The Dominican Republic is a tropical paradise with over 1000 miles of scenic coastline, endless white-sand beaches, world-class resorts, unspoiled rainforests and rich cultural heritage. This destination offers a lot of variety to the discerning traveller; we will give you a brief history of the Dominican Republic and also highlight some of the unique attractions that the country has to offer.
The Dominican Republic was the first country in the Caribbean that a settlement was established – Santa Domingo was established by the Spanish in 1496. The Dominican Republic covers about two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, and the other third makes up Haiti. The Dominican Republic has had a tumultuous history filled with political upheaval and conflict. The country was under Spanish control for the most part until 1821, except for a brief period between 1795 and 1809 when it was seized by the French. It then became part of a United Hispaniola with Haiti between 1822 and 1844 when the country broke away from Haiti and formed the Dominican Republic. The country has remained an independent nation except for the period 1861-65 when it was retaken by the Spanish government and 1916-24 when the country was occupied by the United States. There have been countless battles in the country over the years with neighbours Haiti, Spain, France and the United States. All of these upheavals have shaped the development of the island and contributed to the rich cultural heritage that is a feature of the Dominican Republic.
The Dominican Republic provides the discerning traveller with several unique experiences and attractions that are worth taking a visit to the island to explore. Here are some of the things that you try not to miss when you take a trip to the Dominican Republic.
Santa Domingo was the first settlement in the New World and as such is a great place to visit to learn about the history of the Dominican Republic. The city is filled with colonial buildings, museums and ruins of historic buildings and beautifully preserved architecture. Some of the highlights of Santa Domingo are; Monesterio de San Francisco, Catedral Primada de America (First Cathedral in the Americas), ruins of the Hospital of St. Nicolas (the first hospital in the New World) and Faro a Colon (Columbus Lighthouse). A guided tour of Santa Domingo is recommended to enjoy the best experience that the city has to offer!
The Dominican Republic is home to some unique cave formations that you should explore when you visit the country. Two of the more renowned caves are the Los Tres Ojos (The Three Eyes) and Cuevas de las Maravillas (Cave of Wonders). The Los Tres Ojos is a group of three subterranean lakes found in a natural limestone cave; you will enjoy stunning natural vistas and see a wide array of animal species when you visit this hidden treasure in the Dominican Republic. The Cave of wonders is another of the unique cave system in the Dominican Republic; this is a pre-Columbian era cave which is over 800 metres in length that is filled with Taino paintings and carvings, visiting this cave will give a first- hand idea of how the Taino people lived. You should also not miss dining at the El Meson de la Cava, which is the only restaurant in the world that is located within a cave!
Kite Beach, located in the laidback region of Cabarete, is one of the best places in the Caribbean to enjoy kiteboarding due to the unrelenting winds that is here, especially in the afternoon. This beach hosts the annual event “Master of the Ocean” every February. This competition brings kiteboarders from all over the world to Kite Beach and is a spectacle worth seeing!
Finally, the Dominican Republic offers so much that most type of travellers will enjoy visiting the destination. The country has some of the best beaches and luxury resorts in the Caribbean, beautiful natural attractions, historic attractions and a well- developed cultural heritage. The Dominican Republic is surely a place that you should visit in your lifetime; you will enjoy the experience!
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