Why the Dominican Republic?
The Dominican Republic is located on the island of Hispaniola, which is where Christopher Columbus landed on his first voyage to the New World in 1492. The Dominican Republic shares Hispaniola with Haiti, and takes up the eastern portion of the island. The Dominican Republic is the second largest economy in the Caribbean, as well as the second largest Caribbean nation both in terms of population and area. Though it may play second fiddle to Cuba in these two categories, the Dominican is the most visited destination in the Caribbean. While the nation’s rich history and cultural heritage are two of the primary reasons why so many visitors come to the D.R. every year, one look at the white sand beaches and the lush, tropical rainforests of the interior may present another reason: It is absolutely gorgeous. More than just a veritable Eden, there is no limit to the number of activities in which to partake while in the D.R. Whether you want to enjoy a speed boat or catamaran tour, snorkel among warm waters and coral reefs or go horseback riding along the pristine beaches of Punta Cana, any adventure that you can dream up can be made a reality in the Dominican Republic.
Though the Dominican Republic has seen its popularity as a tourist destination surge primarily due to the growing number of resorts and recreational activities in coastal towns like Punta Cana, there is yet another facet of the Dominican Republic that is of equal importance. While Santo Domingo may not be the place to take a helicopter or a mini cooper tour, its history and cultural significance is difficult to overstate. As the largest city in the Dominican Republic, as well as the single oldest permanent city in the Western Hemisphere to be established by Europeans, it is one of the most culturally and historically significant cities in the New World. When you discover that the city was founded by Bartholomew Columbus—the brother of Christopher Columbus—in 1496, you'll realize that the cobblestone streets of the older portion of the city are just the beginning of the historical treasures that await you as you walk around. By far the most historically important of all Dominican Republic tours are the ones that make stops at the National Pantheon, which celebrates the most important figures in the history of the Dominican Republic; the Alcazar de Colon, which was erected in 1510, and out of where Diego Columbus, son of Christopher Columbus, served as governor; the Catedral Primada de América (First Cathedral of the Americas); the Museum of Casas Reales, which were originally built by order of the Spanish King Ferdinand II of Aragon in 1511 to serve as the administrative center for the government of the new colony.
Many of these sites can be found on the Calle Las Damas, the oldest street in the New World. Beyond the Colonial Zone, there are other landmarks that should be part of any Santo Domingo tour. Perhaps the most important is the Botanical Gardens, home not only to some of the best examples of the indigenous flora and fauna found on the island, but also a Japanese garden, a flower clock and a museum dedicated to teaching visitors about the numerous ecosystems that can be found in the Dominican Republic.
While visiting Santo Domingo will teach you about the first few years of European interaction with the inhabitants of the New World, which includes a long list of conquistadors, Jesuits and opportunists who may have ended up in jail had the opportunity to pillage the wealth of several empires in the New World not come up, there are far more fun things to do in the Dominican Republic. These include visiting resort destinations like Punta Cana and La Romana.
Punta Cana has become one of the premier destinations in the Caribbean for everything from snorkeling among the reefs to enjoying some of the best nightlife that the D.R. has to offer. There are tons of fun things to do in Punta Cana, and Gray Line can help you enjoy them all. Whether you are hoping to travel to Monkey Land (which is exactly what you think it is) or enjoy one of our Punta Cana dolphin excursions, Gray Line Dominican Republic makes sure that your experience in the wonderful resort town is as unique as it is unforgettable. Some of our Punta Cana excursions make use of less than orthodox means of conveyance, as well. While our Punta Cana airport transfers are seemingly normal (except for the option to have a six pack of beer waiting for you when you get in the car), our Punta Cana day trips make use of such novel forms of transportation as Segway scooters and ATVs. You can’t go wrong with a trip to this tropical paradise!
La Romana is the third largest city in the Dominican Republic. It also serves as the gateway to some of the best golfing in the country. Gray Line offers a wide variety of tours from La Romana, including Punta Cana transfers, Dominican Republic airport transfers and day trips to Saona Island, which is home to some of the most picturesque beaches in the Dominican Republic, not to mention some of the nation’s best wildlife viewing and birding.
There are a myriad of tours offered by Gray Line that will give you the unique opportunity to explore the oldest European settlement in the New World. On top of the historical and cultural destinations within the colonial center of Santo Domingo, our tours of the Dominican Republic's largest city also include a mouth watering lunch of traditional Dominican cuisine, as well as stops at more modern attractions, such as the Fine Arts Palace, the Presidential Palace and the National Theater. As the first name in Dominican Republic transportation, our goal is to show you not only the past, but the present and the future of this thriving island nation, as well.
Gray Line Dominican Republic
Gray Line Dominican Republic is here to offer to off you the best services in the Dominican Republic. From private and shared transportation to tours that range from leisurely to adventurous, we’ve got you covered. We are truly your local expert, allow us to introduce you to our little slice of paradise.