Downtime in the DR
DOWNTIME IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
There’s more to Dominican Republic than postcard-perfect beaches and sunshine. This summer, the country invites adrenaline seekers to explore its expansive terrains and nine distinct ecological zones and try their hand at conquering the great outdoors.
The country’s diverse geography – home to both the highest and lowest points in the Caribbean – makes it the perfect travel destination for those who like to break a sweat. “While Dominican Republic is best known for our world-class beaches and resorts, we offer extensive options for travelers looking to mix adventure into their getaway,” said Magaly Toribio, Marketing Advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism. “We are working not only to promote the diversity of our tourism offerings, but continue to develop our adventure travel segment so that we soon become as well-known for adventure as we are for our sunshine.”
The varying regions and in-country destinations offer a wide range of options for thrill-seeking and active travel enthusiasts alike:
Wild Watersports: Between the Atlantic Ocean in the north and the Caribbean Sea in the south, travelers looking for watersports will not be disappointed. Barahona, Punta Cana and Samaná beckon to travelers hunting for waves, with the northern province of Puerto Plata in particular boasting approximately 110 miles (180 km) of coast, offering some of the most famous waves in the Caribbean. The choppy Atlantic waves of the north coast are known the world over and frequented by professional international and local watersport athletes – the province’s town of Cabarete has earned a reputation as the Kiteboarding Capital of the World thanks to its ideal conditions for kiteboarders. Those partial to land-based activities can also venture up Puerto Plata’sMount Isabel del Torres, or visit the Saltos de Damajagua, a collection of 27 individual waterfalls that can be reached in just over an hour. Adventure seekers can explore the Saltos de Damajagua by either jumping from one to the other, or sliding down natural slides into the water below.
Mountain Challenges: The country’s diverse geography allows visitors to experience both the lowest point in the Caribbean as well as the highest elevation, with the central mountain region offering high-altitude thrills in areas such as Jarabacoa and Constanza. Guests making the trip towards the center of the island are met by the Cordillera Central Mountain Range, home to Pico Duarte, towering over the area at over 10,000 feet (3,087 meters) as the Caribbean’s tallest peak. The top of the peak is reachable in a two, three or four-day excursion depending on the route chosen – all of which guarantee stunning views of tropical, pine, mountain broadleaf and cloud forests. This area also has some of the best river rafting in the Caribbean, with the Yaque Del Norte River waiting with its rushing white waters. Mountain bike routes are set out all throughout the mountain areas, with paragliding, rappelling and horseback riding also available.
Underwater Treasures: The country’s crystal-clear turquoise waters are a diver’s dream. Full of hidden treasures and wildlife – including bright coral, technicolor fish, mysterious caverns, marine national parks and even ocean sculpture gardens – the country offers many riches under its surface in areas such as Punta Cana, La Romana, Samaná and Montecristi. Catalina Island off La Romana’s shores is a hotspot for divers drawn in by “The Wall,” a 100-foot drop with unparalleled views of rich reef life. La Caleta National Marine Park – the first protected Marine Park in the country, considered one of the top dive sites in Dominican Republic – draws divers in with shipwrecks and sculptures.
When will you discover Dominican Republic’s wild side? For more information on adventure opportunities on both land and sea in Dominican Republic, visit www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.