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Occupying the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola, an island shared with the Republic of Haiti, the Dominican Republic is a lot more than a cheap package holiday hub. It’s a place of multiple personalities, whether you’re looking to live it up in a luxury all-inclusive or get down to a do-it-yourself adventure, the Dominican Republic can come up with the goods.
Here, paradise comes with a refreshing range of price tags. So will you hunker down in cheap digs or spoil yourself with a luxurious stay?
Framed by the Caribbean to the south and the Atlantic to the north, the country’s coastline is dotted with hidden coves, fishing villages and long stretches of perfect sand. But beyond the beaches, the island also has a natural wonderland of waterfalls, deserts, mountains and jungles carpeted with wild orchids.
Zip-line through rainforest treetops, spot green cockatoos in the canopy, speed about in a dune buggy or snorkel with barracuda in bright blue water. If you’re after an active getaway, a holiday to the Dominican Republic will deliver.
Mixing natural beauty with Afro-Latino buzz, holidays in the Dominican Republic are pretty hard to beat. Christopher Columbus washed up on these shores way back in 1492, making Santo Domingo, the capital, one of the oldest cities in the New World.
There are spots of historical interest to be found everywhere among its cobblestone alleys and Spanish colonial churches, while old men clack dominos on street corners and bachata music blares from passing cars. Life is celebrated on a daily basis, so grab a rum punch and join the party.
With an average temperature of 28C, there’s never a terrible time to visit. High season runs from mid-December to February, with another spike during July and August, when prices for all-inclusive holidays in the Dominican Republic are hiked up and sunbathers pack the beaches.
Hurricane season stretches from August to December, but if you’re willing to take a gamble, you’ll find seriously cheap deals up for grabs in 2017. March to July offers the perfect compromise, with mostly dry weather and plenty of space on the sand: the best of both worlds as far as holiday deals are concerned.
Santo Domingo Carnival: Cut straight to the soul of the country by taking a holiday to the Dominican Republic in February, for the Santo Domingo Carnival. Expect flamboyant parades, live music, street parties and a never-ending river of rum punch.
La Vega Festival: Also held during February, the La Vega Festival showcases the flipside of Dominican culture. Celebrating the country’s African heritage, it’s a wild medley of colourful masks and Caribbean beats that coincides with Independence Day, doubling both the occasion and the fun.