Dominican Republic has so much to offer!! So many times I read the reviews and somebody has a bad experience or doesn’t like something about their trip, they say they will never return..  What a shame!!

The island is so diverse, and maybe that particular traveller didn’t research enough, and didn’t end up in the proper place, or the travel agent didn’t care enough to ask what their customer is really looking for.

 But you need to see what the options are:

The North Coast is great.. busy and active, with great beaches, and great affordable resorts.  The sand is not white, but amber in colour, the water is clean, but not the turquoise Caribbean blue so many tourists are looking for..

Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata is the most popular resort complex..  But there is also Sosua and Cabarete, great little towns where you can experience more of the local culture and see how the locals live and work.  The towns get into the party mode at night, but you do have to be careful.. you are a tourist in a foreign country..

Cabarete is a windsurfer’s paradise.. Constant breeze attracts many people from all over the world.. waves are incredible.  There are many budget hotels there that are All Inclusive, or condos where you can make your own food. There is even a really neat Eco Hotel that is really cheap right in the thick of the action on Kite Beach. There is a lot of souvenir shopping and bars and restaurants right on the beach.. you can have a dinner under the stars right on the beach. One of the most under-rated views is watching the kiteboarders and kitesurfers in action. On a good windy day you can watch 50 kiteboarders out on the water as you sip on a chinola mojito, and think about taking a lesson yourself!

Sosua is built around a small bay with great views. There are several All Inclusive hotels there, and smaller condos.. there are plenty of restaurants and bars where food is pretty affordable, there are also nicer restaurants, if you have special dinners planned..  The beach is light honey colour, most of the time there are no waves, as the beach is protected by the reefs not too far from the shore.  Snorkelling is great there, you can rent the equipment from many vendors on the beach, and enjoy the underwater world.

Both in Sosua and Cabarete you can rent the lounge chairs on the beach, they are very affordable.. you can make friends with the Dominican people, who are very warm and welcoming.  

Condé Nast Traveler magazine said in a  article about winter vacation destinations titled " More Sun for less Money"  that the Samaná peninsula is one of the 25 best locations in the world.  There you can find unspoiled  beaches, coconut-covered mountains, tropical rain forests,  and most importantly internationally known whale-watching.  That area will be developing as well much to the disapointment of some naturalists, who love their quiet and peaceful vacations there.  

Punta Cana is on the East Coast.. spectacular beaches stretched out for miles..  Bavaro Beach, the longest, Macao Beach, Uvero Alto BeachesBavaro Beach is the most famous beach there, with white sand for miles, and blue water, although parts of it can be a little wavy too.. the most southern part of the beach as the calmest water..  Right around the Barcelo Bavaro complex..   There are over 55 All Inclusive hotels in that part of the island, and more are being built.. there are non All Inclusive coming too..  The hotels built are becoming more and more upscale and luxurious as more people discover the Punta Cana beaches, and spread the word.

The South Coast of the island is the most quiet.. at this point.. I don’t think it will be for long, as more people will be discovering the pristine beaches of the Caribbean, and crystal clear, calm waters, perfect for snorkelling.  La Romana and the Bayahibe area is also known for the spectacular sunsets on the water.   There are Catalina and Saona Islands, where you can enjoy the unspoiled natural beauty af a tropical paradise, you can visit historical site of Altos De Chavon,  gorgeous property built on the cliffs, overlooking the Chavon river.

From there you can take a trip to Santo Domingo, the capital city.  There are great hotels there where you can stay and enjoy a big city vacation.. During the day you can enjoy various excursions to visit historical sites, and at night enjoy the great night life the city has to offer.

There is truly so much that you can do in the Dominican Republic.. You just need to do the research, and knowing what you really expect out of a vacation, match it properly to your needs.