For those ready to take a break and are looking for a place to go, you might just want to consider the Dominican Republic (DR). The Dominican Republic it is the most visited destination in the Caribbean for a lot of great reasons. The island has an average temperature of 26 °C (78.8 °F), so people go there for the love of the weather, having fun in the great outdoors, golfing, ocean activities and some much-needed R & R.
The first thing I’ll say about the Dominican Republic is, don’t expect it to be like home. Traveling here is for those who want a unique cultural experience. You’re guaranteed to get an entirely new sensibility here: culturally, geographically and experientially.
Obviously, what makes DR great, is the sunshine. There’s lots of it, every day. There may be the scattered tropical warm rain happening throughout the day, but that keeps things fresh and lush. Then there are the people. Big smiles, always welcoming and humble. You just can’t beat em!
The ocean warm and inviting is another huge plus so for the swimming, snorkeling and diving enthusiasts; it’s a paradise. By water, there’s also parasailing, island tours, and just about every water ride you can think of.
For those looking to get some rest and rejuvenate it doesn’t get better than an all-inclusive resort, where you do nothing but eat, drink, party, sleep and then do it all over again. As well the DR has much to see and do. Anything you want you can find there from Safari’s to Outback Adventures, to local town tours, to diving and mountain tours.
Living an active, healthy life is also what makes the Dominican Republic so great. All those fresh fruits and vegetables add up, in your health bank account, along with the Sun’s vitamin D to give you back your warm, healthy glow! Oh yes, your radiant health and happiness are waiting.
Christopher Columbus landed on the Western part of the island which was previously known as Hispaniola. It is now called Haiti. That was way back in December of 1492. The Island of Hispaniola was split into two regions when the Dominican people declared independence in November 1821, but they were forcefully annexed by their more powerful neighbor Haiti in February 1822. It is interesting to note that this island, is one of two in the Caribbean Islands, that is shared by two countries. The other being Saint Martin.
The Dominican Republic is the second-largest Caribbean nation by area. Cuba is the first. The Dominican Republic has approximately 10 million people, of which three million live in the metropolitan area of Santo Domingo, which is the capital city. The Dominican Republic has one of the fastest-growing economies in the Americas. The Dominican Republic has the ninth-largest economy in Latin America and is the largest economy in the Caribbean and Central American region. In the first half of 2016, the Dominican economy grew 7.4% continuing its trend of rapid economic growth driven by construction, manufacturing, and tourism.
I’ve just turned 54, and a big part of my passion is writing and especially travel writing. That’s why I was so excited about this story about the Dominican Republic. Turning 54 in a foreign country is amazing and disturbing all at the same time. Getting older is reflective and often sad, but it’s also perplexing because I still feel so young and have so much to give and do. It’s like I’ve just begun in so many ways, yet my body is getting older, and I’m a little wiser than I was yesterday. I can’t help but think this is all a part of life’s rich pattern.
This trip landed my fiancé and me in Boca Chica. Unknowingly and as fate would have it, I later learned that Boca Chica originally was developed by Juan Bautista Vicini Burgos, who established sugar plantations there in the early twentieth century. The hay day of Boca Chica was in the 1950s when Rafael Leónidas Trujillo ordered the construction of a modern hotel named “Hotel Hamaca,” which subsequently became something of an icon in the area. That’s the hotel we stayed in. It’s a unique layout for this hotel in that it spans two sides of the area – the beach side and the garden side. Adorned with restaurants, shops bars, a casino and a nightclub this hotel as everything you’d want for your stay but be forewarned it is a little run down and needs maintenance work, like much of what you see in the Dominican Republic.
It’s interesting to note that Hotel Hamaca became famous because it was the historical place where Trujillo was granted asylum to Fulgencio Batista after the Cuban Revolution. The Hamaca was closed almost immediately after Trujillo was killed in May 1961, and it remained closed and abandoned for more than twenty years until it was reopened in the early 1990s.
As of today, the independent trip rating system “Trip Advisor” gives us the top resort results given by the actual people who stayed there. These are independent ratings and therefore probably the most reliable.
Iberostar Bavaro Suites – Green Leaders Platinum level
#1 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
BlueBay Villas Doradas – Adults Only
#2 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro
#3 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana
#4 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
Now Larimar Punta Cana
#5 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
The Tropical at Lifestyle Holidays Vacation Resort
#6 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
Now Garden Punta Cana- GreenLeaders Gold level
#7 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
Excellence Punta Cana – Barcelo Bavaro Palace
#8 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
Barcelo Bavaro Palace- GreenLeaders Gold level
#9 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
Majestic Colonial Punta Cana – Sanctuary Cap Cana by AlSol
#10 of 447 Hotels in Dominican Republic by Best Value + Top Rated
1. Snorkel and see the massive coral beds and bright tropical fish, holding hands with my fiance and free-diving down 10 feet for a closer look
2. Swimming every day in the salty ocean – oh so healing and good for the body
3. Tan at the seaside then rest under the coconut trees from the noonday sun
4. Simply nothing at all
5. Catalina Island Catamaran Tour with lunch on the island and a massage on the beach
6. Learn more Spanish and speak a little more Spanish
7. Eat fresh tropical fruit and put tropical flowers in my hair
8. Spend time experiencing the local culture, listen to the local music and see local dance – “Merengue”
9. Read juicy books on the beach and in bed at night
10. Most of all, be there with my fiance, who had never been to DR before
Traveling to the Dominican Republic is a unique and inviting experience. Fantastic water, beaches, and sunsets it makes you wish you had that weather at home every day too!
No matter where you go, there’s one thing to be said about traveling – it opens up your eyes to so many ways of life. You come across hundreds if not thousands of people on your journey. You wonder, what do they do? Where do they live? What is life like for them? You realize that life one way or another is not right or wrong, just different. Traveling makes you understand that we are all similar in so many ways. We all seek joy, fun, connection and love. We all have fears. We all have hopes and dreams. We all belong to the earth and are fortunate to be on earth together, for this ride called life.
If you are ready to take a trip of a lifetime, I’d recommend the Dominican Republic. It’s mucho Bonita! Have a blast!
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