Based on the proven expertise of its team and considering the opinion of other experts, AccessDR presents its selection of places to visit in the D.R. during 2016. The most recommended destinations: Montecristi, Puerto Plata, Samana, Cabarete (on the country’s north coast), Santiago (the country’s second largest city), and the mountain town of Constanza, situated in the very heart of the Dominican Republic.
Situated in the country’s northwest corner, this town is famous for its unusual oceanfront landscape. And, it is also a special destination for diving and snorkeling. Its Underwater National Park features excellent and very well preserved coral reefs, secluded beaches, and sandbanks right in the middle of the ocean. Montecristi is also known for its beautiful mangrove-lined water channels. Visitors will also enjoy its varied Creole seafood and goat-based dishes.
Tourism in the north coast city of Puerto Plata has improved in the past two years. The city is known for its wide range of accommodations which go from the exclusive Casa Colonial Boutique Hotel; the Blue Jack Tar, also in Playa Dorada, to the Lifestyle Resort that offer guests a wide range of luxury villas, apartments and all-inclusive facilities. For those who enjoy the all-inclusive experience, there is the Grand Paradise and the Gran Ventana resorts. The city offers national and international visitors a wide range of restaurants, such as Lucia, the famous Mares or Bistro. And, for those seeking a more casual atmosphere, visitors highly recommend the Kaffe, situated in a beautiful Victorian residence in the city’s historic center.
Situated on the country’s northeast corner, the Bay of Samana offers visitors stunning landscapes and beaches, such as Playa Rincon or Playa Moron, a secluded, unspoiled beach. Visitors can stay in Las Galeras, and visit Playa Rincon with the help of local tours organized by experienced operators. Las Galeras offers guests small, comfortable hotels, but the Amhsa Marina chain of hotels recently opened an exclusive adults-only hotel.
Samana is the only place in the Caribbean where visitors can fully enjoy the annual spectacle put on by the humpback whales, which make their way to the warm waters of the Atlantic during the months of January through March. The Bay of Samana, included among the world’s most beautiful bays, is home to “Cayo Levantado,” a small key that offers visitors some of the most spectacular beaches in the world.
Nearby beachfront communities, such as Las Terrenas, are small pieces of paradise dotted with excellent hotels, villas and apartments. The community of Las Terrenas has an active night live as well, with fun-filled bars, restaurants and attractive hotels, such as the recently built adults-only “V Samana.” Samana is truly a very special place.
Santiago is the Dominican Republic’s second largest city, offering visitors many cultural attractions such as the Centro Leon Jimenes, the Fortress of San Luis, the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration, and its impressive Cathedral. The city offers guests excellent hotel facilities, such as the Hodelpa, and the Aloha Sol, in downtown Santiago. The city is known for its excellent restaurants and cafes, romantic bars and a lively and very active nightlife.
Situated on the north coast, it is the most popular beach destination for the young at heart. Cabarete is today a true mecca for those who love water sports. When the sun goes down in Cabarete, the nightlife of this former fishing village takes on a life of its own featuring excellent restaurants, nightclubs and bars.
This mountain town, situated in the very heart of the Dominican Republic, is considered to be the most beautiful of all Caribbean valleys. During the winter months, temperatures will drop to the freezing point. During the long summer months the temperatures remain cool, sometimes dropping to 20 degrees Celsius (68 F.) The valley is known for its intense agriculture activities, but there are lots of eco-tourism activities in the region. Constanza has excellent mountain trails, which make its way through pristine pine forests and streams. Constanza is the perfect destination for the eco-tourist. There are plenty of small, comfortable lodges and inns, as well as typical restaurant offering typical Dominican cuisine.