The Dominican Republic may be the best place to visit for your winter holiday to escape the dreary cold and top up on some of that revitalising sunshine. This does not mean that you have to settle for a package holiday or an all-inclusive resort, however. The smarter traveller is finding that a holiday home swap offers them a way to save lots of money and to literally have a home from home. Having browsed the vast list of properties for exchange on your next vacation to the Dominican Republic and selected your preferred location, you can start to think of all the things you can do on your holiday in the sun.
The Dominican Republic offers the perfect mix of thrilling Latin party spirit, laid-back Caribbean beach life, and glorious home comforts. This perfect winter holiday destination is globally acclaimed for its handcrafted cigars, professional winter baseball tournaments, and music festivals. Here are just some of the other things to do and see here.
The beaches are considered some of the world’s finest, with sugar-hued sand draping itself across thousands of miles of beach, lapped by warm, clear blue waters and backed by evocative palm trees. The coral reefs of Isla Catalina, close to Bayahibe, offer excellent snorkelling and diving. If it is picturesque perfection you are after, then the ‘coconut coast’ of Punta Cana is a must. San Rafael beach is another must-see thanks to its natural swimming pool formed by a waterfall cascading down from nearby mountains.
Ecotourism and activities
The Dominican Republic hides a natural paradise awaiting your discovery. It is one of the few countries in the Caribbean that has nine ecological zones, and this diversity offers plenty for you to explore. Within its natural playground you can find everything from tropical forests to arid desert. It is a heaven for birdwatchers with more than 300 species of brightly coloured birds. Canyoning, swimming, hiking, jumping, rock climbing, caving, horse riding and whale watching are just a few of the many pursuits you can enjoy for a thrill before returning to chill on the beaches.
There are many different cuisines offered in the Dominican Republic, reflecting the diverse cultures of this country. In Las Terrenas you will find excellent seafood, while in more cosmopolitan cities like Santo Domingo you can take your pick from Greek, French, Mexican, Asian… the list goes on. Make sure you try some local dishes like Quipes (deep fried bulgur rolls) and mangu (boiled plantains often served with onions, scrambled egg or cheese).
The Dominican Republic really is a brilliant destination to enjoy on your winter vacation. It doesn’t have to cost the earth either. Rather than stay in an all-inclusive hotel, home swaps through sites like Love Home Swap allow you to save on accommodation fees but gain in those all-important personal touches. This winter you could be enjoying merengue rhythms while exploring under-sea life on a tropical excursion. See you there!
Tracey Chandler is a freelance, travel writer and regular contributor to a variety of online female-interest publications. At present she is busy discovering all that Latin America has to offer.