Diving in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is an ideal choice for divers: you can dive here almost all year round, every resort has its own underwater treasures. The most interesting thing is in the vicinity of Bayahibe: there is a national park with the famous Chicho and Padre Nuestro cave chains. The first is for confident swimmers, the second is for divers with any level of training. Nearby there is the famous St. George Wreck, and in total there are more than 30 worthy dive sites in the Bayahibe area.
Off the coast of Cap Cana, you can go down to the lost ship “Patricia”, look at the huge barracudas and swim in the lagoon in the company of turtles. In the vicinity of Santo Domingo, there is the Taino cave system, where everything is impressive: a depth of 48 m, snow-white stalactites, winding tunnels, complex passages and a halocline – the boundary between fresh and salt water.
Monte Cristi Marine National Park is the largest graveyard of sunken ships in the Caribbean. There are more than a hundred “drowned” here, only 23 have been studied so far. Silver Bank, 5 hours from Puerto Plata, is the only allowed diving site with humpback whales, which breed here from January to March. And here is the largest coral accumulation in open Caribbean waters.
The most interesting site in the vicinity of Cabarete and Sosua is the Airport Wall. In the area of Las Galeras, mysterious caves, a sunken ship, gardens and walls of colorful corals await. In the coastal waters near the city of Miches in the 18th century, three ships wrecked at once: Toulouse, Our Lady of Guadeloupe and Scipio. Macau Cave, half an hour from Bavaro, will appeal to beginners: the crystal water is ideal for first dives. The Shark Point dive site off Saona Island is the best place to spot schools of nurse sharks, rays and reef sharks.
- Where is the best surfing in the Dominican Republic?
- Where to go snorkeling in the Dominican Republic
From the country you can bring all kinds of little things made of wood, bone, amber of different colors (from the usual golden to rare blue), larimara (Dominican turquoise), ceramics and leather. It is wiser to buy cigars in large supermarkets or duty-free shops: in small shops it is easy to run into low-grade fakes made from banana leaves. Another sought-after souvenir is the local rum: the 10-year-old Barcelo Imperial is considered the reference.
An alternative to rum is the traditional mamahuana tincture with healing properties: you can choose a ready-made drink in a bottle or a set of herbs for self-preparation.
Even in the Dominican Republic they sell high-quality and inexpensive coffee (grain or ground) with a recognizable, slightly bitter taste and rich aroma. Popular souvenirs are figurines of a parrot “cat”, ceramic dolls without a face “lime” (a symbol of tolerance towards representatives of different nationalities) and colorful canvases in the style of “Haitian naive”: they can be bought on beaches and markets.
Shops are open from Monday to Saturday from 9:00 to 19:30, large supermarkets – from 8:00 to 22:00 (on Sundays – until 14:00), private souvenir shops are open until the last customer.
Bargaining is appropriate almost everywhere, except for supermarkets. Most often, prices for tourists are initially overpriced, so it is usually possible to agree on half the original cost of the goods.
Tourist areas of the country offer tourists numerous boutiques and souvenir shops. Santo Domingo has the largest commercial centers where you can buy clothes, shoes and other goods of local and foreign production of good quality and at affordable prices. The best places for shopping are the Malecon Avenue, which stretches for 15 km along the sea, as well as the Mercado Modelo market and the Conde shopping street. Prices in Punta Cana and other famous resorts are higher than in the capital, so it is better to make large-scale purchases in Santo Domingo.
- What to bring from the Dominican Republic
- How to distinguish a Dominican larimar from a fake
Cuisine and restaurants of the Dominican Republic
The cuisine of the Dominican Republic can be briefly described as follows: an unusual but delicious mixture of European, African and local recipes. It is based on the wide use of legumes, bananas and vegetables (including exotic ones) in original combinations with meat and fish. Traditional dishes are, for example, “bandera” – a stew of meat, fried bananas, beans, rice and lettuce, thick soup “asopao” and fried pork “puerco en puya”. But fish and seafood, despite the island status of the Dominican Republic, are not very popular.
The average check in a good cafe is 1500 DOP, in a prestigious restaurant – 1500-2000 DOP per person.
The national drink is rum, more than 15 varieties of it are produced here. The most popular are Brugal, Barcelo and Bermudez. The local brands of beer Quiskeya, Seniza, Presidente and Bohemia are of quite decent quality. The original taste has a traditional local alcoholic drink “pru” – the result of fermentation of the juice of the plant of the same name.
The Dominican Republic has an incredible variety of restaurants and cafes with a varied menu and moderate prices. Mostly Caribbean dishes are served here, but fans of other gastronomic traditions will also find their liking: European, Asian or American. For an authentic Dominican culinary experience, comedores are ideal: small, family-run cafes with a homely atmosphere. A full meal here will cost from 170 DOP (in small towns) to 300 DOP(in the capital). There are many fast food eateries in the resort areas, but even the usual burgers, chicken and pizza are served here with a local touch. Most of the hotel restaurants can boast of excellent quality of products and service. There are excellent fish restaurants in Punta Cana. In many establishments, guests will find not only delicious food, but also a pleasant show program with national music.
See also the page ” Detailed guide to fruits of the Dominican Republic “.
- What are the prices for food in the Dominican Republic
The climate in the country is humid subtropical. Sea breezes and trade winds blowing from the northeast soften the heat. The rainy season lasts from May to September and is characterized by frequent but short showers. Showers are also possible in November and December. The rest of the time, dry warm weather persists. The hottest month is August. The average daily temperature ranges from +25 °C in winter to +33 °C in summer. Tides and tides are negligible. See CITYPOPULATIONREVIEW for weather information.
Actual information: weather forecast for the main resorts of the Dominican Republic for the coming days.
- When is the rainy season in the Dominican Republic and Cuba
- What is the weather like in the Dominican Republic in autumn?
- What is the weather like in the Dominican Republic in summer?