Guide to the Dominican Republic – caribbeannationalweekly.com

The recent establishment of direct flights from the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Jamaica to the Dominican Republic via Arajet Airlines is a boon for inter-Caribbean travel. This direct path reduces the previously cumbersome indirect travel itinerary of 20 hours to a streamlined one-hour-and-ten-minutes flight.
The Dominican Republic is often referred to as the tourism capital of the Caribbean. The picturesque island pulls visitors from all over the world, seeing over 6.5 million travelers in 2019 alone, and generating almost $7.5 billion USD.
With plunging cliff sides that give way to mesmerizing waterfalls, soft-white sand beaches that seemingly extend forever, and a diverse culture that combines the best of Mediterranean Europe, Africa, and indigenous Caribbean Indians, the Dominican Republic is the number one tourist destination in the region. With this new direct flight, now Jamaicans can easily see what the hype is about.
Punta Cana is the go-to capital of the Dominican Republic. Across Latin America, it is the second most popular tourist destination and by far the most popular in the Caribbean. It’s easy to see why the town was engineered to appeal to foreigners. In the late 60s, Dominican entrepreneur Frank Rainieri, and a team of investors, acquired the land to create, at the time, the region’s most state-of-the-art hotel. The popularity and unparalleled vistas attracted more hoteliers, resulting in today’s incredible resort experiences tailored to families and couples alike.
Today, you have your pick can world-class resorts and beaches in Punta Cana. Tourists come to bask in the sun, swim with the fishes (and sharks), and party in the Imagine Punta Cana Night Club, a natural cave repurposed into a one-of-a-kind nightclub.
The Dominican Republic is far more than beaches. The inlands have their own charm, especially for the more adventurous tourists. For example, the Damajagua trail takes visitors through 12 of the country’s legendary 27 waterfalls. It’s a well-worn path, navigated by experienced guides trained in first aid and CPR. The falls range from small and approachable to large and daring, with zip lines and natural pools in between.
It’s also home to some of the oldest intact remnants from the Caribbean’s colonial age. The Alcázar de Colón, or Columbus Alcazar, was the first fortified European Palace established in the Americas. It was the historic home of the son of the infamous Christopher Columbus, Diego Columbus. In modern days, the site is a museum, filled with exhibits and relics from the region’s rich and complex history.
The cuisine is a fusion of its historical influences. Aspects of Spanish, Mediterranean, African, and indigenous Taino techniques and ingredients can be found throughout the dishes. Breakfast typically consists of meat or egg, and mangú (mashed plantains.) Taking a cue from the Spanish, lunch is typically the heaviest dish, but is also very flexible. La Bandera (“The Flag”) consists of rice, beans, protein, and vegetable component. Sofrito forms the base of most of Dominican Republic’s cuisine. It’s a spicy combination of sauteed onions, garlic, peppers and tomatoes, similar to a French mirepoix.
Whether you’re in love with history, looking for a beachside getaway, or an adventure in the waterfalls, the Dominican Republic has something for you, and there’s never been a better time to book your trip.



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