The Best of the Dominican Republic – The Dominican Republic has around 1,000 miles of gorgeous beaches lined with coconut palms. The sands vary with pearl-white beaches, to golden brown, to volcanic black. The Dominican Republic offers some of the cheapest and best-value beach holidays in the Caribbean. Most visitors stay in large all-inclusive hotels, where dozens line the magnificent beaches. The Dominican Republic takes up the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola, and is the most visited tourist destination in the Caribbean. You can happily spend your days on sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters, and fill your nights with merengue and dark rum. It is the most geographically diverse Caribbean island, with an alpine wilderness, tropical rain forests and mangrove swamps, cultivated savannas, vast deserts and and much more. The opportunities for ecotourism and adventure travel are readily available. In a single week you could scale a 150 m waterfall on a rope, mountain bike along remote dirt tracks, ride the best windsurfing waves in the hemisphere, trek to the top of a 3000 m mountain and head out in a fishing boat to marvel at the humpback whales crashing about in the bay of Samaná. Dominican Republic vacations can take you on a very diverse journey, a vacation made of memories. For more information on the Dominican Republic’s beautiful beaches, visit our Greater Antilles Travel page, or visit us on Pinterest.
Dominican Republic Weather – Best Time to Visit the Dominican Republic
Many people time their vacation to the Dominican Republic around the weather patterns. The most popular times to travel to the Dominican Republic are the late winter and early spring months of February, March, and April. At this time of year, the average temperature during the day ranges 82-86 °F. There is also less rainfall during these months. This seems to be about perfect for some people. However, if you are looking for higher temperatures, your best bet are the months of June and July and it rains less during these summer months than in the fall. December and January are pretty dry on average as well and the temperatures still quite warm if you are staying on the coast, as most tourists do. This is probably why an increasing number of people are visiting the Dominican Republic during their winter break and Christmas holidays.
Best Dominican Republic Beaches
A long, broad, tawny beach with aquamarine water on one side and a thick fringe of palm trees on the other. The stark, white cliffs at this Río San Juan location jut out into the ocean in the distance. A surf school here offers lessons.
Playa Los Mino
This sweet little stretch of sand in Rio San Juan must be one of the DR’s best village beaches, easily accessible from the road under Bahía Blanca. White sand, a green fringe of vegetation dappling the sunlight and azure waters seem to radiate chill even to the toddlers roaming around the sand. The local vibe here is light-years away from the all-inclusives.
Bavaro Beaches/Punta Cana
The beaches along the coastline from Punta Cana to Uvero Alto rival those anywhere else in the Caribbean, both in terms of their soft, white texture and their warm aquamarine waters. Despite a lack of restraint on development, especially in the geographically-central area of Bávaro, the resorts and beaches here still manage to offer an idyllic Caribbean seascape for a seemingly endless crowd of sun seekers.
Pitch-perfect Playa Rincón in Las Galeras, with its soft, nearly white sand and multi-hued water good for swimming, stretches an uninterrupted 3km (1.9mi). Several restaurants serve seafood dishes and rent beach chairs, making this beach a great place to spend the entire day.
Playita (Little Beach)
Playita (Little Beach) is easy to get to on foot or by motoconcho (motorcycle taxi). It’s a stretch of tannish sand and mellow surf, backed by tall, dramatically-leaning palm trees. On the main road just south of Las Galeras, look for signs to Hotel La Playita pointing down a dirt road headed west. Beach chairs are available for rent.
Best Dominican Republic Restaurants
Passion by Martín Berasategui $31 – 60
Passion’s dinner menu can best be described as a lovely marriage of French, Mexican and Basque flavors. The defining experience is the indulgent, decadent seven-course tasting menu that showcases the chef’s passion and creativity with plates like smoked tuna tartare with black garlic, tepid lobster salad and Kobe flap meat with liquid Brie cheese spheres. Expect a mix of the chef’s signatures, plates from his Restaurante Lasarte in Barcelona and local dishes. Although the menu does feature à la carte meals (like foie gras and mushroom ravioli with rich truffle sauce), the tasting menu paired with the sommelier’s wine recommendations offers a unique dining experience. Telephone: 34 943 366 471 Web: Passion by Martin Berasategui.
El Meson de la Cava $11 – 30
The restaurant, considered one of the most distinguished in the area by both residents of and tourists to the Dominican Republic, is tucked into a natural limestone cave created by waves over billions of years. In addition to provisions from the OAS, the restaurant displays several of the valuable belongings found in the cave from previous occupants. While some might expect that the restaurant relies on its unique environs to draw visitors in, the Meson de la Cava is known for preparing some of the region’s best cuisine. Local, hand-selected ingredients are brought in daily, as is a catch from the Caribbean Sea. The diverse menu is focused around Spanish-influenced modern classical French and local Caribbean cuisine. Telephone: 809 533 2818 Web: El Meson de la Cava.
