Dominican Republic travel guide, including map of the Dominican Republic, top Dominican Republican experiences, and tips for travel in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is Latin Caribbean life taken to a higher degree. Visit for justifiably famous beaches, hidden villages and cloud-forest treks.
Home to the highest peak in the Caribbean, sparkling lagoons, exotic wildlife and pristine shores, it has, rather unfairly, been dubbed a bit of a one-trick beach-holiday pony. But away from the all-inclusive resorts at Punta Cana in the east and Puerto Plata in the north, a more beguiling pictures emerges.
The capital city, Santo Domingo, contains the oldest buildings in the Western hemisphere, and has a great attitude, traditional feel and locals who like to party. Head for Cabarete, famous for its windsurfing and kitesurfing, if you want an aqua adventure. Or whale watching is popular with visitors: spot humpbacks returning from northern climes to give birth off the Peninsula De Samaná.
The Dominican Republic has an extremely good road network, and exploring the country under your own steam in a hire car is an easier option than on neighbouring Caribbean islands. If you don't want the hassle of a car hop on a local bus – the public transport system here is extensive and also easy to use.
This being the Caribbean, temperatures are warm year-round. Mountainous places such as Jarabacoa and Constanza are considerably fresher than the rest of the country.
The winter (November-April) is the cooler time to visit but good for trekking; expect mid to high 20s with cool nights. Jan to March is best for whalewatching.
From May to July is the best to spot wildlife at Lago Enriquillo and the Laguna de Oviedo (feeding season), with large groups of flamingos visible. August is the active hurricane period for the Caribbean. September and October are the active hurricane periods for the Atlantic.
BA flies to Santo Domingo or Punta Cana from Gatwick; Thomson flies from Manchester and Gatwick to Punta Cana and Puerto Plata. Flight time is around 10 hours.
A list of car rental companies can be found at www.andri.com.do. You’ll need a sense of adventure if heading to the south-west. A 4WD with GPS is best if exploring (road signs are infrequent). Caribe Tours operates an extensive bus network.
No-frills buses travel set urban routes (known as guaguas; no more than RD$25) as do similar concho cars. There are also motoconchos (motorbike taxi; no more than RD$100 for a longer trip).
The DR is inexpensive away from the resorts. A mid-range hotel costs around US$25-35 a day. Expect to pay around RD$100 for a sandwich and around RD$300 for fresh fish and tostones on the coast.
In Santo Domingo, Hotel Doña Elvira is a prettily restored colonial building in the historic centre with an internal courtyard (doubles from US$79).
In Pedernales, Doña Chava is a rustic-style family-run hotel that does a great breakfast. Jarabacoa’s Rancho Baiguate is an all-inclusive ranch catering to the booming adventure market (doubles from US$47 pp; including meals).
Comida criolla (traditional Dominican food) is delicious. On the coast you’ll have a choice of fish – grilled, steamed or deep-fried; rice, avocado and plantain are standard sides. Try mangú (mashed plantain with onions and salami) for breakfast – an energy boost for a day of outdoor activities.
There are no special requirements for the Dominican Republic; no vaccine certificates are needed. Malaria is present but not a high risk (apart from along the border with Haiti).
It’s not all ‘bad news’ when it comes to wildlife conservation. From African elephants in Chad to Channel island foxes in the US, here are the 7 inspiring stories of species whose numbers are increasing. More
From smoked beer and Christmas markets to snow-coated medieval towns, travel bloggers, including Wandering Earl and Travelling Calavera, select Europe’s most atmospheric cities to visit in winter... More
From colour-shifting chameleons to dramatic deforestation, award-winning photojournalist Christian Ziegler captures stealthy characters and fresh aerial perspectives in these 10 incredible images... More
From a tour of Porto’s derelict buildings to all-nighters in Berlin’s abandoned factories, Wibke Carter reveals five fantastic city tours guaranteed to take you off the beaten track and see more... More
For International Dog Day (Aug 26), why not Introduce your furry companion to the sophisticated delights of the continent with a canine city break in these dog-friendly cities? They’ll be made to feel right at home. More
From Ukraine's museum dedicated to lard to a collection of Baroque hearses in Spain, these are the strangest and most thought-provoking attractions you can visit on the continent More
River cruises can give you a fresh perspective on familiar places and help ford hard-to-reach destinations. Here are 12 trips that will definitely float your boat, from India to Canada… More
From wild elephants to stalking leopards, Congo-Brazzaville is a haven for wildlife. Nick Redmayne sets out in search of the western lowland gorilla, spotting parrots and libidinous buffalo along the way More
From baby sloths to whale calves, watching infant creatures can be a magical wildlife experience. Here are 12 top spots to see newborns and infants, plus - importantly - the right time of year to go More
Australia’s west coast is now one of only four places in the world where you can swim with 'humpies'. Emma Thomson encounters manta rays, whale sharks and dolphins on her search for the elusive mammal More
A compact patchwork of cultures and landscapes, Europe offers an incredible variety of short accessible hikes. From seaside scrambles to alpine rambles, here are eight of the best More
Author Joshua Jelly-Schapiro travelled the length and breadth of the Caribbean. from Cuba to Jamaica, to discover vibrant cultures that deserve a closer look. Here are his 6 favourite Caribbean museums... More
Unforgettable animal encounters in some of the planet’s most remarkable settings that will make 2017 a year you will never forget, including holidays in Tanzania, Canada, Sweden and Brazil... More
Grab your popcorn and enjoy the Big Top thrills without the animal cruelty More
Love to read? Don't forget to look up and around you when you're in these incredible European libraries More
