Surrounded by the tallest mountains of the Greater Antilles on one side and by amazing beaches on the other, the Dominican Republic is one of the most-visited islands in the Caribbean. But besides its natural splendor, it has plenty more to offer. Here are 15 reasons why you should consider moving there:
1. Music and Dancing
Dominican people love to dance, and they also love to teach anyone who’s willing to learn their signature dance moves. One of the most popular forms of music and dance in the country is the merengue, combining African and European elements, created by a three-piece band. Numerous schools exist in the capital of Santo Domingo, where they teach foreigners and locals how to groove to the music.
2. Party on at the Dominican Carnival
Whoever said you have to go to Brazil to have fun at a great carnival was immensely wrong. The Carnival of the Dominican Republic is one of the most colorful events of the Caribbean, held every February. The multicolored costumes, the amazing street parades, the typical music (meringue and bachata), and the cheerful atmosphere set the tone for a memorable carnival event. It is held in most towns throughout the island, each town adding a significant twist to their own carnival celebrations.
3. The Food is Very Tasty
Food in the Dominican Republic has similar ingredients to those used in other Caribbean countries such as rice, beans, meat, fish, plantains, and tropical fruit. But even so, they managed to create signature dishes by varying traditional Spanish (paella) and West African (fufu) food and adding a little twist to them through local ingredients. The kibbeh and yanikeke, for example, are Dominican-style Jonnycakes while the kipes are derived from the Middle East. The national dish is “Sancocho”, a traditional soup made up of meat, red beans and white rice.
4. Real Estate is Inexpensive
If you fancy living in the big city, in the heart of the action and commotion, you can purchase a two-bedroom, two-bath, ocean-view apartment for a mere $240,000. The 1,345 sqft condo is located in a 12 story apartment building, features a lovely furnished kitchen, a spacious living room and a dining room. The apartment’s main feature is the huge oceanfront and view terrace.
5. They Love “beisbol”
The most popular sport in the country is baseball, by far. The country has the second highest number of players in Major League Baseball after the United States. The Dominican Republic also has its own league, the Dominican Winter Baseball League, with six teams.
6. It is an Outdoor Adventurer’s Paradise
Pico Duarte, the highest mountain in the Caribbean, is located in the heart of the Dominican Republic, with an elevation of 10,164 feet. Situated in the Cordillera Central, it is the most spectacular mountain range in the country, attracting thousands of hikers each year. But even if hiking is not exactly your cup of tea, you can still choose between the wide variety of adrenaline-inducing activities such as zip lining or white water rafting.
7. Awesome Beaches and Water Sports Activities
If you’re more of a beach-goer, then you’ll be happy to find that the country boasts some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Punta Cana is the best option if you’re interested in picturesque beaches, while Las Terrenas, Juan Dolio and Puerto Plata have the best nightlife. If in search for great water parks, head to Sosua or Juan Dolio. Cabarete is one has one of the best beaches for surfing, kitesurfing and windsurfing, whilst snorkeling is prime at Sosua and La Romana.
8. Go Chasing Waterfalls
The Dominican Republic is home to many water paradises, including the 27 Damajagua Waterfalls, which can be visited through guided tours. Many tourists and locals describe visiting the falls as the most exciting activity the country has to offer. Remember that you must be a good swimmer if you want to go venturing through the 27 falls, since some of their pools tend to be quite deep.
9. One of the Best Places for Whale-Watching
Samana Bay is one of the World’s best places for whale-watching. The best time for this memorable tour is between January and March, when thousands of humpbacks migrate to mate and breed. Plenty of guided excursions run from various beaches, and you can even see up to 300 whales at once!
10. Head to Puerto Plata for the Most Amazing Views
The eight-largest city in the Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata offers some of the best panoramic views in the country. For a mere $7, hop on the cable car located at the southern end of the city (the only cable car in the Caribbean), and enjoy the few-minute ascent to the top of Mount Isabel de Torres. Once you’re there, take a look around the city from above, with the ocean as a background. If you look up, you’ll see a replica of the famous Christ the Redeemer Statue of Rio de Janeiro, the Brazilian capital.
11. The Culturally Diverse Capital
The capital city of Santo Domingo is one of the most important cultural capitals in the Caribbean. It is home to a number of museums (Museum of Alcazar, Museum of the Casas Reales, Museo de la Catedral), and parks (Mirador Norte Park, Mirador del Este, Parque Enriquillo, El Malecon). The city also has its own symphonic orchestra, an opera and a ballet company, a national theater and a huge sports complex called Centro Olimpico Juan Pablo Duarte.
12. Witness Rich Biodiversity at Lago Enriquillo
To experience abundant wildlife, head to the hypersaline lake Enquirillo, which is home to the largest American crocodile populations in the Caribbean. The area also houses two types of endemic iguanas, as well as numerous bird species. You can take a boat trip to Isla Cabritos, a small island on the eastern end of the lake, where you can admire large flocks of American flamingos breeding and nesting.
13. You can Practice your Spanish
Even though the majority of the Dominicans speak at least conversational English in resort towns and popular tourist areas, which is not the case in other cities and rural areas. Since the official language is Spanish, you can practice the language with locals, who are all smiles when you approach them in their own language. They are eager to help and are generally patient when they see the effort foreigners put into trying to speak their language.
14. The Cost of Living is Cheaper
Although the touristy areas of the Dominican are not at all cheap, prices are much lower in the cities and rural areas than in the United States or Canada. Professional services, repairs, car, home and health insurance as well as cable TV and internet bills are inexpensive compared to those of North American Countries. Groceries in general are also 25-50% cheaper than in the US.
15. Luxury in the Punta Cana Area
If you’ve always dreamed of owning a luxury apartment in the Punta Cana area, there are plenty of opportunities! You can purchase a 6,028 sqft condo with 4 bedrooms and 5 baths for $1,000,000. The apartment was elegantly furnished to suit every taste, has a huge and welcoming living room area, a big kitchen and an equally spacious dining hall. Located along the marina of Cap Cana, you will surely have a lovely time in the proximity of numerous sandy beaches with crystal-clear waters.
Whether you’re in search of clean beaches, adrenaline rushes or fabulous treats, the Dominican Republic has them all!
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