The Dominican Republic has a more varied environment and a higher concentration of all-inclusive resorts than any other Caribbean country. Most hotels are situated along the 20-mile golden sands of the country’s east coast, between Bávaro and Punta Canta. Traditional escorted tours are massively outnumbered by all-inclusive packages that include lodging, flights, and transportation. Still, there are plenty of choices if you prefer to go it alone and not be limited to eating every meal at your hotel.
Dominicans are known for finding any reason to have a good time. Many countrywide religious festivals combine Catholic and African-influenced voodoo customs, while each village has its festival honoring its patron saints. The Dominican Republic’s independence from Haiti is celebrated on February 27th, which also happens to be the penultimate day of its annual Carnival. Restoration Day is a Dominican Republic event celebrated in August to commemorate the country’s independence from Spain.
The Dominican Republic’s trademark meal, la Bandara, is a colorful stew of pork, salad, white rice, red beans, and fried plantains. Other local favorites include Sopa Criolla Dominicana, a baked vegetable cake known as pastelón, and little fried chicken pieces known as chicharrones. Chicken, pig, and even goat meat in the Dominican Republic are considerably more typical than beef, far more costly. Local beverages, such as Presidente beer and at least six distinct types of rum, are also far less expensive.