The Dominican Republic is the second largest Caribbean country and is conveniently situated to be a major tourist destination since it is two hours south of Miami, four hours away from New York, and eight hours from most cities in Europe.
Surrounded by the Caribbean Sea on the south and the Atlantic Ocean on the north, this lush tropical island paradise has almost 1,000 miles of coastline, 250 miles of the top beaches in the world, astounding nature, mountain ranges, intriguing historical sites, luxurious hotels and resorts, delicious local gastronomy, and a large variety of recreation, sports, and entertainment activities
1. Saona Island
This gorgeous tropical island is the Number One tourist attraction in the Dominican Republic and is situated in the Caribbean Sea only a short distance from the mainland. It is a protected nature reserve and is famous for stunning natural beauty, the East National Park, breathtaking views, and a “natural pool” filled with an abundance of starfish.
On many occasions, Saona Island has been used by movie makers and advertisers as the typical “desert island” setting. The island was discovered by Christopher Columbus during his second voyage to the Americas in May 1494.
Higüey is the capital city of the eastern La Altagracia Province and is the country’s eighth largest city. Currently it is one of the fastest developing cities and is often referred to as the Capital of Dominican Tourism. When Christopher Columbus arrived, he discovered that Higüey was the name of a native chief in the eastern end of Hispaniola.
3. Basilica of La Altagracia
One of the most important monuments in Higüey is the Basilica of La Altagracia dating back to the 16th century. This Roman Catholic cathedral is dedicated to Our Lady of Altagracia, the patroness of the nation. The cathedral was raised by Pope Paul VI on December 17, 1970 and was visited by Pope John Paul II during his visit to the country in 1992.
4. Santo Domingo’s Zipline Park
Just a short ride from the Dominican capital, you can soar through the skies above the lush Caribbean jungle. There are nine platforms that rise more than 50 feet. The tallest and fastest zipline starts 100 feet above the ground. For variety, you can also take a walk across two suspension bridges along the route.
5. Cave Expedition and Jungle Adventure
Take a vigorous hike through Scape Park at Cap Cana, which is home to the country’s finest caving expedition. Climb up the slopes of El Farallon Cliff and through tropical jungle forests to reach the cave mouth. Descend down a staircase to explore the vast underground of tunnels and chambers.