A Local’s Guide to the Dominican Republic
The Dominican Republic is more than just high-heeled and all-inclusive resorts. It can be quite fun and adventurous if staying in the island's capital Santo Domingo, or at a more boutique property in the jungle. The local culture, rum and nature’s offerings are plenty on this island. So enjoy the vibrant island as you dance on cobblestone streets, enjoy the local cuisine, and get away to a secret paradisiacal beach.
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Where to stay
Casa Bonita Tropical Lodge
Casas del XVI
A collection of seven transformed colonial-era homes across Santo Domingo—a perfect city hit paired with a beach break.
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Things to do
From Casa Bonita
Hike the trails on the Casa Bonita property or zipline for a little more adventure. Grab a surfboard (or book an instructor) for the nearby beaches to catch some waves.
Want to unwind? The on-site spa will book massages on the side of the river, or you can swim in the infinity pool or soak in the hot tub.
Take a day trip to Bahia de Las Aguilas for a gorgeous beach near the Haitian border, complete with iguanas, butterflies, azure waters and very few other visitors.
From Casas del XVI: Explore Santo Domingo
Santo Domingo is an incredible Colonial-style Caribbean city with plenty of history and secret spots. Do a walking tour (DIY or guided) of Zona Colonial and check out the Cathedral of Santa Maria la Menor, Palacio Consistorial, Altar de la Patria, etc. You can also stop by the Museum of Juan Pablo Duarte (a wax figure museum), the Museum of the Casas Reales and the Amber Museum.
Take a trip for the day to visit the Ron Barcelo rum distillery and stop by San Pedro de Macoris for beach time on the way back.
Eat & drink
D'Luis Parrillada: Head here for lunch with seafront dining and, naturally, order the grilled fish as it is caught right there on the spot.
Buche Perico: This spot near Parque Colon features stunning interiors worthy of a wedding and serves local dishes with an international twist.
Cafeteria Restaurante El Conde: Grab a corner table and order a piña colada here to watch the local street life and its enthusiastic performers.
Maraca: This design-forward spot is perfect for a date night, serving Modern Latin dishes.
Jalao: Head to this bar for a lively night out that might even have you dancing through the morning. They also serve a delicious dinner if you want to come early and stay through the evening.
Morrofino Bar de Tapas: Stop by for traditional Spanish tapas and a tinto de verano (sangria!)
Ristorante Angelo: A charming Italian restaurant in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, that feels like a perfect transport directly from Europe.
La Alpargateria: This hidden gem with a charming courtyard bar surprising menu for small bites and cocktails. You can also get gorgeous, custom-made espadrilles and shoes, often with a 24-hour turnaround!
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