Dominican resorts — features, weather, prices, hotels.
The Dominican Republic, of course, is not much bigger than the Moscow region, but there is plenty to choose from! The Republic occupies most of the island of Haiti (and a few tiny islands off the coast). The Atlantic Ocean washes it to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south.
Whether you choose a northern or a southern resort depends on travel preferences and hobbies, travel season, budget and other inputs. Let’s find out when-where-why-why!
When is the best time to go? The season in the Dominican Republic
The resorts in the Dominican Republic, although located on 2 different ‘big waters’ — the sea and the ocean — are similar in climate. And in one sentence, the period when it’s best to go to the island falls between November and April.
Other weather highlights:
- The rainy season in the Dominican Republic is in summer. It starts in June and ends in October. It can be cloudy and rainy (and at night), but there are still plenty of tourists.
- Coast of the Atlantic Ocean (where the resort of Punta Cana) is particularly peculiar: in summer and autumn, the water is filled with sargassum algae (and swim in them — bae — unpleasant). Sometimes they stay for a longer period of time, until the beginning of December.
*It’s fair to say that hotels are quick to clean the beaches from the sargassum infestation.
- The temperature in all resorts is always summery, +28°С … +30°С outside, +26°С … +28°С in the water.
- There can be hurricanes from August till September.
- Whale season in February (you can get a chance to see them by going on a boat tour).
- Fruit season all year round, except:
Mangoes — from April to October
Citrus fruits: November to April.
The avocado, while not looking like a fruit, is one! It ripens at the same time as the citrus fruit. So, you’ll have to choose whether you’re in the «mango» or «avocado» camp! Or go in April;).
Popular resorts in the Dominican Republic
Tours are mainly to the south coast of the island and to Punta Cana, the most famous resort in the Dominican Republic, which is located in the east, on the border of the Caribbean Sea and the ocean. But if you want you can also find a trip to the north — to the real Atlantic Ocean.
Dominican resorts in the Caribbean: Resorts on the Atlantic Ocean
In the east of the Dominican Republic are Punta Cana and Cap Cana.
So there is no question which resort to choose: whichever you like! You can choose a resort with a view of the ocean, though the Caribbean Sea. Consider the best resorts in the Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana is a hyper-popular resort for tourists of all nationalities. Why? Simply because the place is more developed by tour operators and has a wider choice of hotels. And actively promoted by the chip «at the junction of the ocean and the sea,» although you can not see it with the naked eye.
- Punta Cana’s beaches are wide, white-sandy and beautiful. Bavaro beach is the most famous and capacious.
*All beaches in the Dominican Republic are free. The local laws are that the first 60 metres of the coast are public. So, security, of course, persecute outsiders from priority sun beds, but to walk on the shore is not forbidden.
- The season in Punta Cana is the longest in the country: here you can vacation all year round if you are not afraid of tropical humidity (the stuffiest months are July-August). The mountain range offers protection from hurricanes.
- On the downside, the sargassum algae can be found here. They are cleaned, but not always and not everywhere in time.
- The power of the ocean still prevails and waves often rage, it’s windy.
Where is the best place to stay in the Dominican Republic for a budget tourist? Boca Chica is the cheapest resort in the country (if the amount of 120-130 thousand for two can be called that).
- Tourists love Boca Chica. It may not have the best beaches, but they are decent and beautiful, the town itself is lively — there is a port.
- There are no winds and the water is calm, thanks to the reefs surrounding the shore.
- The sea entrance is shallow and long and shallow in places.
- Because Boca Chica is close to the capital and there are many cheap hotels, the resort turns into a weekend getaway for locals — Dominicans come in large noisy companies, check into hotels, chill by the pool and beach by the sea. The description is not a rosy one.
Who has a good time in Boca Chica? Young people and anyone who wants to stay cheap.
A small town on the Caribbean Sea, quite touristy. About the resort:
- «Hotel» place. You should go to rest with the expectation of «pochillit» in the territory and on the beach). But they, the hotels, oh-very little — literally 10 pieces. Hence the high prices for tours.
- Nevertheless, there is at least some entertainment — a street with shops.
- The beaches are very clean and comfortable.
- The resort is set as if in a bay, so the water is calm and without algae.
- There are fewer excursions from La Romana.
Who can rest well in La Romana? Family tourists and those looking for privacy.
The capital of the state, and for a holiday, Santo Domingo is NOT suitable. The Dominican Republic boasts it as the oldest city in all of America, and… that’s it.
