For stiff sea breezes across your sun-warmed face, look no further than the Dominican Republic. For outdoor-enthusiasts and serious relaxation, white sand beaches, the Caribbean's highest peak and brisk winds beckon beachcombers, hikers and kitesurfers on to ever-longer vacations.
Colorful Santo Domingo, the island's capital and bustling city, boasts a parade of museums and historic buildings that take visitors from modern art to monasteries to pleasant parks in a day's worth of activity. Savor the essence of ?DR' and noise of the crowd at a baseball game or February's Carnaval.
A getaway from the urban requires a getaway vehicle ? rent a car in Santo Domingo and set out to explore some of the island's natural attractions, including, but not limited to, long stretches of resplendent white sand and sea. Many of the popular are beaches in the southeast like Punta Cana, though Playa Rinc¢n in the north is one of the Caribbean's top-rated sandy shores. Importantly, spots to set up your sun umbrella are never in short supply.
Kite and wind surfers frequent Cabarete on the north coast where the perky breeze keeps boarders zipping across the water. Surfers can head west to Playa Encuentro to ride the swell, while snorkellers and divers can choose between warmer, south coast waters teeming with tropical fish or cooler, north coast waters broken by underwater crags and outcroppings. Head to the town of Saman in the northeast for whale watching in season or use it as a base for tours out to waterfall Cascada el Lim¢n.
When you're ready to shell-out for dinner and sample some of the island's other attractions, head inland to explore salt-water lakes, cascading rivers and mountain peaks. Pico Duarte is the highest point in the Caribbean but the hike to the top is going to take three days. For reasons of logistical support, a guide is a good option. Try out ?canyoning' in the rocky crags around the regions river systems, or take a white-knuckle ride on a raft down one of Dominican Republic's white-water stretches when you're in need of an adrenaline rush.
The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola, shared with neighboring Haiti to the west. The island is east of Jamaica and Cuba.