What do you think of when you conjure up images of the Dominican Republic?
Swaying palms? Azure lapping waters, lounging on the pristine golden sands with a rum-based cocktail? You’re not wrong, and whilst we are huge advocates of enjoying some relaxing downtime in the sun (after all, it’s practically the law in the Caribbean!)
If you are wanting something a little bit more active, you are in luck.
There’s so many things to do in the Dominican Republic that you might just be tempted to dust off the sand, slip those flip flops back on and explore everything that this stunning Caribbean island has to offer.
Go whale spotting
If you are planning your trip to this incredible island between December and March, then a trip to Samaná is an absolute must.
This is where you can whale spotting and even see baby whales swimming with their mums.
This is without a doubt a truly magical experience and is one of our favourite things to do in the Dominican Republic.
Why not take a boat tour and get up close and personal with these enigmatic creatures yourself?
Samaná is a fantastic destination on or off the water.
If you are wanting to carry on with all things whales, head over to the Whale Museum where you can take an even ‘deeper dive’ into these loveable marine mammals!
This pretty town is also a great location for all kinds of water sports; from snorkelling to kayaking and everything in-between!
Do go chasing waterfalls
One of the most recommended things to do in the Dominican Republic is to visit the breathtaking El Limón Waterfall.
Immersed in a lush tropical forest in the Samaná Peninsula, lies Salto El Limón Waterfall, this waterfall is one of the highest and most beautiful ones in the Dominican Republic.
You can either hike up there, take a 4X4 or even go up there on horseback.
The waterfall has 50 metres of cascading water and #spoiler alert, there’s 3 other secret waterfalls nearby that you can explore.
If all that gushing water has made you yearn for more, then head on over to the Damajaqua Cascades, or the 27 Waterfalls, which are among the biggest attractions for nature lovers and another fantastic thing to add to your things to do in the Dominican Republic.
Over 50,000 people come every year to visit these waterfalls, take pictures and swim in the natural pools formed below.
The 27 waterfalls are found in the hills of the Northern Corridor mountain range, crafted by Mother Nature out of solid limestone.
Take a walk on the wild side at Lake Enriquillo
If you have made it this far, then seeing wildlife in all its glory is pretty high up on your list of things to do in the Dominican Republic.
Not only is Lake Enriquillo the largest lake on the island, it’s also the largest lake in the Caribbean and is home to a very diverse set of wildlife.
This rural 13-mile-long lake near the Haiti border is a popular tourist attraction for spotting crocodiles, pink flamingos and lizards.
It’s also home to a wonderful selection of birds and makes for an ideal location for bird spotting.
The lake is surrounded by a vast tropical forest, natural springs, and fruit plantations where coconut, banana and mango are grown.
You can also visit Lake Enriquillo’s picturesque island, Isla Cabritos, which means ‘little goat island’. It takes around an hour to reach the island by boat from the town of La Descubierta.
Sail away to Saona
Saona is a tropical island located to the southeast of the Dominican Republic and makes an ideal destination to take a day trip and frequently tops the most desirable things to do in the Dominican Republic list.
With only a population of around 300 people, it’s a great place for tranquillity and relaxation, whether you favour long walks in the sunshine, sunbathing on the white sands or doing something a smidge more active.
It’s widely considered to be one of the most beautiful island excursions that the Dominican Republic has to offer. Simply take a boat from Bayahibe in the morning and enjoy all this stunning island has to offer.
It might be small, but this gem of an island is perfectly formed and even has its own turtle sanctuary.
Saona is a place that is dedicated to the protection of the local turtle species. 3 types of turtles visit the island to lay their eggs which includes the hawksbill, leatherback, and the extremely rare green turtle.
Explore Constanza and the Dominican Alps
Yes, there are Alps in the Dominican Republic and they are certainly worth a visit when considering the best things to do in the Dominican Republic.
They can be found 80km away from the city’s capital, Santo Domingo and are an absolute paradise for nature lovers as well as affording some of the greatest views the country has to offer.
Its mountainside villages boast magical views over these fields, earning Constanza nicknames like ‘the Switzerland of the Caribbean’ or the Enchanted valley.
Visit Zona Colonial
Home to several important landmarks – including the Alcázar de Colón palace, Fortaleza Ozama fort and Catedral Primada de America.
You haven’t really experienced the Dominican Republic until you’ve walked its bustling streets of Zona Colonial, one of the most important historical districts in the country and one of the coolest things to do in the Dominican Republic.
There’s a rich history, colourful buildings and a fantastic vibe which can be found everywhere – from galleries and cafes to clubs and more.
It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage centre and is almost like strolling around an open-air museum and is a wonderful place to soak up the history.