Posted by: Anni Orekh | January 5, 2011

Dominican Republic: Jewel of the Caribbean

Dominican Republic

A combination of enchanting history, breathtaking mountains, spectacular beaches with azure waters, and the seductive beat of the Merengue, makes this friendly island a great beach destination. Golf is also one of the DR’s top attractions, now with over 15 courses in exquisite settings, some from world-class designers such as Robert Trent Jones. Find out which Dominican Republic resorts are popular*
The Dominican Republic (DR) is a land of contrasts – the physical kind, like the highest peak and the lowest point in the Caribbean, and the more metaphorical kind, like that between the urban street life of Santo Domingo and the rural villages only a short drive away. Santo Domingo, or ‘La Capital’ as it’s typically called, is to Dominicans what New York is to Americans, a collage of cultures; or what Havana is to Cubans, a vibrant beating heart that fuels the entire country. It’s also a living museum, offering the sight of New World firsts scattered around the charming cobblestone streets of the Zona Colonial.

The DR is also famous for the large all-inclusive resorts that dominate much of the country’s prime beachfront real estate. However, the result is less like the high-rise congestion of Cancun or Miami and more like low-slung retirement communities, albeit ones populated by families, couples and singles of all ages looking for a hassle-free holiday. Beyond the gated luxury enclaves, the roads lead inland past vast sugar plantations and through small villages. To get away from the get-away, travelers head to the Península de Samaná, where the European vibe is as strong as an espresso, and where escape is the operative word. Cabarete on the North Coast has winds which draw adrenaline junkies from around the world. And for the anti-Caribbean experience head to the popular mountain retreats of Jarabacoa and Constanza – places where bathing suits are out and sweaters are in.

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