Have you been there yet? I loved this Caribbean island, it's people and culture. It might be because its so similar to Cuba. The people are so warm and welcoming and the food is so delicious. I traveled to Puerto Plata on the north side of the island, hired a tour guide/driver who took me across the island passing through Santiago, Las Vegas, and Santo Domingo on my way to Punta Cana. That was incredible to see all different sides of the country and the big city.
That was my first visit to the DR. Then, I went back the same year as a guest judge for a short film festival in Santo Domingo. I spent a week there exploring the bustling city and teaching some lessons about film production. I loved the old part of the city where I stayed because of its colonial architecture. The area has a boulevard full of shops where no cars are allowed. The nightlife is fantastic with live music, food and dance clubs.
When many people think of the Caribbean, they think of great resorts, Jamaica, and Cuba. But what they don't realize is that the most popular destination in the Caribbean is the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is on an island that is shared with Hispaniola and Haiti, and it sees over 6 million visitors a year. This results in 2 million more than Cuba. This Caribbean destination has a lot more to offer visitors than your run-of-the-mill resort. The Dominican Republic has so much more.
Here are some great things to see on your trip to D.R.
Scenic Locations And National Parks
Lake Enriquillo- Lake Enriquillo is the only saltwater lake throughout the Antilles. It is located in the center of the Parque Nacional Isla Cabritos and is a haven for wildlife. It is one of the largest natural reserves for the American crocodile.
Eastern National Park- This World Heritage Sites is one of the largest marine parks in the Caribbean. Rhinoceros iguanas, bottlenose dolphins, sea turtles, and manatees are just some of the fantastic wildlife that visitors will get to experience when they visit Eastern National Park.
Bahia de las Aguilas and Jaragua National Park- The picturesque turquoise waters that line this 6-mile stretch of beach is best accessed by boat from the small village of La Cueva. Its' marine life and incredible views will make for memories that you couldn't possibly forget anytime soon.
Jarabacoa- Jarabacoa is best known as an area ripe for ecotourism and the location of the Dominican Republic's only whitewater river, the Rio Yaque del Norte. The terrain, rivers, and waterfalls make it perfect for adventurous activities like hiking, climbing, and mountain biking.
Samana Peninsula and Bay- This peninsula and bay are lined with beautiful mangroves, caves, rock formations, and one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. It is also home to the Parque Nacional Los Haitises. Marine life is present in this area year-round, including mother humpback whales giving birth in January and February.
I had the pleasure to visit the DR twice and visited the three major cities there. Moreover, I am a certified destination specialist. Should you be ready to explore this beautiful Caribbean island, click HERE to schedule a free consultation with me to start planning your adventure.
About Sheyla Paz
Sheyla was born and raised in Cuba. Moved to the United States 20 years ago after meeting her husband at her beloved island when she was performing with a band at the Riviera Hotel in Havana. She is a Journalist, Actress, Producer, and Photographer with a passion for travel. Sheyla launched the tour agency to Cuba out of her desire to share her culture, music, dance, and the architecture of her homeland with others. Her agency provides travel arrangements to all Latin countries and Caribbean islands. She has several award wining short films and was recognized as a leading media personality in the Latino community in Tennessee with the award “Beacon of Light” in 2019. Sheyla was one of the few Cuban-American journalists selected to travel to Cuba with President Barack Obama in 2016 as part of the White House Press Corp. Sheyla is an ASTA Verified travel advisor, Signature Travel Network Luxury Certified Travel advisor and several destination specialist in the Caribbean and Latin America. She is also certified in Luxury River and Ocean cruises.
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