our guide before we leave

visiting the Dominican Republic, Number one tourist destination in the Caribbean, in front of Cuba. And for good reason, it totally deserves the paradise destination qualifier. When you add to this the modern metropolises full of comfortable hotels and where people can shop intensively, All the ingredients for a first class stay!

Brief introduction of the island

Like other destinations such as the Seychelles, the Dominican Republic primarily attracts those who love relaxation and white sand beaches, not visitors looking for architectural treasures. The charm of the island of Hispaniola is indeed in favor of natural wonders.The Dominican Republic occupies about the eastern two-thirds – the other part is occupied by the Republic of Haiti. It is the most populated Caribbean island in the West Indies and the second largest in the Greater Antilles by area. Hispaniola Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1492.

Why go to the Dominican Republic?

Hundreds of kilometers of beaches on the island offer many activities. The fauna is particularly diverse: from January to March Take a cruise across the Atlantic from Las Terrenas to watch whalesduring Lake Enriquillo is home to crocodiles and caimans. The area around Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, is also ideal for scuba diving.

Spectacular Enriquillo Lake
Spectacular Enriquillo Lake © Sandra

But one of the main reasons to go to the Dominican Republic is, good value for money. All-inclusive stays attract many travelers who crave relaxation. The country is full of tourist attractions where everything is available so you don’t need to do anything. If you intend to drink all year round cocktails by the pooldreamy place!

When is the best time to travel to the Dominican Republic?

Located under the Tropic of Cancer, the Dominican Republic experiences two seasons: Dry season from November to April and rainy season from May to October. Visiting the Dominican Republic between December and March is the best time for the weather. But it’s also the peak tourist season, peaking during the year-end celebrations. Many French people see the grayness of winter go under the sun and celebrate Christmas and New Year in an original way !

San Rafael Beach in the Dominican Republic
San Rafael beach © Stefanie Erxleben

If you like the lively atmosphere of crowded resorts, don’t miss it! Be careful though, those who say high season also say high prices. If possible, to get the best rates, choose to leave outside of school holidays. You should also know that the low season isn’t all that bad: In the rainy season, temperatures are warmer, the sun is more, and the rains are frequent but short-lived.

What budget should I plan on the site?

The most expensive thing on a trip to the Dominican Republic is a round trip by plane. On the site it all depends on your habits. Many agencies offer all inclusive stays at good prices. So you save on the catering budget. As for activities, it’s up to you to budget, perhaps considering that you’re not coming to the tropics to stay by the pool at your hotel.

Indulge yourself and set aside a budget for an activity you can’t find anywhere else. For example, a catamaran trip to Sanoa Island can cost between €50 and €100. The cost of living is usually 20% to 30% lower than in France. A “backpacker” can average up to €30 per day., an “average” traveler for around €100 per day and a tourist who doesn’t necessarily count their daily expenditure of €300. Visiting the Dominican Republic is therefore accessible for all budgets!

Due to its geographical distance, plane obviously seems like the best mode of transport to get to the Dominican Republic from France. But you can also reach the country by boat. THEM international trips they often stop at the port of Santo Domingo, Cayo Levantado or Amber Cove.

There are 9 international airports in the Dominican Republic. Two of them are on the outskirts of cities. Santo Domingo And Punta Cana. Shuttles, buses or taxis then make it possible to reach the center of these cities. The most advantageous round trips by plane will cost you between 550 and 750 €. Air France offers direct flights at certain times of the year and the journey takes less than 12 hours. Other flights stop in Madrid or Miami and take more than 13 hours.

Visit Punta Cana
Punta Cana © Bruno Ismael Alves

On the site you will have many means of transport to visit the Dominican Republic:

  • surfaces : many domestic flights to reach different parts of the island.
  • Rental car : car rental like many countries (and especially islands) The best solution for your travels. You will have much more autonomy: you don’t need to understand the public transport system, you can set off at the time that suits you and go wherever you want.
  • Bus : Use 3 parent companies (Subway, Caribbean Tours meat Spinal Transport) for guaranteed comfort and safety.
  • Buses : minibuses or minibuses for short trips (comfort and safety are not guaranteed!).
  • taxis : this is not the best solution (vehicles are in poor condition and not necessarily insured).
  • Motoconchos : If you have the pleasure of taking risks for a short ride without helmet and insurance, hop in the motorcycle taxi!
  • Motorcycle rental : If you are an experienced cyclist, do not hesitate to rent a motorcycle. To tour the Dominican Republic, you will go wildly to corners where buses don’t take you!

