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Over a thousand miles of breathtaking beaches. All of them waiting for you in the Dominican Republic, the second largest country in the Caribbean. This country’s rich historic past is evident in buildings and monuments that reflect influences from the Spanish, while the rhythm of African slaves brought to the island by the Spanish can still be heard in its music. Colourful festivals demonstrate how the two cultures magically combine in this fascinating country.

Samana

The verdant peninsula of Samana is paradise found for nature enthusiasts. Somewhat remote and removed from the tourist trail, this patch of paradise is home to one of the most important rain forests and mangrove reserves in the Caribbean. And its crystal-clear coast features some of the best diving on the northern side of the Dominican Republic. So pop on your flippers. In some spots you can see up to 150 feet!

Attractions
  • Whalewatching in Samana Bay, considered one of the best places in the world for it. Every January, thousands of Humpbacks migrate south to Samana Bay; during mating season, you can find up to 300 at any given time. Catch a glimpse of these magnificent mammals as they frolic, sing, and show off.
  • The beautiful El Salto del Limón, with a hundred-foot waterfall that features a refreshing natural swimming pool. A hike or horseback ride gets you there.
  • Los Haïtises National Park, with its lush mangroves and limestone caves.
  • One of the world's best beaches according to Condé Nast Traveler: Playa Rincon, on the eastern part of the peninsula.
  • A deep-sea fishing expedition to get the catch of the day.
  • A tour to the town of Las Terranas, where you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the choice of tasty bakeries and restaurants with world-class menus.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo or Santo Domingo de Guzmán is the capital and largest city in the Dominican Republic. The oldest city in the New World, where the settlement of all the Americas began, Santo Domingo has the New World’s first cathedral and first hospital. Wander down cobble stone streets to see Spanish colonial architecture and imagine how things were back in the 1600s.

Attractions
  • The Colonial City, the first city built in the New World by European settlers, including Columbus's brother, Bartholomeo, and his son, Diego Columbus. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this city has an impressive collection of 16th century buildings, including palatial houses and majestic churches reflecting the architecture of its time. The city also features Calle de Las Damas, and Ozama Fortress, the oldest street and the oldest fortress in the Americas, respectively; the Museo de las Casas Reales (Museum of the Royal Houses), the restored 16th century palace of the Spanish Court; and, the Cathedral Basilica Santa Maria la Menor, said to be the first cathedral in the New World.
  • The Plaza de la Cultura, a large park where visitors can easily stroll from one museum to another, including The Museum of Dominican Man, the Museum of Modern Art, the National Museum of History and Geography, and the National Museum of Natural History.
  • The Faro a Colón (Columbus Lighthouse), an impressive structure in the shape of a cross that marks the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus' arrival in the Americas in 1492. It houses his remains in an impressive tomb and features numerous exhibits. At night, powerful lights are reflected into the sky in the shape of a cross.
  • Los Tres Ojos, an impressive 50-foot deep cave with three lagoons surrounded by stalagmites and lush vegetation, five minutes from the Lighthouse. The National Aquarium, also five minutes away, is a medium-sized aquarium where the main attraction is the huge fish tank with a Plexiglas tunnel passing through it. Tamaury, a giant manatee, is the star of the park.