9 Things to do in the Dominican Republic

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

A vacation to the Dominican Republic guarantees a sunny beach holiday. However, with the many points of interest in the Dominican Republic there is enough culture to look at as well, and thus a nice variation from all those gorgeous beaches. Here are the best sights, points of interest and things to see in the Dominican Republic.

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Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!

Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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    1. Zona Colonial

    Santa Domingo may be a vibrant capital, It’s the five hundred year old city-center that is known for its history and culture. The Zona Colonial is the historic heart of Santa Domingo and immediately comes on top as one of the best things to do in the Dominican Republic. The collection of historic houses and cobbled streets is the oldest colonial center of the New World. Enough reasons to book this as one of your excursions in the Dominican Republic, following the footsteps of the Spanish conquerors.

    zona colonial santo domingo - things to do in dominican republic

    The ‘Zona Colonial’ in Santo Domingo is marvelous!

    2. Punta Cana

    Punta Cana is the region that is known to all sun loving beach bums. Here the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean. I have to admit that the beaches of Punta Cana are among the most gorgeous sights of the Dominican Republic. With countless resorts, beaches and recreational opportunities, it’s therefore logical that most people spend their holidays in the Dominican Republic. Costa del Coco is probably the most popular beach because of its tropical appearance. The many excursions offered from Punta Cana are among the best in the Dominican Republic. Jeep safaris, snorkeling tours, surf lessons and buggy rides are just some of the excursions you can book here.

    dominican republic things to see in Punta Cana

    Pristine waters, beautiful islands and sweltering temperatures. How can you not love these beaches?!

    3. Los Tres Ojos

    One of the excursions you can make from Santa Domingo is a day trip to Los Tres Ojos. This cave system connects three different underground lakes or ojos. No wonder that it’s one of the most visited sights of the Dominican Republic. Los Tres Ojos is located in the Parque Mirador del Este, in the west of Santa Domingo. A tour of these lakes is just one of the things to do in the Dominican Republic that you shouldn’t miss!
    If you prefer to get there cheaper, I recommend to arrange your trip with a Uber driver. This point of interest isn’t far from the city center of Santo Domingo. You can buy (cheap) tickets in the park itself.

    Price for an excursion: 65 euros or 73 dollars.

    Los tres Ojos things to do in Dominican Republic

    Los Tres Ojos is very close to Santo Domingo and thus a nice day trip to escape from the busy city.

    4. The Damajagua Falls

    Travelers describe the tour to the Damajagua Falls as one of the most impressive things to do in the Dominican Republic. This is one of the places where you don’t have time to take pictures, but where you just jump into the adventure. The 27 waterfalls of Damajagua are located in the mountains in the north of the island. As a tour, they are best booked from Puerto Plata.

    Price for an excursion: 68 euros or 76,5 dollars.

    damajagua waterfalls things to do in the dominican republic

    The Damajagua waterfalls are great for young and old, but not for pussies!

    5. Cordillera Central

    Just eighty miles from the capital of Santa Domingo you’ll find a completely different world. The mountainous inland, dominated by the Cordillera Central, is just one of the sights of the Dominican Republic that you can’t skip. The height not only makes for a cooler environment, but offers vistas that will let your jaw drop open. The various peaks are a challenge for every hiker and nature lover.

    cordillera central dominican republic things to do

    The amazing nature of the Cordillera Central. Breathtakingly beautiful! Photo by Francisco Alba on Flickr.

    6. Puerto Plata

    There are no shortcomings in things to do in the Dominican Republic. This is proven by the next place again. Puerto Plata is a port located between the Pico Isabel de Torres and the Atlantic Ocean. With a history dating back to the end of the fifteenth century, it’s one of the oldest points of interest of the Dominican Republic. Although the nearby resorts of Playa Dorado and Sosua attract the vast masses, a visit to the colorful center of Puerto Plata can’t be missed.

    puerto plata points of interest dominican republic

    Puerto Plata can be visited in just a few days, but there’s quite some nice excursions you can arrange from here!

    7. La Isabela Bay

    History lovers will fall in love with La Isabela Bay. This was one of the first colonial settlements in the New World. Situated between the rugged countryside and the most beautiful beaches, Christopher Colombus didn’t take long to start his first settlement in honor of the Spanish queen. The ruins that remain seem to be interesting enough to come here but it’s the adventurous trekking through the wild landscapes that makes this one of the top things to do in the Dominican Republic.

    dominican republic la isabela bay christopher columbus

    This must’ve been one of the first sights when Christopher Columbus discovered the Dominican Republic!

    8. Las Terrenas

    This small fishing village hasn’t been a point of interest for many tourists. Because, fortunately, the vast amounts of hotels and restaurants didn’t compromise the charm of the village and its people yet. The popularity of the fishing village is due to its location on the northern coast of the Samana peninsula. Located deep in the Atlantic Ocean. The proximity of many tropical beaches where many palm trees grow over the white sands give relief and shadow after an exciting day in paradise.

    las terrenas dominican republic

    The Dominican Republic has loads of gorgeous beaches. Las Terrenas is another one of these beauties!

    9. La Romana

    Sugar was a very important export product sent from the port of Romana to the world. The sugar mill dominates the city’s view and undoubtedly you’ll see some sugar trains steaming through the countryside. Also make some side visit. Altos de Chavon is definitely worth an excursion. The many Italian-style houses and the ancient amphitheater built to honor Roman tradition almost doesn’t make you believe that this was only built in the 1970s.

    la romana things to see dominican republic

    La Romana is less known with tourists, but that doesn’t mean it’s not pretty!

    Excursions in the Dominican Republic

    Want to get more inspiration, or do you want to book some excursions to these beautiful sights? Look at what the possibilities are:


    » All tours and excursions in the DR

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      1. Yup!!! These Places are very enjoyable and great to vacation in the Dominican Republic.

      2. Kate Lubinski says:

        Wow, thanks for the insights regarding what looks like an absolute delight of a country! I heard the waters of the Dominican Republic are magnificent for diving, especially the Dominicus Reef, and I’m happy the Dominican Republic has so much more to offer than just diving and gorgeous beaches. I’m especially excited to explore the old colonial area of Santo Domingo, you can’t help yourself but experience pure awe when walking on those streets full of history.

        • Absolutely true, Kata!
          I really loved Santo Domingo. It’s so picturesque!

          I especially liked the beaches and islands around Punta Cana. The colors of the ocean are unbelievable here!
          Enjoy your trip!

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