The Dominicana offers a plenty of places waiting to be discovered. That’s why I decided to crisscross the country and visit the luxury Caribbean beaches in the south, enjoy adventures in the wild waves of the north and marvel at the raw beauty of the mountainous northeastern Samaná peninsula.
If this is how you imagine your ideal holiday, keep reading, I have plenty of luxury tips to share!
Start with a plane ticket
The sooner you start searching for a plane ticket, the more you’ll save on this item. I bought mine a month before departure: from Prague with a transfer in Düsseldorf for a pleasant CZK 4500, including a 20kg luggage and top service on board.
Don’t be afraid to travel around
The final destination of most airlines is the tourist-ridden Punta Cana. In as little as 2 days, you’ll discover all there is to it and the time will come to move to another location. How? There are plenty of possibilities! Rent a car, use long-distance buses, take a boat or a taxi.
I recommend using a car to travel through the mountainous Samaná peninsula, which isn’t easily accessible by public transport. The price of fuel is similar to that in the Czech Republic. For car rental, you will pay 30-40 USD/day. My tip: Be careful when driving, the locals care little about traffic regulations!
I took long-distance buses to comfortably travel through other routes: Bayahibe - Santo Domingo, Santo Domingo - Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo - Punta Cana. Each of these route costs the equivalent of CZK 180.
Where to stay for the night?
Many Czechs and Slovaks do business in the Dominicana. Therefore, I recommend that you visit the Facebook group Czechs and Slovaks in DR and find useful contacts before taking off. Thanks to this, I was able to stay in a luxury suite with a swimming pool and save several thousand crowns. Booking.com is also a safe bet; nice accommodation can be booked via the website for an average of CZK 1300/night.
The South is for the sun, the North for adventure and Cabarete for surfing!
While visiting DR, you must definitely visit the southern island, Isla Saona. As part of a one-day trip, you can look for sea starfish and explore the largest natural pool in the world (the place where the Caribbean Sea flows into the Atlantic Ocean).
From March to December, the bay on the northern peninsula of Samana offers a glorious spectacle. Whales come here to mate and bring their young to the world. If you visit the peninsula at a different time, don’t despair. Take a snorkel and explore the beauty of the underwater world - turtles, starfish and various fish can be found here all year round, including the finicky lionfish and barracudas.
If you wish to spice up your holiday with a bit of adrenaline, you should head to Cabarete. The location is a popular destination for surfers from around the world, thanks to the strong wind and wild waves.
Shopping for rum, cigars, avocados and mangoes
If you fail to taste the local rum, you'll miss out. It is a national drink and the most popular brands include Brugal, Bavaro and Barceló. I also recommend visiting a cigar factory, where you can see a genuine production process.
Gigantic, juicy avocados and mangoes will be waiting for you in the supermarkets. Honestly, I still can’t get them out of my head, and if I were to return to DR, it might very well be for the fruit!