Planning Holidays To The Dominican Republic

Planning Holidays To The Dominican Republic

Post Last Modified – January 22, 2021

Planning Your Holidays In The Dominican Republic

Over the years, our Dominican Republic Holidays have to be one of our all-time favorite vacation destinations. In this blog post, I hope to offer a few tips and suggestions to help you get started with your holiday planning to this beautiful Tropical Island in the Caribbean!

In fact, over the last 25 years our family has had the pleasure of visiting this wonderful Caribbean Island on four different occasions. It’s a tropical destination that keeps you wanting to return over and over again!

Pristine beaches, white powdery sand, crystal clear water, swaying palm trees in a warm Caribbean breeze make this destination . Perfect!

Combine all the above together for an absolutely perfect Dominican Republic Holidays. First, check out this short video to get you thinking of a Tropical Vacation to the Dominican!

Dominican Republic – YouTube Video


Planning A Trip To The Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Holidays Banner

The Dominican Republic is one of the three island groups located in the Greater Antilles, and comprising of the many islands of the Caribbean Sea. The south part of the island borders the beautiful blue waters of the Caribbean Sea, while to the north you will find the warm clear emerald colors of the Atlantic Ocean.

There are four main areas of the island that tourists from all over the world flock to each year. Our family have been to all over the years, and I will try to touch on each in this article to give you an idea of what this beautiful island has to offer.

Most of the pictures you see below are personal photos of our travels in past years to different parts of the island.

Dominican Republic All Inclusive Vacation Packages

Our Beautiful Resort in Bayahibe – Dominican Republic

Domincan Republic Holidays

With the Island being the second largest in the Caribbean next to Cuba, choices are abundant when it comes to where you and your family would like to stay. You can take advantage of wonderful travel deals here, as we did over the years.

Dominican Republic exclusive travel packages offer some of the Cheapest All Inclusive Vacations to some of the most beautiful resorts to be found anywhere in the Caribbean.

They are extremely affordable, very popular, and we certainly took advantage of them when our kids were young!

Many ofthe Major Hotel Resort Chains Arein the Dominican.

Lets have a look at some of the more popular tourist areas of the island and where you and your family might like to spend your next vacation!

Best Dominican Republic All Inclusive Vacations

Punta Cana

Crystal Clear Waters of the Dominican

Dominican Republic Holidays

Without a doubt and the most popular area for tourists taking their holidays here is to the area known as;Punta Cana.From family friendly all inclusive resorts, to adults only exclusive properties, the choice is yours in Punta Cana.

This beautiful stretch of land is located on the eastern portion of the island bordering the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south.

Dominican Republic Beach

Punta Canas beaches stretch for nearly 30 miles. You can literally walk for miles along the shoreline. Bavaro Beach in this region is one of the most popular and surrounded by magnificent resorts.

Punta Cana Resorts

Casa Marina Beach Resort Dominican Republic

Casa Marina Beach Resort Dominican Republic

At last count, Google search results show that there are now nearly 50 resorts located in Punta Cana. So whatever your tastes, desires and budget allow, you’re sure to find just the right one in this part of the Dominican.

Some very popular inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, from 5 star to 3.5 star ratings to name just a few include;

5 Star Rating – Casa de Campo Resort & Villas;

4 Star Rating – Punta Cana Princess Suites Resort & Spa;

4 Star Rating – Occidental Grand Punta Cana;

4 Star Rating – Barcelo Bavaro Beach Punta Cana;

3.5 Star Rating – Sirenis Punta Cana Resort Casino & Aquagames

With up to 50 resorts to choose from, and these are all inclusive resorts only, the choices are endless!

Check out the U.S. News website page I’ve included below, listing their best all inclusive resorts in Punta Cana. Their rankings are based on account reputation among professional travel experts, guest reviews and individual hotel class ratings.

