Occupying the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola, the Dominican Republic is the most visited tourist destination in the Caribbean. And the country’s image as a sun-blessed playground is merited – you can happily spend your days on sandy beaches framed by crystal-clear waters and lofty palm trees, and fill your nights with merengue and dark rum.
But there’s a lot more to the DR, as it’s commonly known. Set on the most geographically diverse Caribbean island, it boasts alpine wilderness, tropical rainforests and mangrove swamps, cultivated savannahs, vast desert expanses and everything in between. The opportunities for ecotourism and adventure travel are staggering: if you were so inclined, in a single week you could scale a 150m waterfall on a rope, mountain bike along remote dirt tracks, ride the best windsurfing waves in the hemisphere, trek to the top of a 3000m mountain and head out in a fishing boat to marvel at the humpback whales crashing about in the bay of Samaná.