The Dominican Republic is much more than Punta Cana, all inclusive hotels and lazing in the shade of palm trees on the beach! It is also a country that is home to the highest volcano in the Caribbean, the oldest capital of the American continent and a magnificent preserved nature. So whether you are a fan of relaxing, sporting or cultural vacations, you will be able to find your happiness in the east of the island of Hispaniola. Discover our complete guide to organize your road trip in Dominican Republic: how long to go? Where to sleep? What excursions to plan?
When to go to the Dominican Republic?
The best time to visit this beautiful Caribbean country is from December to April, during the dry season. You will avoid the tropical rains as much as possible. On the other hand, this is the most touristic period, during which prices go up. If you prefer a little more tranquility and a more budget-friendly vacation, November and May are good alternatives.
What is the budget for a road trip in Dominican Republic?
Your budget obviously depends on the activities you choose on site, the accommodations you book and the number of kilometers you travel.
To give you an idea of the budget, you should plan for a minimum of :
- 800 € for the round trip flight;300 € for the week's car rental;
- Between 50 and 100 € for one night in a hotel with classic standing;
- 30 € per day and per person for the food budget;
- Between 100 and 200 € gasoline budget to tour the island (to be modulated according to the kilometers traveled and the model of vehicle chosen).
So count on a budget of at least 2000 € per person for 2 weeks of road trip on the island, transportation included.
How much time should I plan for a road trip in the Dominican Republic?
In order to have enough time to go around the country, to visit the main tourist sites and especially to take your time, we recommend you to leave at least 2 weeks in Dominican Republic. Yes, we are fans of slow tourism at Ethik & Trips ! By leaving less time, you can have the impression to miss some treasures of the country or to have a too busy schedule.
How to get to the Dominican Republic?
To reach the Dominican Republic, count 9 hours and a half by direct flight from Paris. Most international flights land at Punta Cana airport.
Please note: only Air Caraïbes offers direct flights to Punta Cana from France.
Where to sleep in the Dominican Republic?
Ecological accommodation offers are growing in the Dominican Republic! In this section, we share with you 3 addresses of eco-friendly hotels in the Dominican Republic, to try during your road trip.
On the Samana Peninsula
Discover the Bannister Hotel & Yacht Club, an exceptional hotel on the beautiful Samana peninsula, not to be missed during your road trip in the Dominican Republic. The hotel is nestled in an exceptional setting: between the mountains and the Atlantic Ocean. Enjoy a magnificent sea view or mountain view from your suite with living room and fully equipped kitchen. 4 bars and restaurants, infinity pools and a spa complete your idyllic stay in the Dominican Republic.
Book your stay at the Bannister Hotel & Yacht Club.
In the north of the island of Hispaniola, in Cabarete
Natura Cabana Boutique Hotel & Spa
Welcome to a unique ecolodge in the Dominican Republic. Stay in one of the 11 bungalows that combine comfort and exoticism, installed in the heart of a lush garden cultivated in organic farming. Let yourself be lulled by the sounds of nature and the surrounding sea for a fully relaxing experience in the rainforest.
Book your stay at Natura Cabana Boutique Hotel & Spa
Green Land Bubble Glamping
Immerse yourself in a unique natural setting at Green Land Bubble Glamping, an accommodation 5 km from Cabarete. Stay in an exotic bubble where you can enjoy the starry sky and lush gardens that surround you. The establishment organizes several excursions to explore the country.
Book your stay at Green Land Bubble Glamping
What to do during a road trip in Dominican Republic?
The peninsula of Samana
After your arrival on the island, take the direction of the peninsula of Samana. Count 4 hours of road between Punta Cana and Las Terrenas. This beautiful peninsula is a small concentrate of the Dominican Republic's landscapes. Plan to spend 3 or 4 days there to discover all its richness.
Do not miss during your visit :
- El Rincon and Fronton beaches. The first one is regularly among the most beautiful beaches in the world while the second one is nestled in a privileged environment, at the foot of a 90 meters high cliff;
- El Limon waterfall. Accessible in 30 minutes of walking, do not miss this magnificent waterfall of 40 meters high lost in the middle of the tropical forest;
- Las Terrenas, an old fishermen's village become a lively place, perfect to party;
- A boat trip to observe the whales if you plan your vacations between the end of January and mid-March.
Puerto Plata in the north of the Dominican Republic
After your discovery of the Samana Peninsula, head for Puerto Plata by taking the magnificent road that runs along the coast. Take a break to discover the cenotes of Dudu Lagoon, 3 magnificent underground lakes with a refreshing atmosphere.
The region of Puerto Plata is known for its beautiful turquoise rivers like Rio Partido and 27 waterfalls. You can also discover unspoiled beaches that are less popular with visitors, such as Playa Caleton, sheltered by beautiful vegetation.
Don't miss to discover the surrounding towns:
- Cabarete, a small picturesque fishing village, with a beautiful beach suitable for surfing, snorkeling or scuba diving;
- Santiago de los Caballeros, one of the oldest cities on the American continent, established in 1495. Don't miss its charming historic center and climb up to the Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración to admire the city that spreads out before you.
The Central Cordillera
Most visitors cross the country from north to south without stopping. However, we advise you to plan extended stops to explore the Cordillera Central, especially the picturesque villages in the heart of the Dominican Republic such as Constanza.
This is also an opportunity to enjoy some beautiful hikes around the highest point of the island, Pico Duarte, which rises to 3175 meters.
Don't miss Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic with a fascinating history. It is in the heart of the colorful streets of its historic center classified by UNESCO that you will fully enjoy the warm local atmosphere. It is also an opportunity to discover the culinary specialties of the Dominican Republic, such as the Bandera Dominicana, the mangu or the tostones.
Get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to discover the Los Tres Ojos National Park which is home to a 50 meter deep limestone cave with several cenotes (underground lakes) that are not to be missed.
Excursion to the island of Saona
Finally, as you head back to Punta Cana to leave the island, take the time to stop by Saona Island. This small paradise of sand and coconut trees accessible by boat offers a swimming area with clear water, as well as a dream place to practice snorkelling and diving. A very nice conclusion to this nice road trip in Dominican Republic !
Discover the other ideas of road trip with ecological accomodations on Ethik & Trips and organize your next responsible trips:
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