Vin-chaud? Gingerbread men? Roasted chestnuts? Whatever you want from a Christmas market, here's our guide to planning your festive jaunt More
Some cities are simply suited for cyclists. We've picked out Europe's finest spots that we're itching to explore by bike... More
Most people who go to see gorillas see them in Uganda or Rwanda; only a few hundred make it elsewhere. Fancy bucking the trend? Here are ten places to see them for yourself More
Where to find the world's most elusive creatures. And how you can pass the time if have have trouble finding them More
Vast and varied Virunga National Park is often off-limits due to conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. But Martin Fletcher discovers that when it is open, some of Africa’s most magical moments are found inside More
The freshest and most compelling albums coming out of Africa this year. And your chance to win one. More
We celebrate the end of Charlie Walker’s round-the-world cycle trip with our favourite blogs from his incredible adventure. And one of his world-famous time-lapse videos... More
Round-the-world cyclist reaches West Africa to find borders closing in an attempt to control Ebola. Will this mean the end of his journey? More
Prague is the jewel of central Europe. We show how to look through the crowds to discover a city full of striking architecture, hearty cuisine and absorbing history More
Round-the-world cyclist Charlie Walker finds himself reminded of Hunan, China, as he battles his way through the Congo More
Round-the-world cyclist Charlie Walker finds himself in the back blocks of the DRC on his 27th birthday. How will he mark the occasion? More
Charlie Walker comes down with malaria – and typhoid – on the road to Kinshasa. The kindness of strangers helps him survive More
Look through the crowds of Prague to discover a city full of striking architecture, hearty cuisine and absorbing history that few places can match More
Charlie Walker has to resort to all kinds of trickery to realise his dream of travelling to the DRC... More
Dance is more than just entertainment – it can help you get under the skin of a place. Tap into the roots of these destinations through their dances – and rejuvenate your own dancefloor repertoire too... More
Wildlife-nut Lyn Hughes reveals six spots where you really do get up close and personal with the wildlife More
Tim Butcher, war correspondent turned travel writer, tells Wanderlust why he's “the most egotistical postcard writer around” More
With news that Cebu Zoo in the Philippines is pressing its giant pythons into service as masseuses, we look at other strange spa treatments offered across the globe More
Get the most out of the approaching Easter break with these four last-minute trips, which are ideal for April too More
Polly Allen is on a mission to leave the tourists behind and uncover the lesser-known artistic sites on Prague's streets More
From adventurous escapades to timeless tales of romance, Holly Gurr explores the destinations immortalised by classic literature More
In his latest book, 'Scary Monsters and Super Creeps', comedian and author Dom Joly goes in search of the world's most legendary monsters... and finds one More
The darkness Conrad found in the Congo can still be felt, but as new lodges open for sustainable and incredible gorilla tourism, things look far brighter, says Mark Stratton More
With pristine beaches, cloud-forest treks and welcoming villages, it’s no surprise this Caribbean country is winning lots of admirers More
The third episode of Africa is set to grace our screens this evening on BBC 1. In preparation for the Congo episode here's a handy guide to which gorilla is which... More
Radio and TV personality Chris Tarrant explains what it's like to ride some of the most dangerous railways in the world More
Katherine Price looks at the ten most endangered species in the world, and where to see them in their natural habitat – while you still can More
Phil Harwood tells all about his amazing 3,000 mile journey down Africa's most dangerous river More
Wander Woman Marie Javins (and Tintin) escape the Democratic Republic of Congo and into the welcoming embrace of Zambia More
Marie Javins' wooden carving of Tintin sparks an international incident in Kinshasa More
Wander Woman Marie Javins gets her African overland adventure back on track travelling with a boot full of goats More
Marie Javin's overland trip across Africa starts to unravel on the train to Brazzaville More
Marie Javins tackles the worst road in Africa and discovers the upside to travelling alone as a women More
Wander Woman Marie Javins witnesses a muddy miracle in the Republic of Congo More
Marie's resolve - and balance - is tested as she tries to get to the Congo border before it closes More
Marie Javins heads south towards Zaire and is propositioned in a very novel way More
'The greatest angling explorer of his generation' shares his favourite fisherman's tales with Peter Moore More
Prague has cashed in on its reputation for the student and budget-conscious traveller. Here are 10 ways to save your money on a trip to the Czech capital More
This week it's all about the goat. The goat in the red jumper More
200m below ground in eastern Congo, author Conor Woodman experiences the sharp end of capitalism More
Voodoo festivals, rainforest treks, irresistible rhythms, stunning beaches... the list goes on. There's an authentic Caribbean just waiting to be explored - ditch your preconceptions and go More
Ever since David Attenborough sat with silverbacks, gorilla-watching has become a 'must-do'. We explain how to get the best view of these gentle giants More
Wanderlust subscribers now receive a free £50 voucher valid on trips from a great selection of top tour operators
And the best bit is, this isn't a one-off offer, you get one every time you renew as well!
The £50 discount can be redeemed against one trip booking with one of our tour operator partners, by the expiry date printed on the voucher. The £50 can even be redeemed on top of any discounts our partners are already offering, ensuring Wanderlust subscribers get the best deal possible.
Simply quote your unique voucher code when booking to claim the discount. This offer is only available to Wanderlust subscribers.
UK subscribers automatically receive the voucher each year. Overseas subscribers receive it upon request.