Dominican Republic Tips for 2023 – Ultimate guide (II)

Dominican Republic Tips for 2022

Sharing the island of Hispaniola with sister nation Haiti, the Dominican Republic (or Quisqueya, as it’s also known) is among our preferred destinations in the Caribbean. And you should know everything about it before travelling to this beautiful island. So I’ve made a guide filled with tips, as a part 2 to our first guide about everything you should know before travelling to the Dominican Republic filled with tips for 2023.

If you already read our first guide, you know The Dominican Republic boasts many natural wonders. You can go from a paradisiac beach setting to tropical rainforests and then enjoy the alpine wilderness all on the same island. So if you love variety this is your next holiday destination. It also has long stretched savannas, mangrove swamps and even desert settings. Making it a paradise for ecotourism, adventure, or simply sitting back for some well deserved relaxation.

Nevertheless, the Dominican Republic is much more than it’s multiple natural wonders. It’s colorful, joyful inhabitants pride themselves in their rich cultural manifestations. Whether it’s the alluring and sophisticated beats of bachata and merengue or celebrating the international exploits of Dominican baseball players. Getting bored in the Dominican Republic is not an option!

Religion’s another integral part of Dominican culture. Participating in one of the many “Fiestas Patronales” will give you a taste of it’s lush, theatrical religious celebrations. These are music-driven celebrations to honor each town’s patron saint. Usually consisting of passionate, round-the-clock celebrations and street parties that, needless to say, can go on for several days.

» Last time, we gave you an overview of everything you should know before traveling to this island. Now, we’ll provide a more thorough, detailed look. Let’s begin!

Popular Places to Visit in the Dominican Republic: Tips for 2023

  1. Santo Domingo Valley
  2. San Pedro de Macorís
  3. La Romana
  4. Parque Nacional del Este
  5. Punta Cana and Bávaro

In this article, we’ll dedicate time to the south and east coasts areas. But if you want to know more about west and north coast, check our first blog “everything you should know before traveling to the Dominican Republic,”. More curious about the 10x best things to do here? Then we’ve got you covered to!

Santo Domingo valley

Stretching east of the capital and along the Caribbean coast way to the Mona Passage (which separates the Dominican Republic from neighboring Puerto Rico). The Santo Domingo valley encompasses the vast fields of sugar cane that, in past times, provided most of the nations income.

In this area you’ll find a mangrove swamp belonging to Parque Nacional Los Haitises and the Cordillera Oriental’s green hills. It’s one of the crown jewels of the national park. Looking for magnificent high rock formations and extensive mangroves? Go here! It’s 135km away from Punta Cana and there’s a beautiful waterfall called Cascada El Limón.

This vast region is mainly known for housing the Punta Cana resort zone. The 45km area of paradisiac white sand beaches has some of the least expensive resorts and all-inclusive hotels in the Caribbean. Although it might seem remote, there’s also been a development of coastal highways in recent years. Meaning the area’s more accessible than ever and thus becoming the perfect holiday destination.

San Pedro de Macorís

Located about 70km east of Santo Domingo, the town’s uneven development is a direct consequence of the ups and downs of the sugar industry. Nonetheless, it doesn’t deter from it’s touristic appeal. San Pedro de Macorís is known worldwide for it’s Cocolo Festivals, held during Christmas and at the Feast of San Pedro (June 24-30).

During these festivities, two groups of masked dancers (known as mummers) wander through all major streets wearing feathered costumed in the company of fife-and-drum bands. At the beat of the drums, they’ll dance and perform dramas about folk stories, biblical tales and episodes of Cocolo history.

» Read more about travelling to the Dominican Republic (best flights, airports, taxis.. etc)

carnival dominican republic tips for 2022
Visit the Carnival | Dominican Republic Tips for 2023

La Romana

Going 37km east of San Pedro, you’ll find La Romana. Previously known only as a sugar cane planting/processing town, La Romana is slowly becoming a key destination for tourists worldwide.

