People come from all over to relax on the beaches and check out the nightlife of the Dominican Republic. Tourism in the Dominican is busy, with over 6 million visitors annually. It's easy to see why, with all of its natural beauty waiting to be explored!
With so many destinations to choose from, figuring out where to stay can be a challenge. Here are my recommendations for the best regions of the Dominican Republic to stay in, based on what you're travel itinerary.
Which part of the Dominican Republic is best?
This is a tricky question to tackle as there are so many places to visit in the Dominican Republic. There are five major areas of the Dominican Republic, and they each have pros and cons, so let's dive into them!
The Northwest and the Central Cordillera
This area is full of lush green forests, bordered by mountains and rivers. This is the perfect place for adventure seekers and has the highest peak in the Caribbean–the Pico Duarte.
The Samana Region
This region is off the beaten track compared to Punta Cana and is well known for its pristine beaches and islands.
The South West
This area attracts fewer tourists and can be a great place to escape crowds. It's full of local flora, fauna, and beautiful white sand beaches.
The Region of Santo Domingo
This region holds the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo! Best for nightlife and exploring the Dominican Republic's history and culture. Fun fact, it's also home to some UNESCO world heritage sites.
The South East and Punta Cana
This region is one of the most touristy areas in the Dominican Republic due to its beautiful beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Despite the crowds, it can be relaxing and fun for all ages!
Enough of the geography, let's get into the best places to stay in the Dominican Republic for every type of traveler!
What part of the Dominican Republic should I stay in?
With so many Dominican Republic destinations worth visiting, you might wonder, which one is the best for you? Well, that depends on what kind of trip you're looking for. From adventurous to relaxing, here are the top places to stay in the Dominican Republic:
Best beaches in Dominican Republic
Are you looking for the best beaches in the Dominican Republic to get your sun tan and surf on? Then you must stay in the South Eastern region near Punta Cana. Of course, there are many beautiful beaches all around the island, but the best ones are in this region.
Nothing beats the luscious white sandy beaches and turquoise waters of Punta Cana. It's excellent for swimming, relaxing on the beach, or having a beachside drink!
Where to stay in the Dominican Republic for water activities
Are you keen to get out on the water? Whether you love diving, snorkeling, or jet skiing, Los Melones and Playa Bayahibe are where you need to be! The water is calm and crystal clear, perfect for any water activities.
These areas are less popular and developed than the nearby Punta Cana, meaning more space for marine life to thrive. It's a snorkeler and divers paradise!
Isla Catalina and its beautiful beaches are near and reachable by boat, giving you many options for things to do in this area!
Best place to stay in the Dominican Republic for young adults
The South East and Punta Cana is the place to be for young adults! Although you can find lively bars and a great party scene in just about any city on the island, Punta Cana is where all the fun is!
Many travelers come to Punta Cana for the beaches, but they stay for the nightlife. There is an abundance of clubs and bars–many of which are beachside–for you to have a drink and meet fellow travelers!
Where to stay in the Dominican Republic for couples
Take your partner on an adventure to discover some of the hidden coves with virgin beaches or take an eco-tour of the nearby mangroves. There are many nice restaurants in town to have a date night too!
Unique places to stay in the Dominican Republic
Barahona in the South West is one of the most incredible places to discover in the Dominican Republic. Head out to see local vineyards, gemstone mines, untouched coasts, cerulean waters, natural pools, and limestone caves in this region.
It's not hard to lose track of time at such a beautiful destination! To make getting around a breeze, I recommend renting a car.
Most tourists head East towards Punta Cana and miss out on everything this incredible region offers! Barahona is close to both Parque Nacional Sierra De Baoruco and Jaragua National Park, two stunning natural parks filled with hidden gems to find!
Most beautiful places in the Dominican Republic
Calling all thrill seekers! The Northwest and the Central Cordillera of the Dominican Republic are where you need to go in to have the adventure of a lifetime.
This region is known as the Dominican Alps due to its mountainous terrain and lush green forests. It's also where you can find the highest mountain in the Caribbean, El Pico Duarte.
Jarabacoa, a nearby town, is the perfect place for a home base. From here, you can set off on many adventures such as hiking, paragliding, river rafting, tours, treks, and much more. Discover pyramids in Valle Nuevo National Park or hike to find one of the tallest waterfalls in the country, Salto de Aguas Blancas.
Best place to visit in the Dominican Republic for culture
To truly dive into the culture of the Dominican Republic, it's best to stay in Santo Domingo. Visit a gallery or taste test some local dishes. With a population of almost 1 million, culture is alive and thriving in this busy metropolitan city.
Check out the Museum of the Dominican Man to learn more about the history and culture, or visit one of the many art galleries scattered across the city. This city is home to lots of street art and is perfect for a walking tour followed by some La Bandera Dominicana from a local restaurant.
Where is the safest place to stay in the Dominican Republic
Although the Dominican Republic is safe, it's not without issues. There have been known reports of theft, and tourist scams. The country has a relatively high crime rate, so it's best to be confident and keep your wits about you when traveling.
The safest place to stay in the Dominican Republic is anywhere that is popular and familiar to tourists, such as Punta Cana, Santo Domingo, and Puerto Plata. Generally, cities or tourist destinations with a high volume of tourists are safe for other travelers.
Although any region of the Dominican Republic can be safe with prior research, tourist scams are still possible, so stay vigilant and be prepared when traveling.
Visit the Dominican Republic
Airports are one of the most stressful stretches of any trip, so prepare yourself by reading up on the airports in the Dominican Republic. I promise this will save you precious time and energy on your next big adventure.
Plan your trip with Pilot
Now you have your trip ideas, why not put them all in one place? Figuring out the logistics of travel can sometimes be a mess. Let Pilot help you with all of your travel planning!