The Dominican Republic sits on the eastern half of the island of Hispaniola, the second-largest Caribbean isle after Cuba, and it is nestled roughly in the center of the region between Cuba and Puerto Rico. Boaters will find an amazingly diverse country with top-notch marina facilities, world-class resorts and plenty to explore on shore once you have docked. Dominican culture is lively and rich. Spend the day at a packed baseball game (Dominicans are crazy for baseball), and then dance the night away to the frenetic and irresistible sounds of merengue and bachata. Coming from the north, boaters can start their Dominican adventure in Puerto Plata and then cruise south to Punta Cana, on the eastern coast, and from there head to La Romana on the south coast.
WHERE TO DOCK
Ocean World Marina (oceanworldmarina.com) can handle yachts up to 250 feet and is fully loaded with top-notch amenities. It is also located adjacent to Ocean World Adventure Park, an interactive marine park with the largest man-made dolphin habitat in the world, a swimmable aquarium and a shark interaction pool.
WHAT TO DO
Watersports:Windsurfing, kiteboarding and parasailing are popular pursuits here, and the beach town of Cofresi is a great place to try them out. Twenty minutes away is Cabarete, one of the best spots for windsurfing and kiteboarding on the planet.
Rio Damajagua: Hike up the trail along the river — and then splash, jump and swim your way back. There is a network of 27 waterfalls that lead one into the next, all naturally formed.
Brugal Rum Factory: This is world’s third-largest producer of rum and the largest in the DR. Tour the facilities and sample one of its house-made daiquiris.