- Santo Domingo
Introducing Dominican Republic
Los Haitises Park © Anton Bielousov
There are two sides to the Dominican Republic. On one, tourists enjoy luxurious hotels along the beautiful coastline, sipping cocktails under palm trees and swimming in beautiful blue lagoons. On the other, they travel the destination's country roads, exploring coffee, cocoa bean and sugar cane fields where people labour in the sun and play dominoes outside tumbledown shacks. They will relish discovering the country's Spanish Colonial history, which goes all the way back to when America began.
The South Coast contains some of the country's bigger cities and national parks. The capital, Santo Domingo, was the first Spanish settlement in the Americas. Christopher Columbus initiated the first European New World settlement here in 1496.
His legacy is preserved in the bricks and mortar of Santo Domingo's historic old section. The northern Amber Coast region around Puerto Plata, the beautiful Samaná Peninsula, and the resort communities of the east coast are other tourist spots.
Essentially, east coast visitors will find all-inclusive resorts on of pristine stretches of tropical beach. Those who venture off the beaten track will encounter an unspoilt tropical paradise, and welcoming locals.