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The Dominican Republic is an independent country covering two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola. Despite this there is a very strong American feel to the island and baseball and basketball are just as popular here than in the US. Dominican exports include sugar, bauxite and cacao.

If you are going on holiday to the Dominican Republic, it’s worth brushing up on your Spanish if you are thinking of seeing some sights. Many natives do speak a little English but language can sometimes be a barrier.

Where to go
If you are a tourist and are looking for a little history, try visiting the capital Santa Domingo, it is the oldest history in the New World and is brimming with historic traits.

Sousha has one of the finest golden sand beaches on the island. Here there is a cosmopolitan feel to the place, but has long been a good holiday destination mainly for those looking for sun, sea and sand, although does offer a few shops, a sprinkling of bars and a selection of discos.

Bahia Principe are resorts made up of perfect sandy beaches. Again, for those wishing a secluded retreat, although water sports and other beach activities are available.

Juan Dolio can be found along the south coast. Palm trees adorn the beaches and coral reefs create a good beachfront.

Boca Chica is usually used by the local city dwellers during the weekend and is lively and bustling.

Playa Dorada has been specially designed for the tourist. It includes an 18-hole golf course and each hotel offers a range of activities.

Porta Plata was due to be named La Isabela by Christopher Columbus. Resorts along the beachfront are much the same as Playa Dorada, but historic sights and museums can be found in the ‘Old Town’ including the Dominican Amber Museum and a 16th century fort.

If you enjoy serious hiking and appreciate the wilderness then take an all day trek to the Boiling Lake. The 5 mile each way hike is stenuous and not for the unfit. The Boiling Lake is a 100 foot deep crater about 200 feet in diameter with water that is at boiling point. Its worth the hike but you’ll be aching on the way home!

An easy yet interesting boat rowboat ride to the mangrove lined Indian River and then a fun drive into the Carib Indian Reservation. For those wanting to see the sights, but not to break a sweat.

The following tours and excursions are available through your hotel and are payable locally. Prices are subject to change and are just a rough idea of the cost:

Trekking
For those who love horse-riding or for novices at the sport. A slow guided trek across the Dominican countryside. An all day excursion whereby lunch is usually included. Cost: approximately £31.

Jeep Adventures
Take a 4-wheel drive and discover the tropical forests along the north coast. Waterfalls and shady lagoons aplenty. Cost: approximately £34.

Rivers Wild
A jourbney down the Del Norte River that includes a spectacular maountain back drop. Cost: approximately £58

A day on a Catamaeran
A sun filled day of relaxation and sunbathing aboard a catamaeran. Cost: approximately £40.

Aircraft & Speedboat Adventure
Be whisked away in an aircraft and glide over the Dominican countryside and then speed away on a speedboat. Cost: approximately £128.

Generally, the Dominican Republic has activities and things to see for all age ranges and interests and is fast becoming a popular holiday destination due to the value-for-money tropical sunshine.