The Dominican Republic was not always the holiday haven of today, previously nestling modestly in the shadows of its Caribbean counterparts such as Jamaica, Antigua and Barbados.
But its white-sand beaches, impressive mountain ranges, spectacular rivers and waterfalls, and saltwater lakes teeming with exotic wildlife, have finally helped the island emerge as one of the great luxury holiday destinations.
Puerto Plata is the largest city on the north coast of the island, containing many visual treasures, including rich Victorian architecture, picturesque sea views and lush flora.
Beaches within Puerto Plata – nicknamed the “Amber Coast” for its rich deposits of clear amber – are accessible, but just outside the city, you can find world-class windsurfing at Cabarete and equally impressive scuba diving at Costambar.
Meanwhile for dining, shopping and nightlife, check out the Playa Dorada where you will find plenty of fellow visitors who have also fallen for the island’s charm, but, refreshingly, not the same level of tourist hordes you get elsewhere in the Caribbean.
Late February time also sees the Dominican Republic play host to a flurry of pre-Lent Carnivals. Santiago, Cabral, Monte Cristi and La Vega all come to life with parades, elaborate floats, lots of live music and plenty of dancing in the streets enthralling locals and visitors alike.
With other Caribbean islands like Barbados and Antigua suffering from a downturn in visitor numbers the Dominican Republic is bucking the trend, thanks to lower prices and excellent 5 star hotels.
Holidays to the Dominican Republic can be taken any any time of year, but the best time is from November until April when the weather is warm and sunny.
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