Dominican Republic

Published on May 16th, 2017 | by Mark Chesnut


5 Great Day Trips from Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

One of the largest cities in the Caribbean, Santo Domingo is a fun destination for an urban getaway as well as a popular place for business travel and conventions. But it’s location in the Dominican Republic, of course, also means that it’s easy to tack on a variety of interesting day trips.

During my recent visit to Santo Domingo to check out the posh new InterContinental Real Santo Domingo hotel, I enjoyed multiple side trips, each with a different vibe. I researched some more with local experts, and came up with this list of 5 great day trips from Santo Domingo.

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1. Juan Dolio: This lively beach destination, a former fishing village, features sun, sand, water sports and lots of opportunities to refuel. Take a seaside seat at Neptunos restaurant and enjoy the view. The town offers ideal, easily accessible Caribbean beach vacation vibe, which is a perfect complement to the hustle and bustle of Santo Domingo

2. Boca Chica: For a slightly quieter beach experience, head to Boca Chica, where the wide, sun-soaked sands offer plenty of places to relax. Rent a couple chairs and umbrellas and you’re set. Food and drink is sold by open-air restaurants and vendors.

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3. Ron Barcelo: Dominican rum is legendary, and when you visit the Ron Barcelo plant, you’ll get an insider’s view of how it’s made. The tour includes views of the factory, as well as a stroll through the attractive visitor center, where exhibits recount the history of the spirit, and samples allow you to pick your favorite.

4. Saona Island: This pristine beach paradise, a protected nature preserve, is reachable by catamaran, and the scenic trip is part of the fun. You can snorkel, sunbathe and enjoy the natural beauty, and perhaps view some of the varied bird and fish species that make their home here.

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5. Altos de Chavón: This fascinating (and somewhat misplaced) recreation of a 16th-century Mediterranean village. It serves as a cultural center, and working artists from around the world maintain studios, with works including paintings, pottery and weaving. There is also an archeological museum, amphitheater that hosts live concerts, and dramatic vistas that make for good photo opportunities.  The complex is home to the Altos de Chavón School of Design, which is affiliated with the Parsons School of Design in New York City.

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About the Author

The founder and editor of, Mark has more than 15 years of experience as a writer, editor and manager. He's worked with some of the biggest consumer, in-flight and travel trade publishers that cover Latin America.

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