Situated on the island of Hispaniola, which it shares with Haiti, the Dominican Republic is a world away from its neighbour. Stable and welcoming, the country is the most geographically diverse in the Caribbean. Consequently, Dominican Republic holidays are full of colour and contrast as the country boasts both the highest peak and lowest point in the Caribbean, vibrant cities and sleepy villages, all-inclusive resorts and activity centres.
The capital Santo Domingo retains much of its original charm and is a bustling multicultural hub. San Cristobal draws the most visitors due to its association with the dictator Trujillo, whilst Bayahibe is gaining in popularity due to its eco credentials and protection of endangered turtles and iguanas.
Just off the southern shore of Bayahibe lies Isla Saona, a castaway island with 45-square miles of white coral sand beaches and lagoons lined with mangroves.
There are plenty of options for watersports enthusiasts, who can swim at magnificent beaches or dive to explore reefs, wrecks and caverns. Cabarete has excellent sailing, windsurfing and kite surfing; the Peninsula de Samana is the place to watch humpback whales congregate. Elsewhere there's white water rafting, canyoning and fishing.
Inland, climb Pico Duarte, the Caribbean's highest mountain, or head to the towns of Jarabacoa or Constanza for an alternative Caribbean holiday experience.