The Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic over the years has become a very popular destination with its many value for money hotels. Indeed a minimum of 80% of the accommodation in the Dominican Republic is sold on an all-inclusive basis. But over the past few years, it has also built up a sizeable portfolio of luxurious properties that would satisfy even the most discerning traveller.
These include places such as the Casa Colonial Beach and Spa Resort in Puerto Plata, Sivory in Punta Cana, Zoëtry Agua Resort, also in Punta Cana, the Caleton Beach Club and Villas and the Golden Bear Lodge and Spa at Cap Cana, and the Sofitel Nicolás de Ovando in Santo Domingo. These high-end hotels offer luxury surroundings and excellent service and fine dining.
This is an island of surprises, with beautiful beaches, mountains and Alpine-like meadows, and full of history and bursting with culture for those who want more than to laze by the hotel pool.
For those who do venture out, there are lots of fun activities such as mountain biking and river rafting, and there are more than 25 championship golf courses for visitors who want to improve their swing. Come evening, there are plenty of restaurants serving delicious local food and, of course, merengue bachata and salsa clubs where the Dominicans dance the night away.
Where is the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is on the island of Hispaniola which it shares with Haiti in the North. It is located approximately 950km south-east of Florida. The coastline of the Dominican Republic boasts over 1000 miles of beaches. It is the second-largest island in the Caribbean commanding over two-thirds of the land it shares with Haiti.
The main tourist areas are in the south-east, around La Romana and Punta Cana, in the north-east, around Samaná, and in the north, around Puerto Plata The capital, Santo Domingo, is the oldest city in the New World and bursting with history and culture.
Getting Married in the Dominican Republic
A beach wedding in the Dominican Republic is the perfect setting for that white beach, blue sky and sea. a great destination for all the family with some excellent package prices for all budgets.
Legal Requirements for getting married on the island are:
Birth Certificate of the bride and groom
Proof of single unmarried status (divorced or widow(er) certificate. **10 months must have elapsed since the date of the last divorce.
Photocopies of the passports for both the bride and groom.
Photocopies of the passports of the witnesses who are not family members.
All documents must be authenticated by the couples’ nearest Dominican Consulate before arriving in the country.
All documents must be legally translated into Spanish.
What is there to do in the Dominican Republic.
Well if 1000 miles of beaches are not enough for you, there is much more to do. From watersports such as Scuba diving and windsurfing to kiteboarding at Cabarete, surfing at Playa Encuentro and even sandboarding at the Bani Dunes, west of Santo Domingo, the capital.
Days out include; Truck or ATV safaris, Helicopter tours, Horseback riding, Canoeing, cascading, caving, Island Hoping, Jeep Safaris, Kayaking, Mountain biking, Rock climbing, sand-boarding and white water rafting to name just a few.
The island has 19 national parks, six scientific reserves, 32 natural monuments, 15 natural reserves, two marine sanctuaries and nine protected parcels of islands also called panoramic views.
Sight SeeingTop sights include the remains of the settlement of La Isabela, established by Columbus as the capital until all the inhabitants fell ill and the capital was moved to Santo Domingo, and the Cueva de las Maravillas (Cave of Marvels), believed to have been used as a burial ground by the Taínos Indians. There are also many museums including the amber museum in Puerto Plata which houses the mosquitoes in Amber.
Weather in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is a tropical country, with an average temperature of 26ºC (78ºF). It’s always warmer at the coast than in the mountains. Hurricane season is from June to November, while the rainy season on the north coast is from October to April and on the South Coast from May to November.
Best time to go to the Dominican Republic
Visit the North Coast between May and September and the South Coast from November to April to avoid the rainy season. The region is prone to hurricanes between June and October.
Car hire in the Dominican Republic
Driving in the Dominican Republic is on the right side of the road. Speed limits vary from 25 mph in the city to 50 mph on rural roads, but they are generally not enforced. Hand signals are often used for turning rather than indicators so watch the driver in front. Seat belts are required by law, and those caught not wearing them will be fined.
Drivers must be over 25 years of age to hire a car in the Dominican Republic.
There are no child car seat laws. The law also requires that all cell phone use be done through a hands-free device while driving. Police do stop drivers using cell phones without the benefit of these devices. Penalties for those driving under the influence and those involved in accidents resulting in injury or death can be severe. Check our online car rental rates.
Essential Facts on the Dominican Republic
Capital City – Santo Domingo
Currency – Dominican Peso (US dollar is widely accepted)
Languages spoke Spanish, English
Electric – 110 – 120V – American-style two flat-pin plugs.
Flight time from London 9.5 hours
Time Difference – GMT -4 hours
For more information visit the Dominican Republic Tourist board www.godominicanrepublic.com
Insect repellent is highly recommended. Restaurants automatically add 10% to your bill but it is recommended to leave an additional 10% tip. Taxi drivers and hotel staff should also be tipped, even in all-inclusive hotels.
Visa requirements None for UK passport holders