U.S. News Best Resorts

U.S. News Best All Inclusive Resorts in Punta Cana – 2020


tripadvisor certificate of excellence

An honorable mention should be given to one of this islands most luxurious 5 star resorts. This beautiful property was Voted Top 10 All-Inclusive Resorts in the World a few seasons ago by Trip Advisor.

Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel Punta Cana

Iberostar Grand Bavaro Hotel

The Dominican is the Caribbean’s undeniable front runner when it comes to all inclusive resorts. Punta Cana is now the premier destination for travelers coming to vacation in the Dominican.

All Inclusive Vacations

All inclusive package vacations to this island are just too hard to pass up. With airfare, hotel, meals, drinks, airport transfers and entertainment all included, you just can’t beat the value!

Our family have always managed to find great deals to the Dominican most any time of the year, always making for excellent affordable family vacations!

Dominican Republic Trip Planner


La Basilica de Higuey, La Altagracia

La Basilica de Higuey, La Altagracia

The Historic City of Higuey is located just a few kilometers outside of the resort area of Punta Cana, and where the international airport is located.

Higuey is famous for its 500 year old Cathedral, La Basilica de Higuey, La Altagracia where you will find the famous painting of the … ” Virgen de la Altagracia.”

Higey was one of the first areas on the island settled by the Spanish conquistadors back in 1502.

747 Jumbo Jet

The Punta Cana International Airport is conveniently located just minutes from the fine resorts on the coastline. It goes without saying and because of the popularity of the Dominican Republic for vacationers from around the world, it is also one of the busiest in all of the Caribbean Islands.

tripadvisor logo

For more information on this part of the island, I’ve listed tripadvisor’s link to their page specifically for Punta Cana. Lots of information to assist in your holiday travel plans!

Trip Advisor

Tripadvisor has always been one of my favorite travel review websites on the internet. I use it to search for helpful tips, travel ideas and reviews on pretty much everything travel related.

You can read reviews on hotels, restaurants, attractions and so much more! In fact, I am now a senior contributor on tripadvisor, offering my own personal reviews on our travels.

TripAdvisor Senior Contributor

Be sure to check out My New tripadvisor Profile Page for all my latest reviews on hotels, tours, attractions, dining and much more!

Dominican Republic Trip Planner

Puerto Plata

One of the many beautiful beaches found in the Dominican

Dominican Republic Beaches

Puerto Plata – Great For Golfers

Located on the north part of the island, you will find the City of Puerto Plata, and the Village of Sosua. Another historic city filled with and oozing with history!

Puerto Plata and Sosua is pretty much where tourism started in the Dominican. It is still a area for vacationers, but not near that of Punta Cana any longer. Now much older than Punta Cana, it is still favored among many looking to hit the links and do some serious golfing while on vacation.

Punta Cana Golf Course

There are a number of wonderful golf resorts located in Puerto Plata to choose from.

Numerous championship golf courses can be found in the Dominican, including the outstanding Playa Grande Golf Course which has secured the nickname the … Pebble Beach of the Caribbean.

Spectacular Sunsets in the Dominican

Dominican Republic Sunset

Golf – Beaches – Resorts – History In Puerto Plata

The City of Puerto Plata or officially known asSan Felipe de Puerto Plata, has its own major international airport, serving tourists from all over the world.

It has a population of about 300,000 and travelers can conveniently to fly directly to this city in north end of the island. Most major carriers fly to this popular island from all over, because of its popularity.

Two major attractions in the City and that we as a family have seen first hand on our visit to the Dominican are;

Aerial Tramway the only aerial tramway to be found in the Caribbean. Located right in the city you can enjoy a ride up to Pico Isabel de Torres, a 793 meter high mountain.

At the top of the mountain you can enjoy a beautiful botanical garden and a replica of Christ the Redeemer, the famous statue seen in Rio de Janeiro.

Fort San Felipe … a landmark of the City, this fort built in 1577 still stands for visitors to enjoy. Originally built to protect citizens from English & French Pirates who routinely arrived and terrorized locals.

I highly recommend taking in these 2 sites on your visit to the Island. For more information on Puerto Plata, I have included a link to an informative tourism website below for your convenience.

Puerto Plata. com logo

Puerto Plata Tourism

Some well known and favorite area resorts in this region are …

Viva Wyndham Tangerine Resort;

Iberostar Costa Dorada;

Casa Colonial Beach & Spa;

Barcelo Puerto Plata.

Again, just a few listed of the many resort complexes in this area.

Dominican Republic Holidays


Vendor on the Beach in Sosua

Beach Vendor Sosua Beach

Sosua – For A Touch Of The Old Dominican

Many years ago, 1987 for that matter, my wife and I took our first holiday together to the Dominican Republic. At that time, Puerto Plata and the quaint village of Sosua were the places to go on the island.

The resorts in Punta Cana did not exist back then. The Dominican was just beginning to become a popular tropical destination resort.

Sosua was commonly referred to as the; Acapulco of the Dominican Republic. This area really is where tourism first began for the island in the 1980s. We did return to tiny Sosua years later with our young children for a vacation.

Although not as popular as the newer resorts of Punta Cana, for those seeking a quieter more laid back location, Sosua was still is a very pleasant place to spend a family vacation.

Picturesque Sosua Bay

Beautiful Sosua Bay

Dominican Republic Beaches

Sosua Bay is a lovely protected beach that stretches over one kilometer. Soft sand, clear water and protected waters make this area very safe for swimming.

There are some lovely smaller resorts in the area, including a few all inclusive properties. These resorts having to compete with Punta Cana, offered very good value in comparison to the higher end resorts found there.

Dominican Republic Resort Guest Room

Two such resorts that we have had the pleasure of staying at are …

Sosua by the Sea

Casa Marina Beach Resort Water Color

Casa Marina Beach

We chose the Casa Marina Beach Hotel on our last visit and enjoyed our stay at this property. Both are very nice resorts, easy beach front access, clean and comfortable.

Dominican Republic Resort Bartender

On all our visits over the years to the all inclusive resorts we stayed at, staff were always extremely friendly, doing their utmost to make your vacation as enjoyable and memorable as possible!

Dominican Republic Resort Staff

Update 2019
Unfortunately, Sosua is now experiencing some very troublesome difficulties in past years. Sadly, the area has now become a very popular destination for luring child sexual predators into their bars, nightclubs and area hotels.

Until such time, and because this is a very serious problem, I would not advise staying in this part of the Dominican Republic at this time. This issue needs to be addressed by the local authorities and the government. Until this is solved, I would personally recommend not staying in Sosua at this time.

You can read and view more at CTV News Canada’s story about this at …

CTV News

🚥   CTV News Canada

There are many other wonderful tourist destinations throughout the island to spend your vacation, as I have mentioned above.

Dominican Republic Vacations

Explore Cayo Levantado – Amazing White Sand and Pristine Turquoise Waters

Cayo Levantado Dominican Republic

One enjoyable day trip adventure worth exploring and that our family thoroughly enjoyed, was an excursion to a small island called Cayo Levantado.

The tiny islands dotting the Dominican are absolutely stunning. A small piece of paradise for tropical vacation lovers!


Dominican Republic Beaches

A City of over 52,000, is in north eastern part of the Dominican Republic. This is the main cruise ship port for the island. Cayo Levantadoor commonly referred to as Bacardi Island is a tiny island located in Samana Bay.

A very enjoyable day trip, with a lunch stop at a local caf, boat ride and pleasant safe swimming in crystal clear waters. Followed up with BBQ beach buffet on the island.

Tours to Cayo Levantado can be easily booked from any one of the hotels you may be staying at. For those looking for a quiet get a way without the crowds, there are a few lovely resorts in Samana as well.

Dominican Kids Sailing Homemade Rafts

Dominican Kids Rafting

A couple of the better known resorts in Samana are

Gran Bahia Principe … Cayo Levantado … Hotel Samana

Just a couple to check out when planning your tropical escape to this part of the island.

