The Dominican Republic (or "the DR" as it is frequently called) a mountainous, lush country that comprises the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola, has been a popular Caribbean escape since Christopher Columbus first set foot on its shores in 1492. With nine distinct ecological regions, the island attracts hikers, cavers, birders, culture hounds, and from December to April the famed offshore region of the Silver Bank fills with the haunting melody of whalesong, as humpback whales come to calve. Divers will find a wonderful array of diving off every coast, and each region has its signature dives and logbook essentials, including vibrant, fishy reefs and light beam-filled caverns. But, with a seafaring history that includes the first European to set foot in the Americas, divers tend to gravitate to a long list of brag-worthy wrecks, both natural and artificial, that date from the 16th century to the modern era. Warm water and generally good visibility make most of the Dominican Republic a year-round destination for divers of every level. Snorkel, complete your PADI Open Water Diver course, or take your advanced skills and explore the deeper wrecks and walls, and the exciting, current rich environments.
With diverse activities for divers and nondivers alike, the Dominican Republic has become a popular, easily accessible destination, especially for Europeans and Americans. Most resorts are all-inclusive, and you’ll find many ex-pats that came, fell into the beach vibe and simply stayed. It's a short flight from the United States, making it an ideal long-weekend getaway. In addition to the island's fascinating fauna, much of it unique to the Caribbean, you’ll want to explore the colonial architecture of Santo Domingo, a World Heritage Site, take on a round of golf, and if you like merengue, seek out any local dance hall on a Friday night.