Dominican Republic Romantic Vacation Ideas, Tips, & Activities
Vacations in the Dominican Republic
Attractions and Tips for Great Romantic Caribbean Vacations
Sharing the island of Hispaniola with neighboring Haiti, the Dominican Republic commands 19,000 square miles of mountainous rainforest and flawless white sandy beaches. The culture is warm, festive, and welcoming. Spanish is not just the language but the state of mind. Local customs not to be missed include meringue marathons, late-night dinners of fine local rum, and spicy fish stew, and - a vacation must - languorous Latin siestas. Five national parks provide entertainment of a more primal, pristine sort. Hiking and horseback riding along trails that hug rushing rivers and ramble through cavernous forests teeming with wildlife are just a few activities to discover here.
Travelling To The Dominican Republic
For international travel to Puerto Plata, there are two major airports that are relatively close to the most popular destinations. The closer airport is the Gregorio Luperon International Airport (POP), known also as the Puerto Plata Airport, located just west of Puerto Plata city. This is the more popular point of entry for most tourists headed to such northern destinations as Cofresi, Luperon, Puerto Plata city, Playa Dorada and Cabarete. Airlines flying into Gregorio Luperon International Airport from Miami and New York are American Airlines and Continental. Air Canada or Air Transat flies into the Dominican Republic from Calgary, Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver. Many of the tour operators include the arrival tax or departure tax in your package. Have $10 available at arrival and $20 available at departure, per person. Be well informed about what your package includes and only pay the money if asked. Hotel shuttle buses will be on hand from almost all of the major all-inclusive resorts once you leave the airport.
Puerto Plata is about a 20 minute drive from the airport along the coastal highway C-5. The city follows a typical grid pattern that is easy to follow on foot or by taxi. The sidewalks can be narrow and the streets busy with traffic. Because many of the attractions and resorts most popular with tourists are located slightly outside the city, however, travelers wanting to make trips into the city or to other areas may want to catch a taxi or gua-gua (bus) to get around. A city map is always helpful, as many of the street signs can be small and difficult to see. Taxis are not terribly expensive, and gua-guas even less so, although the latter tend to be crowded and hot. Air conditioned public buses are a more comfortable option.
Flying into Santo Domingo (Aeropuerto Internacional Las Americas), you will be about 8 miles east of the city center. Once you are through customs, you will be welcomed with an array of touts offering accomodation, taxis, and car rentals. Best to arrange these things in advance, but if you haven't, head directly to the bank of agency booths just south of the luggage area exit. The price is a bit higher, but it's always a safe bet to stick with established international agencies. If you rent a car, there is a $15 toll as you leave the airport. If travelling to the city center via taxi, expect to pay around $500RD for the ride, and make sure to look for the official brown sticker on the windshield of the taxi.
Dominican Republic Weather
There are two high tourist seasons in the Dominican Republic, the summer months of July and August, when travellers have some time off to get away for a few weeks. Summer is the traditional rainy season in the Dominican Republic though. Then there is the winter season from December to early March, in which the Dominican Republic's climate is at it's absolute best. During these months, the weather has cooled down just a bit from the sweltering summer heat, which also means some better deals at the resorts and hotels. The temperature does not vary much from season to season, but we recommend visiting from December to March. You can expect short bursts of rain a few times a week, most times lasting only a few minutes, then it's followed quickly by sunshine.
El Portillo & El Limon
East from Las Terrenas, hidden deep within the Samana mountains on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, you'll find the El Limon waterfall. It is only accessible by horseback, but this pristine 150 metre waterfall in one of the loveliest and romantic spots on the island, with crystal clear waters at its bottom. The best bet for a legitimate tour operator in order to go see this beautiful waterfall is Casa Santi (452-9352). It will cost you $25US, and it includes a large lunch with the tour. Beware, many of the local tour outfits are really scams intended on ripping off tourists, so this is a safe bet. The El Portillo Beach Club (240-6100), one of the largest all-inclusives in the country, arranges regular tours to the waterfalls for its visitors.
