It is an island of beautiful white sandy beaches and enticing sunshine. An island paradise, it is best known for its idyllic setting allowing for a relaxing break in a spectacular natural landscape. East of the larger island of Haiti, it sits between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean. It’s also an island ideal for adventure travel, with its rugged mountains, coastline and cliffs providing opportunities for rock-climbing, caving, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, and even monster truck driving!
Christopher Columbus landed on the island of Hispaniola in 1492 on his first voyage. The indigenous people were known as “TaÍnos” (which means ‘Friendly People’). They grew sweet potatoes, guava, peanuts, pineapple and even tobacco but were wiped out by disease and slavery. When the Europeans arrived, there were around 400,000 TaÍnos resident on the island. 30 years on fewer than 1000 had survived – today there are none at all.
Two colonies, one French and one Spanish grew on the island, and moved in their African slaves. The French colony, Haiti, made up the western third of the island and became independent in 1804. The remainder (known as Santo Domingo) finally became independent in 1844 and was renamed the Dominican Republic. Traces of western civilisation are still visible in the architecture of the capital, Santo Domingo, and there is a distinct African musical heritage. Tourism is now the country’s main source of income, replacing the old dependence on exports of sugar and coffee.
Santo Domingo, the capital of the country and its heart, is a vibrant city that is in stark contrast to the rural villages which surround it. Dominican Republic Holidays are often all-inclusive resorts on the coast, but without the congestion and high-rise buildings associated with such resorts. These resorts are ideal for families and couples whether they are looking for relaxation or adventure!
Whilst on you Dominican Republic holiday there are plenty of sites to visit for the whole family. Ocean World offers a swimming with dolphins experience, or opt for a dune buggy adventure, or go for a cruise along the shore. The Samana Zipline Tour is a popular local attraction with amazing views from the top and exhilarating action on the way down! Why not take a catamaran excursion where you can soak up the amazing scenery and try out some snorkelling in the crystal clear waters? Or if you simply want to relax, have a luxurious spa day or simply head to one of the amazing beaches and bask in the sunshine. However you choose to spend your time on your Dominican Republic holoiday you will certainly want to come back again!