From here begins destruction, rubbish, and locals loitering idly — and hence the attention to overstaying tourists. Not worth it on your own. See the city on a tour — why not, get a glimpse of real (unsightly) life in the Dominican Republic.
Among the places of interest are the Colonial Zone (the first stone house in America, the oldest cathedral, a monastery, and a hospital) and the Columbus lighthouse. The beaches in no way compare with the classic Dominican ones — everything is very sad.
But in February, Santo Domingo hosts a fiesta — the Dominican Republic’s local carnival.
We do not list hotels in Santo Domingo because there is nothing for the tourist to do here.
The surfing capital of the Atlantic Ocean. A youth resort for surfing, kiting and partying in the evenings. Waves included;)
There is only one hotel available on the package and several beaches:
Encuentro Beach — a surf beach with very comfortable waves that will suit both beginners and those who have been «in it» for a while.
Kite Beach — Here you can go kite-surfing, learn to kite-surf (on a parachute board) or sit in a beachside restaurant with a cocktail and watch the beautiful waves and beautiful kiteboarders.
It’s on the Atlantic coast, which means there are always big waves and the sand is not pearly white, but greyish or yellowish.
- Waves are steeper than in the Caribbean, not a bathing resort in places (and very much so in places).
- A little cooler overall.
- A party place, thanks in part to the surfers who come from all over the world.
Of the tourist towns/villages, the following stand out:
Playa de Maimon Bay
Long Beach in Puerto Plata is the resort’s main beach, usually crowded at weekends.
Acapulco Beach in Puerto Plata — small, wavy, sparsely populated — just right for «catching a wave» (whatever that means to you!).
Playa Dorada in the resort of the same name — the sand here is amber (this is not a metaphor, it’s really full of amber), no waves, mountains in the background. Very beautiful (forgive the banality, but it’s true).
Where is the best place to stay in the Dominican Republic?
In high season (late autumn/winter/early spring) you can choose any, though on the south, though on the north coast, based on three factors: tour price, hotel, beach.
On the first point: a holiday in the Dominican Republic is unlikely to be cheap. Flights are long and cannot be cheap by definition. However, inexpensive trip to a good hotel is quite real — do not tie to a particular place and look all over the country.
The most popular resorts from those to which there are tours:
✓ Punta Cana
✓ Boca Chica
✓ La Romana
✓ Puerto Plata.
About the hotel: you have to choose the best one in your budget. And you should base your choice on the reviews of tourists rather than the stars. The service at hotels here is peculiar — if something goes wrong in your room, chances are slim if it gets fixed and there are no more problems. They will receive a request at the reception and nod and smile sympathetically but the air conditioner will still be dripping or the shower drain will be bad as before. And there are such responses both about five, and about four, and three.
About a beach: here everything is simple, it is necessary to choose under the «want». Otherwise you will dream about white sand, palm trees on a coast, canopy entrance and turquoise water. You will come and there are waves and surfers! Well it is unlikely, after all on any resort around landscapes, as with photos on instagram:)
No waves, good with kids: Youthful and fun: Inexpensive:
La Romana (Baiaibe)
*Nearby La Romana is the sub-resort of Baiaibe. It is loved by tourists with children because there are no waves or seaweed and the entry to the water is gradual. The beaches are beautiful, but narrower than in Punta Cana. Plus, there is some sort of reef and you can swim with a mask.
*Cap Cana (Atlantic) is a super luxury resort near Punta Cana. Positioned as for the very rich people who want a la carte and haute cuisine, not all-inclusive.
*By the way, for total relaxation and solitude you could also consider the Samaná Peninsula, it will be the least crowded.
What to see in the Dominican Republic? Sightseeing
The sights in the Dominican Republic are mostly natural — islands, waterfalls and jungle forests.
The most popular excursions are:
to the capital Santo Domingo — cultural and educational
to the «paradise» island of Saona.
According to tourists’ reviews, all tours can be bought from locals at prices almost twice lower than those of tour operators. But the question is how safe such trips are.
What is there to see (with local guides, hotel guides or on your own)?
- Santo Domingo — how can you not see the oldest (!) American city, when you are so close? The incredible Los Tres Ojos cave is also on the tour.
- Saona Island — the one from the bounty ads. What other arguments do you need? The excursion includes travel by bus and boat.
- Eco-park — in the Dominican Republic such attractions are popular for tourists. There is almost always a zip line, animals, rum, cigars and natural attractions on site (waterfalls, caves, etc).