The Dominican Republic or La Republica Dominicana lies in the Caribbean Sea, on the island of Hispaniola, to the east of Haiti. In recent years, its beaches have become synonymous with tropical beauty. Incredibly soft sand, aqua-and-turquoise streaked ocean, and graceful coconut palm trees create postcard-perfect vistas that will mesmerize even seasoned travelers. From Puerto Plata to Punta Cana, or Casa o Campo, the shoreline of this island country is genuinely remarkable.
But the Dominican Republic doesn't only offer beaches. Once the cradle of Taino Indian culture, the country has an interesting history. In 1492 Columbus made landfall, and "Santo Domingo" (the name of its present-day capital) became the first Spanish capital in the Americas. Today Santo Domingo's colonial zone contains preserved historic architecture along with upscale dining.
The Dominican Republic is famous for its rum, including brands Barcelo and Brugal, as well as its beer, Presidente. The fertile land produces sugarcane, delicious coffee, and cacao from which chocolate is made. Once you hear Dominican merengue or bachata, you'll find it hard to sit still, the music is so infectiously vibrant and joyful.