Top Cities to Visit in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a nation that lies on the island of Hispaniola along with Haiti. It is the second largest Caribbean island in both land mass and population. The DR was the site of the first European settlement in the New World. The nation has a diverse topography and the most variable climate in the Caribbean, while it is still warm year-round. The Dominican Republic is an extremely popular tourist destination, and it is the most visited nation in the Caribbean.
The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo. The center of life is set in Santo Domingo, the largest city in the DR. The Colonial Zone is a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the first university, cathedral, castle, monastery, and fortress in the Americas are located. El Conde Street is an outdoor mall covering several city blocks filled with street vendor and cheap, knock off clothing. Plaza de la Cultura is, as its name would suggest, the hub of culture in Santo Domingo and houses the National Theater.
Famous for its beaches, cane palms, from which the area got its name, and balnearios, seaside resort towns, Punta Cana is located in the easternmost province of the Dominican Republic and has a large Haitian population. The ocean waters in the area are shallow. The best places for swimming in Punta Cana are the natural marine pools. The Punta Cana International Airport is the busiest in the country and one of the most frequented in the Caribbean. Popular activities include speedboat racing, catamaran sailing, whale watching, deep sea fishing, and swimming with dolphins, sharks, and stingrays. Punta Cana is also a great place to go to get a massage at a floating spa or live it up on a party boat.
The second largest metropolis in the Dominican Republic, after the capital, Santiago de los Caballeros was founded in 1495. Santiago has the most fertile lands of anywhere in the Dominican Republic. The main attractions in Santiago include the Cathedral of Santiago, built in 1895, the Hermanos Patino Bridge, the oldest and largest in the city completed in 1962, and the Monument to the Heroes of the Restoration, a 67-foot tall marble monument dedicated to the DR’s independence.
Image by Roozbeh Rokni on Flickr Creative Commons.