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When you visit the Dominican Republic, there are opportunities for high-flying adventure and low-key downtime — we suggest a healthy dose of both. Here are the five best things to see and do on the Caribbean island:
1. The beach. Depending on which resort you stay at in the Dominican Republic, you’ll likely have access to a private beach. Allot plenty of time to relax oceanside whether on a towel or in a cabana, as you take in the palm trees and watch the bright blue water crash onto the shore.
2. Shopping. While the D.R. may not have massive designer malls, it does offer unique local goods. It’s likely the resort you’re staying at will have an onsite gift shop, but buy straight from the locals. Many of the area hotels allow resident entrepreneurs to visit the grounds for a few hours to sell their merchandise by the pool or beach. It’s the perfect way to nab a small painting, T-shirt or wooden statue to take home — and you don’t even have to change out of your swimsuit to do so.
3. Horseback riding. Both scenic and a little bit adventurous, a horseback ride is a great way to take in the beauty of the Dominican Republic. Most tours will have you trotting right on the beach. If your hotel doesn’t offer its own horseback-riding tour, it should be able to hook you up with one nearby.
4. Adventure sports. When island life starts feeling a little too tame, pick up the pace with one of the many adventure sports the country has to offer. Try your hand — and bravery — at everything from kiteboarding to snorkeling.
5. Cigar factories. Dominican cigars are getting just as good of a reputation as Cuban ones. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit a local factory to watch the stogies being rolled, and take a few home with you.