8 Unmissable Places to Visit by Car in the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic offers more than just beautiful beaches. It’s brimming with historical sites and lush nature reserves一all of which you could easily visit just by driving around the country. So go ahead and start making travel plans today because there is no shortage of things to do. Here are the eight best places to visit in the Dominican Republic.
1. Ciudad Colonial
Start your trip in Santo Domingo, the country’s capital and largest city. As the first seat of the Spanish colony in the New World, the landscape is dotted with historical sites一many of which you’ll find in Ciudad Colonial.
Here are some good places to see in the Dominican Republic’s famed ‘zona’:
- Alcázar de Colón: A museum that used to be the first castle/viceroyalty residence in the New World.
- Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor: The New World’s first Cathedral.
- Casa del Cordón: Touted to be the oldest, still-standing stone structure in the New World (built in 1502).
- Church and Convent of the Dominican Order: The oldest church in the Americas.
- Fortaleza Ozama: The oldest military edifice of European origin in the New World.
- Hospital San Nicolás de Bari: The ruins of the country’s first hospital.
- Museo del Ambar: A museum that houses amber collections mined in the country.
- Plazoleta de los Curas: The former site of the Americas’ oldest cemetery
2. Los Tres Ojos National Park
Los Tres Ojos National park is one of the natural best places to visit in the Dominican Republic. Located a good 12 minutes away from Ciudad Colonial, this park is one of the preeminent places to see in the Dominican Republic. The open-air limestone cave is home to three lakes (ojos), namely:
- Lago de Azufre: First discovered in 1916.
- La Nevera: Where you can board a boat to visit Los Zaramagullones, the deepest and ‘fourth’ lake in the park.
- El Lago de las Damas: This is the shallowest of all at a depth of only 8 feet
Note that you will need to climb 346 stairs to access the lakes, so be ready!
3. Parque Central
Puerto Plata, which is about a 3.5-hour drive from Santo Domingo, is another one of the eight best places to visit in the Dominican Republic. There’s so much to see here, such as the Parque Central.
Also known as the Independence Plaza, it’s a great spot to chill and relax in after several hours of driving. There are a lot of structures to admire here as well, including the Cathedral of St. Philip the Apostle and the City Council (House of Culture.)
4. Fortaleza San Felipe
Located 4 minutes away from the lovely Parque Central is Fortaleza San Felipe, one of the best historical places to visit in the Dominican Republic. Finished in 1577, this steadfast fort helped defend the residents of Puerto Plata from pirates, bandits, and corsairs.
5. Los Haitises National Park
If you want to drive down the road less traveled, then be sure to stop off in Samaná. Located 4 hours away from Puerto Plata, the province serves as the seat of the marvelous Los Haitises National Park.
Here, you can go sightseeing, hiking, birdwatching, kayaking, and so much more. It’s unquestionably one of the best natural places to visit in the eastern region.
6. El Limón Waterfall
Samaná is also home to the 140-foot El Limón Waterfall, which is located deep in the lush Caribbean jungle. You’ll need to take a mile-long trek to get here, but it’s all worth the effort as it’s a must to see this place in the Dominican Republic.
7. Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve
A trip to the Dominican Republic, of course, wouldn’t be complete without visiting amazing Punta Cana. Located 4 hours away from Samaná is one of the best places to visit in the eastern Dominican Republic: the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve.
Known for its 12 freshwater lagoons, it’s the go-to spot for thrillseekers who wish to dive into the 26-foot-deep Guama Lagoon!
8. Scape Park
Popular Punta Cana is home to another natural beauty: the 247-acre Scape Park. Many people go here to swim in the turquoise-blue waters of Hoyo Azul, but you can go birdwatching and ziplining in the park as well.
This list is the beginning, for there are many other awe-inspiring places to see in the Dominican Republic. So if you want to savor them all in luxurious style, reserve your Grandeliga car today. Our rental process is easy and fuss-free, so you can revel in the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic without the added stress of figuring out logistics.