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
Marina Cap Cana (marinacapcana.com) has more than 100 slips, can accommodate vessels up to 200 feet, and is just seven minutes from Punta Cana Airport. Amenities include a fuel dock, WiFi, and customs and
immigration offices. The facility is set within a picturesque resort village that boasts a lovely hotel, spa, salon, bank, and beach club. Shuttles can take you from the marina to the various restaurants and shops in the development.
WHAT TO DO
Hoyo Azul: Punta Cana is renowned for its stunning beaches, but there are less-known sites that are equally as stunning. Hoyo Azul is a spectacular lagoon at the base of a 170-foot cliff, and its sparkling turquoise waters go down to 120 feet.
Golf: This area is the Caribbean’s golf mecca, with more than 10 stellar courses designed by the likes of Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio.
Jeep safari tours: Take to the back roads for a wild ride that will include a swim at an unspoiled beach, a drive through sugar cane fields and a traditional Dominican meal.
Cueva Fun Fun: Rappel down into one of the DR’s largest limestone caves and explore the stalactites, stalagmites, and pre-Columbian rock art.