When we think of the Dominican Republic, the first thing that comes to mind is Punta Cana, which has become the main tourist destination in the country and the Caribbean, but the Dominican Republic is not only Punta Cana, it also has other places of great beauty and incredible natural scenery that will seduce adventurers, so here we recommend two cities to visit if you are traveling for the first time to the homeland of bachata and rum.
The capital of the Dominican Republic is defined as a captivating destination with a tropical climate, music and lots of culture.
To learn a little of its history, the ideal is to start with a walk through its colonial area that was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, there you will admire the first buildings that were built in our continent as the first cathedral of America, the Ozama fortress or the first university of the New World.
And while touring the city we recommend you to recover from the heat by stopping at the famous Dominican colmados, a kind of store where you can enter and buy food, fruits, vegetables, dairy products and even beer because they also become small urban bars with music to mingle with locals and foreigners, toasting of course, with local beer.
Now if you are traveling with friends, its nightlife will not disappoint you, there are several bars in the center and its surroundings where you can dance to the rhythm of merengue or bachata.
If you want something quieter, the option is to have a few drinks in the Plaza de España where you will discover places like Pa’te Palo, a modern tavern where you will taste international food with delicious cocktails.
Where to stay
Stay in the center of the city so you can easily get to the various tourist attractions.
There you will find a variety of hotels such as the Hodelpa Caribe Colonial, which offers comfortable and affordable facilities for the traveler looking for short stays.
Now if you want something more premium, the recommendation is the Hotel Nicolás de Ovando, with exclusive rooms that will make your stay an experience given its exquisite cuisine, amenities and hospitality.
Not to be missed:
Try the sancocho, a very traditional meat and vegetable soup that is enjoyed on special occasions, in the restaurants of any hotel.
If adventure, beach and lots of fun are your thing, Puerto Plata is the option. A destination that is projected to be the second most visited in the Dominican Republic, not only for being the land of rum and amber, but also because it will be a discovery for the nature-loving traveler.
What to do?
Did you know that Puerto Plata was the first tourist destination in the country, that it has more than 30 beaches, that it is the capital of water sports, the birthplace of Brugal rum, home of the Jazz Festival and more? So you will have many activities to do, but here we will only mention a few.
The 27 puddles of Damajagua
They are waterfalls of 12 or 13 meters high, which form natural pools in the middle of the forest where you will jump into the water and have a lot of fun.
It all starts with a quiet walk through the mountains knowing the flora and fauna of the region, when you reach the highest part, you will descend through a circuit of five zip lines, then the descent will be through jumps or dives into the natural pits, but if you do not dare, do not worry, you can go down through natural slides where you will also feel all the adrenaline.
It is one of the most recommended experiences because it is not only full of fun but also because you will be able to interact with local guides who will make you feel safe at all times and will tell you how this place has become an example of sustainable tourism.
Approximate price: $40 per person although the cost varies according to the package since you can include food and try typical dishes in their restaurant.
Location: Damajagua waterfalls are located about 36 km, about 45 minutes from Puerto Plata by car.
The Dominican Republic produces one of the clearest and oldest amber in the world, so a visit to this museum is a must. Founded in 1982, here you will learn all about this semi-precious stone that is actually a fossilized resin of vegetable origin, that is, it was the flowing sap of ancient trees.
Therefore, you will learn about its history and see unique collections in a very didactic and interactive tour. You will also learn how it works and how you can recognize its authenticity.
Location: Calle Duarte 59, corner Emilio Prud’Homme, in the center of the attractive old city.
A stroll through its streets
Puerto Plata is called the Bride of the Atlantic and its charm also lies in its Victorian-style architecture that you can admire as you stroll through its streets, its historic center or its iconic gazebo in the Central Park.
If you are thinking of traveling for the first time to the Dominican Republic, you can visit Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata, two provinces that will seduce you and here we tell you why.
There you will discover very Instagrammable places, full of color and rhythm like the street of the umbrellas, the callejón doña Blanca, the paseo melosa or the parador fotográfico.
Rum, tobacco and chocolate route
These are three unmissable experiences and the best thing is that you can do it through some tour operators, such as Manureva, which focuses on the preparation of packages or tourist circuits adapted to the needs of the traveler.
For example, visiting the Casa del Ron Macorix, a sensory experience where you will learn how rum came to the Dominican Republic and taste its different varieties and flavors through a tour of its plant.
You can also opt for a private tour of a cigar factory to learn about its artisanal process, closing your experience in some of the cigar clubs established by the port.
If you are thinking of traveling to the Dominican Republic for the first time, you can visit Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata, two provinces that will seduce you and here we tell you why.
And you can’t miss a chocolate tour visiting the small chocolate factory Chocal, which was created by a group of enterprising women who will show you how Dominican cocoa is cultivated and where you will show off your chocolate-making skills by making your own chocolate bar.
They are located in the mountainous community of Palmar Grande, where you can take some postcards of this province of Puerto Plata.
Where to stay?
The recommendation is to stay in an All Inclusive hotel so you can enjoy amenities close to the beach. One of the options is Emotions, located in the exclusive Playa Dorada complex, which offers travelers a pleasant experience with rooms with direct access to the beach and private pools.
In addition, there you can taste the best of Dominican gastronomy in any of its restaurants or common areas. At night, it offers its guests a lot of fun in its casino and discotheque. So you will have entertainment and comfort at the same time.