Bookended by San Juan and Bahia Maimon, the Dominican Republic’s north coast packs a lot in. The tick-list in lively Puerto Plata town, for example, covers everything from a rum factory to a seafront fortress. The pretty old quarter is worth a wander, too. But Puerto Plata’s crowning glory has to be the cable car – it climbs a giddy 800 metres to the top of Mount Isabel del Torres.
Made up of around 30 resorts dotted over hundreds of square miles, Punta Cana is where the A-listers like to lounge. The Clintons, Beyonce and Brad Pitt have all been papped here, and it’s easy to see why. The 50-kilometre coastline is a thick stripe of white sand fringed by giant coconut trees. Plus, beyond the beaches, you’ll find golf courses, tropical countryside and a sprinkling of colonial cities.
Tucked away in the south-east corner of the Dominican Republic, La Romana is beach central. The sandy swathes in this neck of the woods stretch along the coastline from La Romana City all the way to Bayahibe, and the locals reckon they’re the best-looking in the country. Playa La Minatas, for example, is a Photoshop-perfect stretch where jetsetters come to see and be seen. And Playa El Caleton’s pristine sands and shallow waters make it a big hit with families.
The Samana Peninsula is straight out of a David Attenborough documentary. Thanks to a landscape blanketed in waterfalls, lagoons and rainforests, this pincer of land sticking out from the north-east coast is home to all creatures great and small. We’re talking everything from humpback whales to exotic birds.