Last Updated February 19, 2021 2/19/2021

9 Best Things To Do in the Dominican Republic

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From pristine sun-kissed beaches to ancient architecture, the Dominican Republic is brimming with an enticing blend of outdoor adventures and rich culture. With its abundance of picturesque beauty, it comes as no surprise why visitors are attracted to this colorful Caribbean gem.

Boasting recreational activities for all types of travelers, visitors will find a plethora of island attractions to enjoy such as snorkeling, diving, kayaking, sailing, and surfing. From luxury beach resorts to vibrant coral reefs, waterfalls, jungles, and secluded islands, these are the top things to do in the Dominican Republic.

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Get a Birds-Eye View at Isabel De Torres National Park
Teleférico Puerto Plata at Isabel De Torres National Park

Get a Birds-Eye View at Isabel De Torres National Park

What Is It? The Isabel De Torres National Park is a breathtaking attraction with plenty to offer nature enthusiasts.

Why Do It? Soaring 2,600 feet above the sea, it is most known for its huge replica of Rio de Janeiro’s Christ the Redeemer statue, called Cristo Redentor, and the stunning panoramic views. Adventurous travelers can climb to the top in a couple of hours, but those on a tight timeframe can take the near-vertical cable car ride in a brisk 8 minutes.

Good to Know: In addition to the views, awaiting you at the top is a lovely flower-filled botanical garden and vendors selling crafts and jewelry.

Observe Wildlife at Eastern National Park
Eastern National Park

Observe Wildlife at Eastern National Park

What Is It? Eastern National Park, or “Parque Nacional del Este,” is a UNESCO World Heritage Site that boasts a pristine natural habitat and is home to hundreds of tropical flora and animal species.

Why Do It? Visitors can observe birds, sea turtles, manatees, bottlenose dolphins, and an abundance of tropical fish, as Eastern National Park is one of the largest marine parks in the Caribbean.

Good to Know: In addition to its diverse wildlife, the park boasts a handful of stunning beaches with clear blue waters and postcard-worthy views, making it is easy to see why it is a top attraction.

Stroll the Cobblestone Streets of the Colonial Zone
Colonial Zone

Stroll the Cobblestone Streets of the Colonial Zone

What Is It? The oldest city in the New World, Santo Domingo does a great job of preserving its rich history and vibrant culture.

Why Do It? Nowhere else is this more present than in the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the historic Colonial Zone, or “Zona Colonial.” Here visitors can walk down cobblestone streets and soak in the view of the old world Spanish Colonial architecture and observe life as a local.

Good to Know: Visitors will find plenty of opportunities to dine on traditional cuisine at one of the many restaurants that line the area amongst a line-up of historic buildings, quaint shops and clubs boasting live jazz and Latino music.

Spot Humpback Whales at Samaná Bay
Cayo Levantado Island, Samana Bay

Spot Humpback Whales at Samaná Bay

What Is It? Lined with islets and pristine palm-lined beaches, Samaná Bay is a hotspot for the Dominican Republic’s marine animals.

Why Do It? A lush peninsula, the area is also surrounded by the ecological paradise known as Los Haitises National Park. Nature enthusiasts can appreciate the dreamy jungle-covered islands, thick mangrove forests, and otherworldly crystal clear waters.

Good to Know: Postcard-worthy rock formations tower above the sea and are home to an abundance of diverse wildlife, while the towering Salto El Limón waterfall and picturesque Playa Rincon beach are worth a visit.

Play a Round at Teeth of the Dog
Teeth of the Dog golf course

Play a Round at Teeth of the Dog

What Is It? Standing proud as one of the best golf courses in the Caribbean, the Teeth of the Dog is a Pete Dye-designed golf course with breathtaking ocean views.

Why Do It? Named for its 16th hole, here golf enthusiasts will find a 194-yard par three that is nestled amongst a rock shaped like the teeth of a dog with the sea frothing at its edges.

Good to Know: A reputation that is well-deserved, the gorgeous 18 hole course sits next to the Dominican’s picturesque coastline, often attracting some of the best players in the world.

Zip Through a Treetop Canopy in Scape Park
Credit: Scape Park
Scape Park

Zip Through a Treetop Canopy in Scape Park

What Is It? Those looking for adventure will find it at Scape Park in Punta Cana, where visitors are spoiled for choice in what heart-racing activity they want to try first.

Why Do It? In addition to the adrenaline-pumping zip lining that takes you from platform to platform through a jungle canopy at 40 mph, the area also boasts opportunities to hop on dune buggies, go rock climbing or take a refreshing dip in the popular clear blue waters of the Hoyo Azul Lagoon.

Good to Know: Whichever you choose, you are guaranteed glittering views of some of the prettiest parts of the Dominican Republic.

Catch Baseball Fever at Estadio Quisqueya
Estadio Quisqueya

Catch Baseball Fever at Estadio Quisqueya

What Is It? Considered a national pastime, there’s no better way to get mixed in with the local culture than to watch a baseball game in the Dominican Republic.

Why Do It? Located in Santo Domingo, visit the home field of two of the six professional teams, Licey and Escogido at Estadio Quisqueya, and experience the country’s passion for baseball.

Good to Know: A favorite sport of most locals, the country produces some of the most talented players in the sport.

Visit the First Cathedral of America
First Cathedral of America

Visit the First Cathedral of America

What Is It? The most notable attraction in the Colonial Zone is the First Cathedral of America, or “Cathedral of Santa María la Menor.”

Why Do It? Its significance of being the oldest existing cathedral will leave visitors in awe with its mix of architecture that includes golden-tinted coral limestone façades, Romanesque arches, and lavish Gothic features. Built in 1540, visitors can walk through the 500-year old Mahogany doors and explore exhibits that display ancient woodcarvings, furnishings, funerary monuments, silver, and jewelry

Good to Know: One of the most visited attractions in the Dominican Republic, another highlight includes a painting of the Virgin Mary that dates back to 1520.

Admire the Basilica of Our Lady Altagracia
Basilica of Our Lady Altagracia

Admire the Basilica of Our Lady Altagracia

What Is It? Considered the spiritual mother of the Dominicans, the basilica for Our Lady of Altagracia is one of the most famous cathedrals in the country.

Why Do It? Boasts a towering 225-foot arch constructed mostly of concrete and 45 charming bronze bells, visitors can walk through the 24 karat gold-coated bronze entrance that was blessed in Rome.

Good to Know: A glass-encased image of the Virgin of Altagracia is housed inside, in addition to gorgeous stained glass windows and a modern Museo de la Altagracia on its grounds highlighting the country’s religion and culture.

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