9 Dominican Republic Vacations for Every Type of Traveler

Aerial Photography at the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana Aerial Photography at the Majestic Colonial Punta Cana/Oyster

The Dominican Republic lures travelers throughout the year with its consistent warm weather, beautiful beaches, and array of hotel options. The plethora of tourist-friendly areas, affordable all-inclusive resorts, and easy access from many U.S. cities make it suitable for a variety of visitors. Here, we offer nine Dominican Republic vacations for every type of traveler, plus a hotel pick for each.

For Romantic Vacations in the Dominican Republic

A Caribbean island vacation is already romantic, but adding a beautiful beach, high-end spa with couples’ treatments, and adults-only resort only enhances the amorous ambience. However, the Dominican Republic attracts lots of families and party groups as well, so couples looking to relax together should stay away from the tourist-heavy Bavaro area of Punta Cana and the bustling capital of Santo Domingo. In addition to spa time, throw in a private oceanfront dinner, catamaran cruise, and even sunrise hot air balloon ride to up the romance factor.

Our Pick for a Romantic Hotel in the Dominican Republic: Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

The 96-room Zoetry Agua Punta Cana is one of the most luxurious and tranquil beachfront all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic. An uncrowded white-sand beach, suites with butler service, a lovely swimming pool, and one of the area’s best spas are all on offer, as are gourmet restaurants and free top-shelf liquor. Additionally, all guests receive free 20-minute wellness treatments and 45-minute horseback rides.

For Family Vacations in the Dominican Republic

With beautiful beaches, theme parks, and resorts packed with kid-friendly features, the Dominican Republic offers families an easy and fun vacation. Certainly the most family-friendly area is Bavaro, a quick 20-minute ride from the Punta Cana International Airport. There, visitors of all ages will likely enjoy Bavaro Adventure Park, where activities include zip-lining, paintball, and ATV rides, in addition to sea life-focused Dolphin Island Park and Seaquarium Punta Cana. Opt for an all-inclusive resort filled with amenities such as a kids’ club, water sports, a plethora of restaurants, and daytime activities.

Our Pick for a Family-Friendly Hotel in the Dominican Republic: Grand Memories Splash

This upscale all-inclusive resort is home to the Caribbean’s largest resort water park, featuring a wave pool and waterslides. The huge property also houses kids’ and teens’ clubs, daily organized activities for kids and adults, a theater for evening entertainment, and suites with bunk beds. Additionally, it’s near Bavaro’s family-friendly parks.

For All-Inclusive Vacations in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a top spot for all-inclusive vacations. There are plenty of all-inclusive resorts to choose from, whether travelers are seeking a honeymoon hideaway, spring break hotel, or family-friendly property. The all-inclusive hotels here offer competitive pricing, allowing tourists to plan an affordable getaway with one easy rate. All-inclusive hotels generally include all meals, snacks, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, non-motorized water sports, and daytime activities.

Our Pick for an All-Inclusive Resort in the Dominican Republic: Majestic Colonial Punta Cana

The upscale Majestic Colonial Punta Cana is the most popular resort in the Dominican Republic — and with good reason. This Bavaro Beach property essentially operates as two resorts, with a family-friendly side and the adults-only Colonial Club section. The 658 attractive suites have rainfall showers and separate jetted tubs, free minibars, and furnished outdoor spaces — some with ocean views or swim-out access. Eight well-regarded restaurants, twice-weekly foam parties, a full-service spa, a casino, and a 1,300-foot lazy river-style pool keep guests happy.

For Beach Vacations in the Dominican Republic

If you’re heading to the Dominican Republic, you likely want to spend a good amount time on the beach. Beaches with stunning white sand against turquoise waters are numerous, whether on the Caribbean or Atlantic side of the country. Top beaches include the remote and undeveloped Playa Rincon, near the eastern tip of the Samana Peninsula; Playa Bayahibe on the southern coast near La Romana; and Playa Grande on the northern coast, an hour’s drive from Cabarete. Travelers hoping to spot migrating whales should visit the Samana area between mid-December and late March.

Our Pick for a Beach Hotel in the Dominican Republic: Casa de Campo Resort & Villas

Offering an exceptional beach near La Romana, Casa de Campo Resort & Vilas is a luxurious hotel that’s arguably the D.R.’s classiest and most famous resort. This 1974-opened hotel is part of a massive 7,000-acre resort community housing three world-renowned golf courses, a marina, and a quaint “town” of Altos de Chavon. There are 454 sleek rooms here, many of which are impressive villas.

