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Occupying two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola, between Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Dominican Republic is all beautiful beaches, turquoise oceans and swaying palm trees. Add to the mix a love of music and dance that runs like a river through the population (not to mention a love of baseball), plus great golfing, diving, dining and watersports, and you’ve got yourself a truly inviting vacation destination.
The weather stays at a delightful average of 80F year-round, but storms are possible during hurricane season, July to November. High season starts in December and ends in April, when daily direct flights from NYC, Miami, and Boston are easy to come by. Accommodation on the island is a mixture of private villas, resort hotels and resort communities that combine the two.
With more than a thousand miles of coastline, it’s no surprise that the Dominican Republic is a paradise for watersports enthusiasts. Surfing, windsurfing, and kiteboarding are all big on the island, so if you’ve been thinking about trying one of them a trip to the Dominican is the perfect time to have a go. Cabarete, on the island’s north coast, not far from Puerto Plata airport, is one of the most popular watersports destinations on the island and is becoming well known worldwide for its relaxed surf-town vibe.
The waves here are not intimidating, which makes Cabarete a great place to learn to surf, while the consistent winds created by the low hills that surround the beach are ideal for kite- and windsurfing. No matter if you’re an absolute beginner or a lapsed enthusiast wanting to brush up on your skills, your Luxury Retreats concierge can organize everything for you - from equipment rental to private lessons.
Naturally, a thousand miles of coast means the Dominican Republic is also blessed with a whole host of beautiful beaches. No matter what your ideal beach day looks like - filled with watersports and beach bars or completely secluded and wild - there’s a stretch of sand perfect for you.
Off the coast of La Romana, just along the headland from Punta Cana, you’ll find Isla Catalina. The island is small, with few residents and lovely beaches. It’s easy to get to - boat trips set out for the island daily from resorts like Casa de Campo, so if you’re staying in the area you should definitely devote one day of your trip to visiting. We recommend taking a little time out from sunbathing to enjoy a guided tour of the island’s diverse ecosystems, which include mangrove forests, reefs and sand dunes.
If beaches mean watersports for you, you’ll love Playa Dorada. On the island’s Atlantic coast near Puerto Plata, it’s one of the best places on the island for windsurfing. There’s a wide selection of bars and restaurants along the beach too, so if you prefer to watch watersports instead of taking part, you can stop off for a long lunch with an ocean view here. If you need a break from the sun, Playa Dorada also boasts a shopping center complete with shops and a movie theater.
This is our top choice for travelers who love to get off the beaten path - and we mean that it’s not easy to get to. Known as Bahia de las Aguilas in Spanish, this pristine 8km swath of sand is in the Jaragua National Park, near Pedernales. In contrast to beaches many other beaches on the island, there has been no development here and the beach has protected status. There’s a wealth of sea life here, so bring your snorkel gear for the chance to see tropical fish, lobsters and maybe even a barracuda. The lack of development means no facilities, so make sure you bring snack and refreshments.
If your idea of a vacation activity involves staying firmly put on dry land then look no further than the Dominican’s 26 golf courses. For many players, the DR is becoming the top golf destination in the Caribbean.
Perhaps the most famous is the spectacular Teeth of the Dog course at Casa de Campo. The brainchild of legendary designer Pete Dye (who even has a home alongside the course), it has seven holes that hug the ocean, so close that you can feel the ocean spray on your face.
Another favorite is La Cana at Punta Cana Resort, designed by Pete Dye’s son PB. 14 of the holes at La Cana overlook the water and the scenery is dramatic at every turn - the course is built on a rocky peninsula.
Last but not least, no golf trip to the island would be complete without a round at the Robert Trent Jones Sr course, Playa Grande. Known to golfers as the “Pebble Beach of the Caribbean”, the fabulous setting atop a cliff, plus the panoramic views and challenging play, make this a must-visit destination for any keen golfer.
A selection of our Dominican villas is found at the Casa de Campo resort in La Romana. Guests of these exclusive properties are treated to a plethora of activities for adults and children, unique land and sea excursions, and access to their three internationally renowned golf courses. Dotted across the island, our luxury homes in the DR make the perfect base for a vacation that combines beach time and fun family activities with plenty of rest and relaxation.
On the eastern tip of the Island, Punta Cana is home to a collection of upscale resort communities, including the Punta Cana Resort and Club has been a byword for luxury island accommodations and has welcomed many world-leaders and personalities over the years. If you’re looking for a Punta Cana vacation rental , you’ll be happy to know that all of our homes in the area offer spacious rooms, shaded outdoor areas, and swimming pools.
An exclusive 7,000 acre resort community in La Romana, Casa de Campo has truly world-class amenities - including a marina, polo field, the famous Teeth of the Dog golf course and even a replica Mediterranean village, a week at one of our Casa de Campo villas can be filled with as much, or as little activity as you would like. Our homes here are beautifully designed, with swimming pools, state of the art kitchens and more, and many have a staff including a housekeeper and private chef.
Where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic, Cap Cana is a 26-mile estate lined with white sand beaches and palm trees. For a serious dose of R&R with a side of fun whenever you choose, a stay at Cap Cana is sure to revive body and mind. Our Cap Cana rentals have everything you need to unplug and relax, including beautiful bedrooms with ocean views, steam rooms, swimming pools, chef service, resort access and more.