11 restaurants with a wide variety of restaurants
300 metres of fine white sand beach
When you think of the Dominican Republic, that country that sits by the Caribbean Sea, white sandy beaches and turquoise waters come to mind. Hotels in the Dominican Republic offer all this and much more. Visitors to this tropical paradise will discover a place with enviable natural surroundings. The country is home to 16 natural parks and 67 protected areas that showcase landscapes of high mountains, lush jungle and coastlines teeming with marine life. For tourists whose vacation plans are all about the beach, Punta Cana is the place to be. The Dominican Republic's renovated hotels line Playa Bávaro, named the best in the Caribbean. Wide stretches of soft sand and waves lapping at the shore offer an idyllic setting for relaxing and sunbathing, even more so with a glass of local rum in hand. But in addition to its abundant natural beauty, the Dominican Republic also has fascinating cities. Its capital, Santo Domingo, is a stark contrast between modern skyscrapers and historic buildings dating back to the time of Christopher Columbus.
Punta Cana, a huge resort area, located on the eastern end of the island, is the meeting point for visitors who want to spend their days having fun on the beach and in the water. For a peek beneath the waves, Seaquarium offers a unique experience. Another of the most amazing tours involves boarding a clear-floored catamaran and sailing to the Marinarium, where divers can get up close to stingrays, nurse sharks and hundreds of fish along the crystal-clear water. For more alternatives, a boat trip to Samana Bay will exceed all expectations. Samana is a peninsula jutting out into the ocean and is washed by the Atlantic on its northeastern coast. It is a sparsely populated terrain where travelers will be amazed by lush jungle, high mountains and a spectacular waterfall. The same tour goes to Bacardi Island, where you can enjoy a panoramic view of the unspoiled coastline. For experiences on land, there are zip line, quad biking and horseback riding tours. Bávaro Adventure Park offers all these thrills in one place. Visitors can create their own package of activities such as bungee jumping, climbing on a pirate ship, flight simulation and zorbing, i.e. descending a hillside inside a padded plastic ball.
More sedate pastimes include walking through the butterfly gardens of this 4,500-metres-squared park. Anyone not exhausted by the end of the day will enjoy the nightlife. Mangu Disco has music, dancing and variety shows. Imagine Punta Cana is a club inside a cave; Coco Bongo features breath-taking trapeze artists and gymnasts, plus recreations of famous movie scenes.
The oldest European city in the Americas, Santo Domingo is also home to the Catedral Primada de América, the first cathedral in the New World and the Zona Colonia, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The most modern Dominican Republic hotels in the financial district offer their guests, generally businessmen, services such as Wi-Fi and conference rooms. For relaxation, guests can travel to the city's fascinating historical icons. The Fortaleza Ozama, the first military structure in the New World, stands at the confluence of the Ozama River and the Caribbean Sea. It is a reminder of the country's history of occupation and its battle for independence. The Alcázar de Colón Museum, now restored, was the home of Christopher Columbus' son and houses the family's most fabulous belongings. Along Calle el Conde, the curious will find amber, carved wood, ceramics and paintings in the traditional markets. Not to be missed is the Museo de las Casas Reales, with colonial treasures and artifacts from the Taino people, the original inhabitants of Hispaniola.