What should I do in the Dominican Republic?

I can’t decide.

The weekend of October 20-21 I will be in the Dominican Republic, bookending my Hispaniola-themed month. One of the few destinations in the region with time-saving middle of the night flights from the US, I have 49 hours on the ground. A Delta flight to Santo Domingo (SDQ) that Friday night at 9 pm and the return departs 2 am on Monday, leaving plenty of time to get to the office Monday and try to tidy myself up before colleagues wonder who is the disheveled backpacker.

My trip planning begins with a solid read of a Lonely Planet guide to form a comprehensive picture (pre-2011 editions, but I spare the rant). I study every chapter, even if an area initially seems unreachable or unappealing, often uncovering gems that shape my trips. I do not read guidebooks that do not provide full coverage of a country. For example, China guides often omit a number of provinces, which is baffling to me. In this process, plus a check at the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, I usually form a good idea of what I want to do, and then try to find ways to connect the dots and throw in some bonuses.

I did a read-through for the Dominican Republic and a number of things interest me, though I have not locked on final choices. I have nothing but a rental card booked. So, readers, I welcome your suggestions.

The only stipulation is that I do not want to lay on a beach, though I am game to swing by a beach for an activity like snorkeling or whale watching. The roads seem in good enough condition in the compact country that any corner is within range.

Thanks in advance.

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6 Comments on "What should I do in the Dominican Republic?"

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Roads are good to travel on but I don’t recommend any night driving.

Rapid Travel Chai

@all – thank you all for the suggestions, including the easiest to implement from aadvantagegeek, don’t worry none are too far…I’ll have fun putting this together.


I’ve never been to the Dominican Republic, but if I ever get the chance to visit, finding some tasty Pica Pollo is going to be on my list.

I’ve eaten it a few times up in the Washington Heights area, but would love to try it in the DR.


Go to Punta Cana that’s the best beach it’s 3hrs from the airport.


Go to the three eyes (tres ojos), colonial part of the city columbus house, cathedral, fort, go to the guacara taina club it’s a club in a cave, I would go to the beach! Punta cana is the best but it’s 3hrs away from the city don’t think you have time. There’s Juan dolio, boca chica, beaches closer to the city. There’s a Hilton malecon center by the ocean in the city.

Are you renting a car? Driving in the city you have to be aggressive


This was one of the best trips I’ve even done on a vacation. It’s very local too, hope you don’t get offended by simulated cock fighting 🙂