The Dominican Republic (an island nation roughly twice the size of New Hampshire) really has it all. Sure, everyone has heard of the pristine white sands, coconut groves, and sprawling all-inclusives gracing well-trod resort areas like Punta Cana, but there’s so much more to this destination.

Just a few hours northwest of Punta Cana you’ll find the ancient, bizarre geological formations of Los Haitises National Park, a veritable heaven on earth for any uncommon adventurer. Across the “Bahia de las Flechas” (Bay of Arrows), the once sleepy fishing village of Samana boasts magnificent 5 star accommodations that double as front row seats to annual Humpback whale migrations.

To the west, Cabarete is firmly established as the “action sports capital of the Caribbean.” The region’s highest thrills, however, are just three hours south in the form of Pico Duarte, the tallest peak in the Caribbean soaring to heights of over 10,000 ft above sea level in Armando Bermudez National Park.

Continuing south, intrepid travelers reach Santo Domingo, the oldest European city in the “New World” founded more than a hundred years before anything in the mainland US! The first European church, street, fort, monastery, university, hospital, everything on this side of the pond— it all started here in the Dominican Republic.

And then there’s the rum. Oh the rum! Know the “3 B’s” (Barcelo, Brugal, and Bermudez) and you can’t go wrong!

So whether it’s climbing mountains, surfing, kiteboarding, visiting some of the most historic sites in the Americas, or just kicking back on world class, white sand beaches, the Dominican Republic really has it all.

Last updated by Patrick Bennett on .