For Luxury Vacations in the Dominican Republic

You may think the Dominican Republic is packed with generic hotels serving cheap booze and mediocre food, but the country is actually filled with high-end resorts. Discerning travelers will find striking architecture in Santo Domingo, opulent villas in Cabarete, and elegant spas offering top-notch treatments. For a luxury experience, book a private catamaran cruise that includes snorkeling and beach fun.

Our Pick for a Luxury Hotel in the Dominican Republic: Tortuga Bay Hotel

One of the most luxurious hotels in all of the Caribbean, the 30-suite Tortuga Bay Hotel is a phenomenal property with VIP treatment, Oscar de la Renta-designed rooms, and a beautiful white-sand beach. Every amenity, including the restaurant, free airport transfers and expedited immigration service, and high-end spa, is world-class. All suites have jetted tubs, golf carts, private butler service, and ocean-view balconies/terraces.

For Cheap Vacations in the Dominican Republic

Budget-conscious travelers will have several well-reviewed hotels to choose from in the Dominican Republic. Party-minded tourists can find cheap hotels in Cabarete and Sosua; laid-back families will likely appreciate the many affordable beach hotels in Puerto Plata; and the sheer volume of options in Punta Cana means a good deal is easy to find. All-inclusive resorts, properties near local restaurants, and hotel rooms with kitchens all help keep costs down. Visiting during the low season months of March through May and September through October also allows travelers to score good deals on flights and hotels.

Our Pick for a Budget Hotel in the Dominican Republic: Iberostar Costa Dorada

The 516-room Iberostar Costa Dorada is an affordable all-inclusive resort located along a sandy beach a short drive from the center of Puerto Plata. Rooms are simple, but well-maintained, while resort features consist of large and lively pools, a spa, and a packed entertainment program. Buffet and a la carte restaurants receive positive reviews.

For Solo Vacations in the Dominican Republic

Solo travel may be associated with destinations like Thailand or Rome, but the Dominican Republic shouldn’t be left off that list. For starters, it’s often more affordable, requires less travel, and provides a great mix of relaxation and fun. There are hostels for travelers seeking dirt-cheap room rates and a community environment, but there are also many resorts with organized daytime activities and evening fun conducive to socializing with fellow solo travelers. Island boat tours, nightclubs, and rum-tasting tours are additional opportunities for meeting other tourists.

Our Pick for a Solo Hotel in the Dominican Republic: Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana

A great pick for solo travelers, families, groups, and couples alike, the 1,775-room Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana is a massive luxury all-inclusive resort with an array of features. There are 13 swimming pools, 12 restaurants, 23 bars and lounges, an 18-hole golf course, a massive spa and fitness center, and the Dominican Republic’s largest casino. Solo travelers wanting to meet people should take a seat at the swim-up bar, head to the late-night Oro nightclub, and participate in daily activities.

For Adventurous Vacations in the Dominican Republic

No need to head to Costa Rica for zip-lining or Australia for scuba diving, as both can be done in the Dominican Republic, in addition to other adventurous activities. Scape Park is a natural theme park where visitors can zip-line into the water, swim in a cave and hidden cenote, explore caverns, and interact with animals such as horses and monkeys. There are several great scuba diving spots off the coast, plus travelers can snorkel among colorful sea life, take helicopter rides over the Caribbean Sea, and go off-roading in Flintstone-themed buggies.

Our Pick for an Adventure Hotel in the Dominican Republic: Sanctuary Cap Cana 

If the adventure-packed Scape Park sounds fun, we recommend staying at the luxurious Sanctuary Cap Cana, which is a quick 10-minute drive away. The beautiful all-inclusive hotel has a pretty beachfront, multiple pools, gorgeous rooms with jetted tubs, daily activities such as cooking classes and games, and nightly entertainment.

For Sustainable Vacations in the Dominican Republic

Traveling sustainably has become more and more popular with each passing year, as tourists look to lessen their environmental impact while still enjoying a vacation. When planning a sustainable getaway, steer clear of destinations that have been plagued by overtourism, avoid using single-use plastic water and toiletry bottles, and opt for nonstop flights instead of flights with layovers (which uses far more carbon emissions).

Our Pick for a Sustainable Hotel in the Dominican Republic: Natura Cabana Boutique Hotel & Spa

While there are many upscale properties with admirable recycling programs and eco-friendly practices, travelers really wanting to connect with nature should book a stay at the upper-middle-range Natura Cabanas Boutique Hotel & Spa. This beachfront hotel has just 11 eco-friendly bungalows without air-conditioning or TVs, two tasty restaurants and free breakfast, a small pool, yoga classes, and a fabulous spa.

Our Favorite Vacation Wear for the Dominican Republic

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