Cabarete is a windsurfer's paradise, the constant breeze attracts many visitors from all over the world. The waves are incredible, you'll see some of the best windsurfing and kitesurfing conditions in the world here. There are many all inclusive resorts and condos, most are located along Punta Goleta on the western edge of the main strip. There is a lot of souvenir shopping and bars and restaurants right on the beach, so make sure you check them out. You can have a dinner under the stars right on the beach, or pick one of the many great dining options nearby, most have been opened by European expats. The most spectacular and unique place in the Cabarete area is The Castle Club, about 25 minutes outside town on the "road to Moca". Built and operated by Doug and Margaurite Beers, they have created a true paradise, perfect for birthdays or weddings.
Off the east coast of Dominican Republic lies this island, now a national park inhabited by sea turtles, pigeons, and other wildlife. Caves here were once used by Indians. The beaches here are beautiful, and legend has it that Columbus once strayed ashore here. Getting there, on catamarans and other excursion boats, is half the fun. There are many isolated and secluded spots that dot the island, so make sure to explore and find white sand and transparent water to enjoy. Another option, if your boat captain allows it, is to visit Isla Catalinita, a small island in the Catuano Canal that separates Saona from the mainland. Catalinita gets very little tourist traffic, and has some excellent reefs for snorkelling. In the winter, you'll often see humpback whales and dolphins, and it's possible to spot the occasional manatee. Boat tours leave Bayahibe daily. You can book your trip to Saona through a tour operator in your hotel, or book seperately for a smaller tour and more flexibility but probable extra costs.
Mount Isabel de Torres
Puerto Plata is known for its glimmering beaches and entertaining resorts. However, straying away from the water for a day can yield a breathtaking experience. Blanketed in tropical plantations, the 2,600 foot high Mount Isabel de Torres offers an exciting morning adventure. To reach the peak you can drive, hike or take the scenic Teleferico Cable Car. At the top of the mountain are stunning botanical gardens, a souvenir shop, cafe, and a 52 foot statue of Cristo Redentor overlooking Puerto Plata. Views from the peak tend to be clearest in the morning hours. The cable car is open Thursday-Tuesday (closed Wednesdays) from 8:30am - 5pm, and the 25 minute trip will cost about $200RD (Dominican Republic Peso). The entrance is at the far western end of town past the port, just off the Circunvalacion Sur on Camino des los Dominguez.
Romantic Things To Do In Dominican Republic
Even though the Dominican Republic may be full of all-inclusive resorts, you can find secluded locations and romantic activities on the island. Below we give a brief summary of other great romantic ideas that you can experience on the Caribbean island.
Sosua - built around a small horseshoe inlet just east of Puerto Plata, and it has some spectacular views. There are several all-inclusive resorts found here, along with smaller condos that you can rent. Plenty of dining options to pick from, everything from cheap local cuisine, to romantic candlelit dinners by the beach. Eat Italian cuisine at Bologna, or if Spanish seafood is the call of the day, try El Botin's cozy and immaculate dining room. The beach is light honey in color, most of the time there are no waves, as the beach is protected by the reefs not too far from the shore. Snorkelling is made available by the reef, but for better locations, check the Northern Coast Divers Shop in town.
Samana - Samana peninsula is one of the 25 best locations to visit in the world. There you can find unspoiled beaches, coconut-covered mountains, tropical rain forests, and spectacular whale watching. The Cordillera Samana is an imposing mountain range, thick with sixty different types of palm trees, and it has a few cascading waterfalls to discover.
Santo Domingo - The capital city of the Dominican Republic. There are great hotels here 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. Walk the famouns ocean front boardwalk known as the Malecon, explore the old 16th century fortified city at the massive Puerta de la Misericordia, or tour one of the cities many museums.
South Coast - The island's quietest coast, less overrun with tourists. Discover 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. You can visit historical site of Altos De Chavon, a gorgeous property built on the cliffs overlooking the Chavon River.
Hope you found these Dominican Republic romantic vacation tips useful and we hope that you enjoy your next Dominican Republic vacation in the Caribbean.
Disclaimer: We have attempted to ensure this website is as accurate as possible. However, Fantastic Romantic Vacations accepts no responsibility for any loss, injury or inconvenience sustained by anyone resulting from this information. You should verify important information regarding all travel documents, health and safety, customs, and transportation with the appropriate authorities and agents before you travel.