What to eat and drink in the Dominican Republic?

Epicureans on holiday will also appreciate the local gastronomy, a true pillar of Dominican culture. On the food side, sankocoMeat and vegetable stew is one of the undisputed star dishes. also taste stones, fried banana slices. What could be more exotic? You will eat them with a meal.

Sancocho to taste
Sancocho to taste © Edgar

Thanks to the tropical climate, there are also excellent fruits. – banana or pineapple – also coffee or chocolate. On the beverage side, of course RUM or the “ron” who is the center of attention. It is eaten plain or with lemon juice and some sugar at all bars and nightclubs on the island. Of course, it should be consumed in moderation!

Where to sleep, where are your luggage left on the island?

The capital city of Santo Domingo and Punta Cana offer much to satisfy the appetites of European visitors. Hotels are numerous and of all kinds. : all-inclusive resorts, large chain hotels, or more typical lodgings. without surprise, in high season, prices are rising and free rooms are getting rarer; in conclusion, you better not book your hotel at the last minute.

This becomes even more interesting as you can find a room in Santo Domingo fairly easily, not too expensive, by booking online. If you want to sleep somewhere less tourist area but equally postcard worth, book accommodation near Santa Cruz de Barahona or Azua de Compostela.

What are the main places and museums to visit?

You definitely think of lazing under the coconut trees first when you visit the Dominican Republic. But did you know that the country is full of museums? If the beach bothers you or you’re coming during the rainy season, think about it! especially visit l’Alcazar de Colon, a museum in Santo Domingo with its extraordinary architecture. It is important to remember that the colonial city of Santo Domingo is. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Santo Domingo
A street in Santo Domingo © Yakov

Are you more of a night owl? Punta Cana beach resort famous for its nightlife. You will find many bars and discos where you can dance merengue or bachata until the early hours of the morning. Finally, one of the most athletic lots of nautical and outdoor activities : kite surfing, golf, horse riding, scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing by the sea, hiking, swimming with dolphins, etc.

What are the best walks to take?

The Dominican Republic has 19 national parks ! Here’s a number to commonly multiply to get the number of walks to do:

  • This Sierra de Bahoruco National Park It has dense vegetation. You will encounter many endemic species. On the bird side: black-tailed pigeon, Dominican konichon, hawk, rolita, West Indian piculet etc. On the vegetation side: more than 180 species of orchids nestled in the forests.
  • L’The rise of Pico Duarte: Highest point in the Caribbean! You will hike for three days to reach the summit. An adventure that comes alive in the heart of tropical forests and pine forests.
  • THEM Damajagua Falls: Set off with a guide to explore near Puerto Plata in the north of the Dominican Republic 27 digits. Climb to the top and swim, jump and slide your way down.
  • This Eastern National Park It has more than 500 varieties of flowers and more than 300 species of birds.
Walk near Pico Duarte
Take a walk near Pico Duarte © RobinParedes

Useful information

We offer you our practical information and good tips to ensure a successful stay:

  • Tourism Office : discover it official website of the ministry of tourism in the Dominican Republic
  • Passport and Visa: A valid passport is required to enter the Dominican Republic. Visas are not required for citizens of France. However, upon arrival at the airport, visitors must pay an entry tax.
  • Money and change : The currency used in the Dominican Republic is the Dominican Peso (RD$). However, in many touristic places, the US dollar is accepted and even preferred as much as the euro.
  • jet lag : There is a 6 hour time difference with France. When it’s noon in Paris, it’s 6 a.m. in Santo Domingo.

The getaway country between hikes on the summits and lounging under the coconut trees is the Dominican Republic!

Is the Dominican Republic a tempting destination to escape the French winter? Check out our other ideas for countries to visit in December! Explore the Bahamas in more detail, especially a few kilometers north of the Dominican Republic.

traveler’s toolbox ?
Prepare, compare and book your trip with our selection of must-see sites:
? Reservation: find your hotel/accommodation worldwide
? HomeExchange: #1 home exchange platform
✈️ Skyscanner: absolutely the best flight comparator
⏱ LastMinute: the best offers to leave at the last minute
? RentalCars: search and compare rental cars
? GetYourGuide: book unforgettable tours and experiences

These 20 photos will make you want to go to Essaouira

Cambodia or Vietnam? Which destination suits you best?