Most tourists make use of the continuously good weather in the Caribbean country to escape the cold winters back home. The northern coast features tropical temperatures and even during winter they never fall below 70°F. Be sure to rent a car with either air conditoning or a convertable to enjoy the outstanding weather. In the south climate is drier, preserving unique landscapes which have been put under the protection of national parks. About a third of the island has been declared protected area.
Santo Domingo, the capital, is just five hours from the town of Punta Cana with its lovely beaches. This is the place where the American adventure started, where the first European settlement was founded, the first European cathedral, university, even the first European road paved. Taking your rental car on these roads will be a trip you will never forget.
If relaxation is your number one priority during your vacation, you will enjoy the beaches of Punta Cana on the eastern tip. This is where you will find that picture-perfect piece of Caribbean beach with the palm trees, coconuts, and turquoise water.
Not far from here the small village of Altos de Chavon, resting above the countryside on a green hill, attracts great numbers of tourists, most of which choose to stay at the luxurious Casa de Campo hotel. Altos de Chavon has long been an artist’s village, where members of the art community seek inspiration and dwell in each others’ creativity.
For a more remote experience go to Cayo Levantado, a small island and insider tip, located in the Samana Bay further to north-west. Water temperatures fluctuate the perfect around 79°F, and if you keep your camera ready, you are guaranteed to get that perfect holiday snapshot of clear blue water and fiery sky at sunset.
Many of the beaches and bays in the Dominican Republic and encircled by mountains and forests, giving you the impression of luxurious seclusion. Your rental car is the best way to explore all of the local hotspots.
The town of Cabarete in the north of the island attracts windsurfers and young individual travelers. The vibrant nightlife is to be found mostly in the bars and pubs downtowns, where you get live music with your drinks.
Traveling the Dominican Republic by car is an easy and convenient affair. The roads and highways are in good condition, though you will need a while to get used to the driving style of the locals. You can trust that traffic rules are considered to be suggestions rather than laws, and speed limits are usually ignored altogether. When driving at night you should know that very few locals actually take the time to fix the headlights on their scooters, and that speed bumps are hard to detect when the street lighting does not work.