Eze Bar & Restaurant $11 – 30
Eze Bar is not visible from the main drag, and unless you approach it from the beach, to get there you must walk through a windsurfing shop. The place is small but chic, with a fairly unoriginal Miami Beach vibe, so it’s a bit of a shock when the Italian food arrives and blows your mind. The tuna tartar might be the best in all the Caribbean, with mouthwatering morsels of fresh fish, avocado and an unusual ingredient – black olives. The dorado is a flaky dream, and the menu also features exquisite salads, healthy wraps, homemade pastas and meat dishes. The Italian chef is known around town for opening ambitious restaurants but this is his first home-run. It’s pricey but worth it, and happy hour is every day from 5pm to 7pm. Telephone: 809 571 0586 Web: Eze Bar & Restaurant.
Mares Restaurant & Pool Lounge $31 – 60
Distinguished chef Rafael Vasquez-Heinsen has converted his elegant home into a candlelit destination for foodies. Top Chef and food channel fans won’t be disappointed. The kitchen turns out what elsewhere might be defined as haute fusion cuisine – dishes that creatively combine Dominican ingredients with other culinary traditions: try Dominican goat marinated with rum (RD$600). Reservations recommended. Telephone: 809 224 1999 Web: Mares Restaurant & Pool Lounge.
Taberna El Conde $11 – 30
This casual but enchanting establishment is constantly raising the culinary bar in Sosúa with its craft cocktails and innovative gastronomy. The incredible honey suckle smoke cocktail is made with rum, lime, orange and a cinnamon-smoked glass (tastes just like honeysuckle!) and dishes are things like Tandoori mahi mahi with mango chutney. Also, everything is totally under-priced (don’t tell the owner/chef). Telephone: 829-868-0909 Web: Taberna El Conde.
Best Dominican Republic Nightlife
Coco Bongo Punta Cana
At Coco Bongo, revel in a high-voltage environment of one-of-a-kind entertainment, pulse-pumping music, nonstop dancing in a sea of balloons and confetti—all while being taken care of by an amazing and attentive staff who keep your glass full with an unlimited number of drinks. Telephone: 809 466 1111 Web: Coco Bongo Punta Cana.
Drink Point Punta Cana
To enjoy a night of drinking and dancing with locals, head over to Drink Point. Unlike some clubs that are only busy around the weekend, Drink Point is crowded every night of the week, so you can party on a Tuesday if you want to. The club caters to locals by playing more traditional Caribbean and Latin music, such as bachata and merengue. If you can’t manage to pick up the moves, order rum and coke at the bar and just sit back and enjoy the show. Telephone: 809 552 0920 Web: Drink Point.
Jellyfish Beach Restaurant
Located on Bibijagua Beach in Bávaro, Punta Cana, Jellyfish Beach Restaurant is the perfect place to watch the bright Caribbean day fade into a vibrant Caribbean night. There’s a dining room inside but be sure to check out the restaurant’s stunning beachfront terrace that is lit up at dusk to take in the ocean views. Enjoy an island-inspired cocktail and revel in the company while steel drums play in the background. Telephone: 809 840 7684 Web: Jellyfish Beach Restaurant.
Captain Cook Bar
Sitting right on El Cortecito beach, Captáin Cook Bar has been a favorite among visitors to Punta Cana for some time, earning a number of prestigious awards and accolades. Captáin Cook is most famous for its open grill and huge platters of seafood. Patrons are able to choose their preferred catch as well as its preparation to guarantee maximum satisfaction. Popular options include lobster, red snapper, and Creole-style langoustines (a type of large shrimp). Wash it all down with a few shots of mamajuana, a powerful rum-based liquor native to the Dominican Republic. Telephone: 809 552 0645 Web: Captain Cook Bar.
Don Queco Cigar & Rum Bar
Located in the Westin Puntacana Resort & Club, the Don Queco Cigar & Rum Bar, is the perfect place for those who enjoy the finer things. Relax on one of the leather chairs in the dimly lit indoor seating area, or outside on the bar’s patio, and enjoy a menu featuring a robust selection of the best Dominican rum and cigars. A far cry from the crowded clubs most visitors associate with the Punta Cana nightlife scene, this one is more refined and relaxed than anywhere else in town. Telephone: 809 959 2222 Web: Don Queco Cigar & Rum Bar.
Top Dominican Republic Hotels