Dominican Republic

Coconut on the beach in Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has some of the best beaches in the world, the best fish that I’ve ever tasted in my life, and some of the friendliest people.  When I went, I explored the areas of Santo Domingo and the Samana Peninsula.  The city of Santo Domingo has very interesting architecture and is a very lively city to explore.  There are many beaches just a short distance away. The Samana Peninsula took my breath away with the beauty of its beaches. I am not sure that I’ve ever seen prettier ones.

Palm tree on the Samana Peninsula, Dominican Republic

One of the best things about the Dominican Republic is that it’s pretty much a year-round destination.  The temperatures are usually in the 80’s-90’s F or 28-32 C.  The rainy season is May through October.  If you want to avoid crowds, you may want to avoid Semana Santa which occurs the week before Easter.  What’s really great about the Dominican Republic is that you can experience everything from the mountains to the desert, amazing colonial architecture, sleepy fishing villages, and gorgeous beaches all on the same trip.  If that’s not enough for you, you can go whale-watching, hike through forests to waterfalls, or go white-water rafting.  And if that’s still not enough you can even take a ferry to Puerto Rico or cross the border into Haiti.
Palm tree shadow in the Dominican Republic
The local buses make it very easy to get around.  I took them to get to and from Santo Domingo to the Samana Peninsula.  The buses are called guaguas and will be crowded.  They actually made seats out of people’s luggage for people in the aisles to sit on!  It’s not the most comfortable experience, but it is very entertaining and a great way to experience the local culture.  If you are taking one, I highly recommend traveling light.  I had a big bag, and they charged me extra for it.
I think the Dominican is a great place to visit, as it offers something for everyone.  There are touristy spots and very off the beaten path spots, and you will definitely not run out of things to do or places to explore!
Val with Dominican child