One of the most beautiful and exciting countries in the world you may have not considered visiting is the Dominican Republic. Known for its hotels in Punta Cana, this Caribbean paradise on the island of Hispaniola can be the trip of a life time. Below are five of the top spots you should consider visiting while in the Dominican Republic.
1. Eastern National Park
One of the best places to experience the natural beauty of the Dominican Republic is Parque Nacional del Este, also known as Eastern National Park in English. It is one of the largest marine parks and protected habitats in the Caribbean. It is home to numerous indigenous species including 120 different tropical bird species. There are also caves to explore that have amazingly preserved cave wall drawings from Hispinola’s earliest residents. Other attractions in the park include trails, secluded beaches and coral reef systems.
2. Playa del Macao
Located near the small village of El Macao, Playa del Macao is an amazingly beautiful part of the Dominican coast littered with beaches perfect for catching some rays. The gently rolling waves provide some of the best surfing in the Caribbean. Playa del Macao is also a hot spot for scuba divers especially due to the old shipwreck that can be explored near the shore.
3. Basilica de Nuestra Senora
Known in English as Basilica of Our Lady, Basilica de Nuestra Senora is one of the most impressive displays of Roman Catholic architecture in the world. Catholics from all over the country make a pilgrimage to attend mass here on January 21. It is a beloved church, but even for the non-religious, this cathedral stands as an impressive and extremely unique engineering marvel.
4. Lago Enriquillo
Another place to experience the beautiful natural habitats of the Dominican Republic is Lago Enriquillo. Lago Enriquillo is the largest saltwater lake in the Caribbean and is located in the southwestern part of the country. It is home to one of the Dominican Republic’s largest wildlife reserves. Some of the exotic animals that can be viewed at or around the lake include flamingos, iguanas, crocodiles, turtles and tropical birds. It is also home to 105 diverse and beautiful plant species.
5. Museo de las Casa Realas
Museo de las Casa Realas, translated as the Museum of the Royal Houses, started its existence as a palace constructed in the city of Santo Domingo in 1511 on orders from the Spanish monarchy to house the government for all of Spain’s colonies located in the East Indies. Today, this national monument instead houses a sprawling museum filled with numerous historical artifacts and exhibits that allow millions of visitors from all over the world to learn about the rich history and culture of the Dominican Republic.