At La Romana, you’ll find many cozy cafés, bars, and restaurants. Also, if you visit between December and March. You’ll witness the sugar operation in full steam and, with luck, see the sugar cane-loaded train arrive from the surrounding plantations. If you’re looking for a relaxing holiday, its idyllic riverside setting La Romana makes the perfect destination. It’s in close proximity to Cueva de las Maravillas, an impressive cave system filled with hundreds of pieces of ancient Taino art. You can visit this cave, only with a guide. It’s also very close to Isla Catalina, a tropical island 2,5 km from the mainland of this part of the island.

Are you a fan of snorkeling or diving? This island is the place to be, since there are popular dive sites here like: 100ft. Catalina Wall and the Living museum of the Sea which is a shipwreck at 70 feet right off the island.

» Read more about the entry requirements and COVID-19

Parque Nacional del Este

Parque Nacional del Este encompasses a forest maze, multiple mangroves, caves, cliffs, and natural trails. All of which makes it a biodiversity sanctuary for nature lovers. However, note that most of the park is not-so-easy to access if not by boat.

Parque Nacional del Este’s also home to Isla Saona, which is perhaps the more popular destination in this area and with a reason. It’s not only the biggest island (110km²) but also one of the prettiest. It’s increasing tourist traffic makes it feel like Miami’s South Beach during some seasons.

♥ There are lots of wasps and mosquitoes, so make sure you are wearing plenty of insect repellent’s and good clothing.

Punta Cana and Bávaro

There was a time when Bávaro and Punta Cana were two different areas at both ends of a vast beach lined with coconut trees. Now Bavaro is an area of Punta Cana.

Nevertheless, the increase in tourists over the last 25 years has turned Punta Cana from the name of a specific location into a world-renowned phenomenon. So much so that most hotels in the region have incorporated “Punta Cana” into their names.

If you’re not one for big resorts and would like a more laid-back holiday experience in Punta Cana. You might want to try locations like Uvero Alto. Here, you’ll find the best all-inclusive hotels and beach bars the island has available. However, if you’re traveling on a budget, the tiny village of Cortecito offers the cheapest accommodations.

Read more about why this is my favorite part on the island

Best hotels to stay in Dominican Republic

So now you obviously want to know which hotels or resorts are the best? I’ve stayed in the famous Casa de Campo Resort, where you have your own golf cart and villa and you can drive to the beach or the different restaurants. Curious? Read more here. I’ve also stayed at CHIC Punta Cana which is a 5 star adults-only with private butler (read more here). Staying in the historical center of Santo Domingo? Go to the authentic Hotel Nicolas de Ovando, listed as a Unesco World Heritage Site in the colonial quarter.

♥ Read more about my personal favorites


It’s warm tropical weather all year around, there are wet and dry seasons which makes December to March the ideal rain-free vacation. Although it can get busy, so it totally depends on your wishes. There fore we’ve written more tips about the weather (are you a wildlover, adventure lover or extreme sports lover) read our guide here.

So, here it is the second part of our guide to everything you should know before traveling to the Dominican Republic tips 2023! What do you think of our recommendations? If you know some other beautiful places in the Dominican Republic, please give us all your opinions in the comments section!


☼ We’re going to start with a monthly newsletter. This will include secret hotspots, on the move travel stories and the newest articles. Sign up, right here. 
☼ For the best inspiring photos, daily updates and a look into my life follow me on Instagram @dutchbloggeronthemove.
☼ For our travel videos and vlogs, subscribe to Dutchbloggeronthemove on Youtube, right here.

Meet us again here, so we can share another luxury travel blogger adventure!

Disclaimer: some of the links contain affiliate links in this article. This means, when you click on them to make a booking or buy a tour for example I earn a small commission. This doesn’t cost you anything extra but will sure help to keep this site running so we can deliver you the best articles. Thank you for supporting me in this way!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *