White sand beaches, fantastic year-round climate, excellent snorkelling and well-preserved colonial towns combine to make the Dominican Republic one of the most popular destinations in the Caribbean. Every year, travellers from the UK flock from Dominican Republic flights to enjoy the glorious beaches. The DR shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti, occupying the eastern half. Its coastline is rich with perfect Caribbean beaches – white sand and palm trees. The interior has a diverse landscape, including rainforests, 27 waterfalls, mangrove swamps, mountain ranges and savannas.
But the DR is not just a natural paradise: the country is proud of having one of the more illustrious histories of the Caribbean islands. Take some time on the flight to the Dominican Republic to read up on its fascinating history. Records of the island date back to the Taino inhabitants – whose marks can still be seen on caves and whose dances are a staple after-dinner entertainment at many of the inclusive resorts. Hispaniola was also the first island on which Christopher Columbus landed in 1492. The DR’s capital city, Santo Domingo, was settled by Columbus’s brother Bartholomew and was the first seat of Spanish colonial rule. It is the oldest inhabited European settlement in the Americas. Today, monuments to Columbus and the city’s history abound but the city is also a vibrant, modern, thriving town – the most populated in the Caribbean.
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The Dominican Republic’s climate is great all year long. In the summer, temperatures range from 21 to 32 degrees, and it only drops a bit in the winter. The weather can get much cooler in the mountains, and rainstorms are usually brief.
The country has seven international airports and Air Santo Domingo provides domestic cheap Dominican Republic flights between the main tourist regions.
The best way to get around the country is by bus since there is no train service. The buses are frequent, inexpensive and often air-conditioned. The network is extensive covering most of the country. Be aware that travel throughout the night is not possible as services stop at 9pm.
Taxis are available but prices are not cheap and tend to be more than double those of the “city taxis”.
Driving is not advisable as roads are unsafe and car hire is expensive. If stopped by police be prepared to pay some brides since they are corrupt.