Welcome to the Dominican Republic! Santo Domingo was the first European settlement in the Americas and is a city rich in history, stunning 16th century architecture, and breathtaking views that tell the captivating story of the Dominican Republic. Exploring the city on foot is the best way to fully immerse yourself in its vibrant culture and discover its hidden gems, including exceptional restaurants, cafes, bars, colmados, and museums.
As you stroll through the city, you will be accompanied by Samuel, the Dominican Republic’s only master historian and an expert in the area. Samuel’s extensive knowledge of the city’s history and culture will enrich your experience as you visit not only visually striking landmarks but also savour delicious local cuisine and produce.
If you happen to be in Santo Domingo on a Sunday, you’ll have the unique opportunity to get immersed in Dominican culture with Bonyé: a musical group who blend diverse genres, something that people enjoy and dance to, including merengue, guaracha, son, bolero, and salsa. They perform with free presentations every Sunday evening with all the rhythm and joy that characterises them, at the Ruins of San Francisco.
Stay at Casas del XVI
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic
Immerse yourself in the vibrant villages of Puerto Plata, hiking to family-owned coffee plantations and learning or playing dance merengue.
Enjoy snorkelling and diving in the dreamy coral islet Cayo Arena.
Today you will depart Santo Domingo on a scenic route through the interior of the Dominican Republic, where many crops grow, reaching the southeast Caribbean coast.
Puerto Plata’s multitude of vibrant villages translates into a host of cultural experiences. Home of community tourism, here is where you can hike family-owned cacao or coffee plantations, learn how to play and dance merengue from a family of musicians, or immerse in Dominican pelota at the Bartolo Colón stadium and museum. Along the way are a multitude of culinary experiences, from roadside snacks to beachside seafood, and gourmet international restaurants.
Río partido is one of the bluest rivers in the Dominican Republic. You can get to know its most impressive pools accompanied by trained guides with experience in water sports. This experience begins in a safari or 4×4 vehicle, until reaching the point where a walk begins that takes you to the confluence of the Partido and Jamao rivers, where we will begin by visiting La Paila pond and then moving on to all the other beauties that the place contains. This excursion is guided by young people from the community, trained and experienced. During the tour you can enjoy a snack made using local products and a typical lunch at a family home.
On your second day in Puerto Plata, you’ll visit Cayo Arena, which is a dreamy coral islet which you access via Punta Rucia, a tiny fishing community steeped in the most rugged landscapes of the entire country. From there, speedboats take the visitors to the shallow, turquoise-emerald-shimmering waters that surround this jewel of nature. Cayo Arena perfectly lends itself for exceptional snorkelling and diving. A navigation through the calm waterways bordered by lush mangrove landscapes with the possibility to spot the famous Manatee completes this full-day journey.
Stay at Casa Colonial Beach & Spa
Samaná, Dominican Republic
Witness the wildlife spectacle of hundreds of humpback whales visiting Samaná Bay every year.
Engage in water sports activities such as body-boarding and kitesurfing.
Hike to the breath-taking waterfall, El Castaño.
Jutting out of the DR’s northeastern shore and basking in the ocean, the nature haven that is the Samaná Peninsula is well connected by land and air, yet it remains the DR’s secluded, paradisiacal escape of wild beaches, coconut plantations, and rainforests. Its rolling mountains and valleys form the crystalline rivers that feed into the Atlantic, as they cascade toward brilliant white sand beaches stretching hundreds of kilometres all around the peninsula’s rocky coastline. It’s as if the approximately 2,500 humpback whales that visit Samaná Bay every year appreciate this natural splendour as much as visitors do.
Aside from seasonal whale watching boat excursions in Samaná’s scenic bay, more ecotourism adventures are a stone’s throw away: body-boarding and kitesurfing in Las Terrenas; trekking, birding, and caving in Los Haitises National Park; canyoning or horseback riding to reach El Limón waterfall; and boat-hopping to magnificent white sand beaches at the base of 90-metre (300-feet) cliffs, or to offshore Cayo Levantado island.
Enjoy the amazing nature El Valle can offer, mixed with a hike to one of our favourite waterfalls in Samaná, El Castaño. You will also have a fabulous farm to table chef table experience, which will open your eyes to the culture of Dominican Rum and Mamajuana, Coffee and Cacao, taking your senses on a culinary journey!
Stay at Sublime Samana Hotel & Residences
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
Explore a Shipwreck site where you can snorkel among the ruins.
Enjoy a delicious lunch in the tropical paradise Saona Island.
Today you’ll embark on a journey to your beautiful home for the next few days: Tortuga Bay, with its responsible luxury and impeccable service and villas with interiors designed by the world famous Oscar de la Renta.
Punta Cana has a stunning 48km (30 miles) of white sand coastline with coconut palms and a variety of beachfront accommodation. Families can enjoy miniature entertainment centres and water parks for children, while couples can find dream wedding locations with secluded beachside lodging. The area also offers a golfer’s paradise with 10 courses along the strip, luxurious marinas, fine dining, and top spas like Six Senses in its wellness corner. Punta Cana is not just about beach activities, but also offers a variety of other activities to enjoy.
On your first full day here, we’ll start with a pick-up from your villa and transfer you to the pier where you’ll board a comfortable cruise boat. Your first stop is at the Shipwreck site, where you can snorkel among the ruins of a sunken vessel and explore the vibrant underwater world. Afterwards, we’ll cruise to the national park and enjoy more snorkelling on the reef, marvelling at the stunning array of marine life.
Next, we’ll head to Saona Island, a tropical paradise with pristine beaches and crystal-clear waters. You’ll have the opportunity to enjoy a delicious lunch on the island and explore at your leisure. On the way back, we’ll stop at Starfish Cay, where you can observe and interact with these fascinating creatures.