Experiencing the Flavors of the Dominican Republic

Dominican Beach
Picture by Camphuis

As the second largest island in the Caribbeans after Cuba, the Dominican Republic is the one receiving the highest number of tourists each year. Dominican Republic holidays are sought after by travelers who love beaches and resorts but there is yet some unspoiled traditional pleasures to be had on the island – skip the beaten path and rent self-catering accommodations outside of the big resort areas to experience a more intimate side of the culturally-rich country.

What’s For Dinner?

Most trips begin and end, succeed or fail, on account of the food. The cuisine in the Dominican Republic is similar to the one found in the neighboring islands of Puerto Rico, Cuba and Haiti – that is you’ll find plenty of rice, meat and vegetables on the menu. The diversity of the country’s history is also present in its meals. As such, you’ll find some African and European influences. The country’s most popular dish consist of a mixture of rice, meat and beans alongside some veggies. It goes by the name of La Bandera Dominica – The Dominican Flag – on account of it being eaten and enjoyed by most Dominicans regardless of their social status.

After Dinner: A Lot of Movement

After a well digested meal, later on in the evening, you will sooner or later get acquainted with merengue – the frenetic national dance and music of the country. While the movements above the waist remain rather slow and calm, what goes on below the belt is fast and furious with music to match. It is a good gauge to get a grasp of the mood of the warm island: its people are zesty even while they’ve got a good handle on things. If you happen to be in the Dominican Republic in July, the national merengue festival is sure to add a lot of colour, spark and a few sleepless nights to your trip.

Outside of the City

As with most other Caribbean islands, there are many spectacular diving spots in the Dominican Republic. You’ll find magnificent marine life here, including coral reefs, as well as the obligatory shipwrecks and secret caves. Head over to Las Galeras, among other places, to enjoy an abundance of corals, sea turtles and a large underwater cave known as The Cathedral.

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