Dominican Republic Holidays

La Romana and Bayahibe

Dominican Republic Beach

It was while on one of our previous vacations to the Dominican, that we discovered this beautiful part of the Island bordering the deep blue Caribbean Sea!

Without a doubt … my most favorite part of the Island!

Bayahibe is a very small fishing village on the south end of the island and located approximately ten miles from the City ofLa Romana. La Romana is the third largest City in the Dominican with a population well over 250,000.

La Romana is another popular tourist destination, also serviced with an International airport for travelers. Many resorts in La Romana are known to be among the finest found on the island as well.

Dominican Republic Lighthouse

Bayahibe is quiet, and well away from the hustle and bustle of Punta Cana. Yet, you can still find some lovely all – inclusive resorts to choose, located on the shores of the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea.

Soft sand, crystal clear water, great swimming and relaxation are found in Bayahibe!

We found this beautiful hide a way as a result of a day snorkeling excursion we booked while vacationing in Punta Cana.

Discover Beautiful Saona Island

Our snorkeling adventure was to the beautiful tropical island called … Saona. This truly is a tropical paradise that would be hard to find anywhere else in the Caribbean! This is a fantastic day trip adventure for the whole family if you love snorkeling, white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters and solitude!

There are a few resorts located in Bayahibe, but not like that of Punta Cana. For example, here you can find resorts such as …

Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus

Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach ( We stayed at this resort! )

A Tiny Tropical Caribbean Island Paradise

Crystal Clear Waters of Saona

Saona Island Dominican Republic

From the shores of our resort, we enjoyed a high speed boat ride, passing thru a lovely National Park ending up on the shores of this majestic tiny island in paradise. Spend your leisure time on the island swimming, snorkeling and later enjoy Cuba Libre’s and a lovely BBQ lunch on the beach.

This is a wonderful excursionthe entire family will enjoy!

Visit Catalina Island For Another Piece Of Paradise

Brave Helicopter Pilot as we watch Utterly Amazed!

Dominican Republic Tour Helicopter

As well, one other day excursion from this area is to … Catalina Island.

This is a similar island to Saona, but in the opposite direction. If you happen to book one of those all inclusive cruise deals and sail to this part of the Caribbean, you could end up enjoying a stop – over at Catalina Island and the Port of La Romana.

Another lovely little tropical island to escape to when enjoying the Dominican. I could go on and on writing about this lovely Island in Paradise. The Dominican Republic is one of my absolute favorite holiday destinations!

Great Weather, Beaches, Food and People in a Tropical Paradise!

I have listed a couple of helpful websites below for you check out, offering more great information on this spectacular island.lonely-planet-logoLonely Planet Dominican Republic

Dominican Republic Banner

🏝   Go Dominican Republic

There are affordable vacation packages to Dominican Republic year round. So why not consider a couples get-a-way or taking a family vacation to this beautiful Island in the Caribbean!

Dominican Republic Holidays – Update

Top Tourism Honors Awarded to the Dominican Republic for 2013

Dominican Republic Tourism Honors

In 2013, some major players in the Tourist Industry ranked this beautiful island as one of the top places to travel and holiday in the world.

Dominican Republic Holidays – Update 2016

AAA Punta Cana Travel Recognition

AAA Punta Cana Travel Recognition

The American Automobile Association recently named Punta Cana a Top International Vacation Destination for both affordable and luxury all-inclusive vacations. With many factors including; beautiful beaches, family holiday destinations, wedding locations and much more!

Domincian Republic Recognition by USA Today

Domincian Republic Recognition by USA Today

USA Today also honored the Dominican Republic in numerous categories for top travel destinations in 2016. Some of these accolades included;

Best Destination in the Caribbean;

Best Adventure Destination;

Best in Food Category in the Caribbean;

and many more!

Isn’t it time you visited the Dominican Republic?


Safe and Healthy Travels!

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