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Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic occupies more than half of Hispaniola, the second largest Caribbean island. Visitors can enjoy a multitude of activities: the more adventurous can try their hand in a canoe or windsurf; walking enthusiasts can climb Pico Duarte, the highest mountain in the Caribbean with its 3000 m, while 1,600 miles sublime coastline offer relaxation. To dive into the local culture, visit the capital city of Santo Domingo, the oldest city in the New World, with centuries behind.

Tropical fauna and flora leave you breathless. In 19 national parks, six scientific reserves, 32 natural monuments, 15 nature reserves, 2 marine sanctuaries and 9 protected areas of the islands, there exist 5,600 species of plants, 303 species of birds and a rich underwater world. Many resorts are all-inclusive, including those along the picturesque coast of Punta Cana / Bávaro area, where a sizeable coral reef draws scuba divers. A

La Romana has the quaint enclave of artists Altos de Chavon and a resort known for its golf courses, a tennis center, horseback riding, shooting, tennis and a marina. Isla Saona, off the southern shore near Bayahibe, is an island of 72 square miles with pristine beaches and mangrove-lined lagoons. The island of Catalina, only 10 square miles, is very popular for diving. The Samaná Peninsula has unspoilt beaches leading to brilliant coral reefs, gushing inland waterfalls and dense rainforests. The north coast is known as the Amber Coast, the coast of amber, for deposits of this stone found in the area.

The beach of Cabarete is perfect for kiteboarding and windsurfing. In the nearby El Encuentro, waves can reach a height of more than 4 m. In this lush region, adventure enthusiasts can spend time in fast-flowing water rafting, rock climbing and mountain biking. Two golf courses designed by Robert Trent Jones are part of the 21 outstanding golf courses in the country. To the east of Puerto Plata Cabarete is located with its lively beaches. The fort of San Felipe, used by the Spanish to fight pirates in the sixteenth century, is a tribute to colonial times. Ocean World Adventure Park in Cofresi boasts a dolphin lagoon plus a swimmable aquarium and an interactive shark pool. Baní and Las Salinas offer the best opportunities for windsurfing outside of Cabarete without being crowded, while the towns of Boca Chica and Juan Dolio are famous for their beaches frequented. In the central part of the region lie the fertile lands of Santiago, La Vega and the central mountain range of the Cordillera. The latter, also known as the Dominican Alps, is the top for hiking, biking and rafting. The island’s highest mountain, Pico Duarte, draws hikers; need 3 days to reach the top.

AIRPORTS: Las Americas International Airport Dr. Jose Francisco Pena Gomez, located 25 minutes east of Santo Domingo. Puerto Plata Gregorio Luperon International Airport, located 15 minutes from Puerto Plata. Punta Cana International Airport serves the area east. Barahona Maria Montez International Airport, in the south-west coast, which opened in 2006, smaller international airports of La Romana and Santiago (Cibao Airport), La Isabela International Airport and Aeropuerto Kas Americas in Santo Domingo, Arroyo Barril International Airport, Portillo Airport (local airport), Catey International airport, in Samana, the most recent one.

There are many direct charter flights from Italy to the Dominican Republic. There are scheduled flights from the UK, but American Airlines operates flights with a stopover in New York, Chicago and Miami. Air France operates flights with a stopover in Paris, and Iberia flights to Madrid. There are four international airports; Las Americas International Airport, Santo Domingo (SDQ), Gregorio Luperon International Airport, Puerto Plata (POP), Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) Punta Aguila and La Romana International Airport (LRM). Check that you have booked the correct route.

CLIMATE: The average temperature is 25 degrees C, August is the hottest month and January the coolest. Temperatures range between 31.7 to 35 degrees C in winter, 24 to 32.2 degrees C.

DINING: Restaurants available: local. Fast food. Internazionale. Gourmet. The dress code is casual, yet formal restaurants require jackets and shoes for men and appropriate attire for women. The tipping is 10%.

LANGUAGE: Spanish is the official language. English is widely spoken.

NIGHTLIFE: Entertainment available includes-Casino. Bingo. Nightclubs. Club. Theatres. Cinema. Bar. Cafe. Band playing live. Shows.

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