribute to one of the world’s most famous explorers. Built in a style that’s more urban office building than coastal treasure, this mausoleum and museum does have one distinct feature that’s responsible for its namesake. Columbus Lighthouse projects a unique cross-shaped beam with a light so bright it can be seen from the shores of Puerto Rico.Travelers who venture to this concrete structure can explore a vast collection of Columbian jewelry, an ancient boat from Cuba and what locals say are the remains of Christopher Columbus.More

El Limón Waterfall (Cascada El Limón)

The trails that lead to El Limón Waterfall (Cascada El Limón are towered over by mountains, and lined with coffee and cocoa plants. If the picturesque Caribbean landscape isn't enough, a crystal-clear natural pool at the foot of the falls provides a place to cool off after a mountain hike.More

Dorada Beach (Playa Dorada)

Dorada Beach (Playa Dorada) is one of the most popular beaches in the Puerto Plata area. Here you will find a number of the major resorts along its shoreline. The gated community features around a dozen luxury resorts and hotels that border the Amber Coast.If you are not staying along the bay of Dorada Beach (Playa Dorada), one of the best ways to experience the area is from the water. Take a catamaran tour along the North Coast from Playa Dorada to the Bay of Sosua. If the idea of spending an afternoon on a boat isn’t appealing, resorts along Playa Dorada rent watersports equipment. Try your hand at windsurfing, kayaking, sailing or parasailing. The waters at Playa Dorada are crystal clear and the shallow, sloping beach makes it a popular spot for families with small children. You can go snorkeling right off the beach with coral reefs only a short swim away.If you want to experience more than a day on the beach, Dorada Beach (Playa Dorada) has a number of options to keep you busy. Go shopping at the plaza, which features boutiques, restaurants and a cinema. There is also an 18-hole golf course designed by Robert Trent Jones. Other non-beach activities include an equestrian center and several casinos. Playa Dorada is also home to the Caribbean’s biggest go-kart center, complete with three tracks.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 2 Days in Punta Cana

How to Spend 2 Days in Punta Cana

Top Adventure Experiences in Punta Cana

Top Adventure Experiences in Punta Cana

Top activities in Dominican Republic

Saona Island Day Trip From Punta Cana with Lunch and Open Bar Included
Likely to Sell OutLikely to Sell Out
Sabina del Mar Party Boat VIP

Sabina del Mar Party Boat VIP

ScubaDoo - Punta Cana

ScubaDoo - Punta Cana

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Recent reviews from experiences in Dominican Republic

Best tour for an all day event
Yesenia_R, Jun 2022
5 tours in 1 - Horseback Riding / City Tour / Cacao Farm / Zipline / Dune Buggy
Best tour in Punta Cana to see the country and city of Dominican Republic!!
Kayla_K, May 2022
The 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua
He was extremely personable and knowledgeable about Puerto Plata, the waterfalls, as well as the Dominican Republic itself.
Good trip. I enjoyed myself
Brian_P, Apr 2022
Monkeyland and Plantation Safari Tour from Punta Cana
One of the operators spoke Spanish, English & French.
On time
James_S, Apr 2022
Iberostar Grand Bavaro - Round Trip Shuttle - Punta Cana Airport
We are visiting the Dominican Republic for Spring Break.
Xtreme Buggys amazing
Kathryn_S, Apr 2022
Xtreme Buggy 4 hours Dune Buggy & Country side experience
If you want to see the real dominican republic then this is a must.
Great day. Staff were...
Lisa_L, Apr 2022
Saona Island Day Trip From Punta Cana with Lunch and Open Bar Included
It is a long day but really worth it and get to see and learn lots about the Dominican Republic.
A must
Olivia_G, Apr 2022
Full-Day Small-Group Saona Island Tour
We got to see the parts of saona island most tours don’t offer.
THE ABSOLUTE BEST tour in the DR!!!
Heather_J, Aug 2022
Half-Day Small-Group Cultural Tour in Dominican Republic
You are taken to parts of the Dominican Republic that most tourists don’t get an opportunity to see while visiting.
One of a kind Saona Island experience!
LaTrease_Q, Jun 2022
Full-Day Small-Group Saona Island Tour
Having the small group also allowed us to visit four beaches & a snorkeling location.
Our tour guide, Domingo,...
Amy_S, Apr 2022
Los Haitises National Park with Montana Redonda, River and Lunch from Punta Cana
Be mentally and physically prepared for a full-day's worth of activities!
Lovely hike near Punta Cana
Erin_E, Apr 2022
Let's do hiking in Punta Cana
It was absolutely gorgeous to see the inland beauty of the Dominican Republic.
Private Ride
Shantelle_O, Dec 2021
10-12 Hours Private Punta Cana Dune Buggies Adventure from Santo Domingo Tour
The private Ride there and back from the experience was great because you get to see the countryside of Dominican republic
Book Now!
Bryanna_V, Oct 2021
Monkeyland and Plantation Safari Tour from Punta Cana
Highly recommend 10/10 especially if you’re traveling with kids.
Quite Lovely
Karjane_L, Aug 2021
4x4 Dominican Adventure with Chocolate and Coffee Tasting from Punta Cana
It was wonderful to see the authentic side of Dominican Republic during the atv tour.
History in the knowing
ISABEL_C, Mar 2021
Santo Domingo City - Full Day Tour
Perfect trip during the week to see the life of Dominican Republic in action.
We were able to do all 27...
Emily_M, Jun 2016
27 Waterfalls of Damajagua Tour from Cabarete, Sosua and Puerto Plata
We were able to do all 27 waterfalls!
I'm usually not one to write a...
Renee K, Apr 2016
Xtreme Buggy 4 hours Dune Buggy & Country side experience
Would highly recommend to anyone that knows how to drive a manual, likes to have fun and wants to see the countryside of the Dominican Republic!!
This was the best tour that I have...
Jamaal H, Jun 2015
Punta Cana River Horseback Riding and Zipline Tour
The tour guide was very informative and allowed us to see the real Dominican Republic.
A beautiful experience
Alexey_G, Feb 2022
Sunset Horseback Riding Tour from Punta Cana
It just completely ruins the mood for me to see that.
A really fun adventure with great local guides!
Lynn_D, Feb 2022
The 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua
At the park, Jacabo and his assistants gave us life jackets and helmets, and made sure we were safely escorted to each waterfall area.
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