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The Dominican Republic can be a gorgeous getaway for travelers of every stripe. Of course, as with any foreign travel, it’s important to do your homework before you get on the plane. Here’s how to make the most of it.
1. Check Out Historical Santo Domingo
You should think about taking a day to explore Santo Domingo, the oldest city in the Americas. Several day-long tours will take you to all the most exciting sites in this historical city. There’s plenty to experience in Santo Domingo.
2. Don’t Drink the Water
Play it safe. The drinking water in the Dominican Republic is mostly unclean, so you should avoid drinking any water that doesn’t come directly from a sealed bottle. Stay hydrated, but spring for the bottled stuff.
3. Take it Easy on the Coconut
If you want to avoid hugging the toilet for one of your days, you might want to take it easy on the coconut-themed drinks. While delicious, coconuts also act as a laxative. Exercise a little bit of caution.
4. Visit Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park & Reserve
Several hotels in the area offer free access to the reserve, which means you can enjoy some of the most pristine natural offerings the Dominican Republic has to offer.
5. Stroll Through the National Botanical Garden
It’s easy to lose yourself among this gorgeously curated selection of greenery that’s filled with carefully chosen plants and birds. Learn about the botany of the Dominican Republic, even as you enjoy the aesthetic beauty that abounds.
6. Visit the Alcazar de Colon at Night
This imposing Spanish castle was built by the son of Christopher Columbus in 1510. It’s especially breathtaking at night. And thanks to the abundance of se-curity personnel around the palace, you don’t need to be concerned about safety when the sun goes down.
7. Take a Dip at Hoyo Azul
This Punta Cana destination will surprise you at every turn. Hoyo Azul is a la-goon plopped at the bottom of a 65-meter-high cliff. Swimming is open to visi-tors, so be sure to spend a little time dipping your toe in Hoyo Azul’s turquois water.
8. Take a Tour With Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures
Whether you check out a sunset or you merely hit the water for a maritime ex-cursion, this company is renowned for its service from tourists of all shapes and sizes. Whether you take a larger 20-person trip or you opt for something semi-private, you won’t be disappointed.
9. Think Twice About Water Sports
The Dominican Republic doesn’t have the same exacting standards of safety as the United States. So travel insurance is never a wrong decision. You can still find some great options in the DR to get your watersports fix, just make sure to double check before you sign up.
10. Go to the Hard Rock Casino
You can get a respite from the sun at the Hard Rock Casino in Punta Cana. The 45,000-square-foot casino is a little slice of Vegas smack dab in the middle of paradise. The staff is friendly, the tables are immaculate, and there’s plenty of fun to be had. There’s no Hard Rock Cafe, though …