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The Ultimate Travel Guide to Dominican Republic from Los Angeles

The beauty of the Dominican Republic (2)

The Dominican Republic is one of the most popular destinations to visit in the Caribbean and you should consider traveling to dominican republic. With national tourism as one of the main focus of the government’s agenda for national revenue, a lot has been invested by the government into the tourism sector. 

The Dominican Republic is the second largest and most diverse Caribbean country, situated just two hours south of Miami, less than four hours from New York and eight  hours from most European cities. Known for its warm and hospitable people, the Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and rich culture. 

We gathered a complete travel guide to Dominican Republic from the famous city of Los Angeles.

The paradisiacal beaches with white sands and turquoise waters, favourable climate,  restored Spanish colonial architecture, and relatively low prices make it one of the most desirable places to definitely visit. This has encouraged the building or expansion of resorts and airports on the northern, eastern, and southern coasts. Also, the year-round golf courses are major attractions. 

A geographically diverse nation, the Dominican Republic is home to both the Caribbean’s tallest mountain peak, Pico Duarte, and the Caribbean’s largest lake and lowest point, Lake Enriquillo.

Dominican cuisine is predominantly Spanish, Taíno, and African. One breakfast dish consists of eggs and mangú (mashed, boiled plantain). Lunch, generally the largest and most important meal of the day, usually consists of rice, meat, beans, and salad. 

Timing your trip to the Dominican Republic is a delicate balance. Costs might drop more during the summer season, but the risk of hurricanes increases. Although there may be less rain during the winter peak season, that time of year can hike up your ticket prices. 

If you’re planning on travelling from Los Angeles to the Dominican Republic for vacation or business, you can travel with flight or by bus. But there are a few other things to consider before planning your trip. 

With that in mind, the following is a brief rundown of the best places to stay in the Dominican Republic.

Places to stay when traveling to dominican republic

1. El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel, is located near Santo Domingo’s thriving commercial and business districts. With stunning views of the  country’s capital and the soothing calm of a lush residential neighbourhood, features stylish guest rooms furnished with all modern conveniences that both business and leisure tourists will appreciate. Definitely put this in mind if you are visiting from los angeles to santo domingo.

traveling to dominican republic

Picture of El Embajador, a Royal Hideaway Hotel

2. Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace

The Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace is located on the Dominican Republic’s coast and has an excellent oceanfront location. If you are into diving, oceanic activities, and underwater exploration, then this is where you should be.


Guests can take advantage of a full-service spa, children’s programs, daily organised activities, an on-site nightclub, and full access to the adjacent sister property. Guests can also enjoy 8 dining options, including Asian, Caribbean, and Italian, right next door at the Viva Wyndham Dominicus Beach.

Picture of Viva Wyndham Dominicus Palace

3. Hodelpa Centro Plaza

This hotel is located in downtown Santiago which is a good city for long-term vacation rentals, and it also offers various ecotourism options as well as guided tours to the beaches. It is a 5-minute walk from El Monumento Santiago (the Santiago Monument). It offers bright rooms with free Wi-Fi.

The guest rooms at Hodelpa Centro Plaza are furnished with a balcony and a mini-bar. They are equipped with cable TV. Vista Restaurant, located on site, is open for dinner and serves fusion cuisine.

Picture of a room in Hodelpa Centro Plaza

4. Velero Beach Resort

This hotel is located in Cabarete, a community with the highest concentration of hostels and surf lodges in the Dominican Republic. Activities that can be enjoyed in the surroundings, including cycling, horse riding and fishing. The property offers free parking.

At Velero Beach Resort you will find a private beach area, while other facilities like an ironing service and laundry facilities are offered.

A picture of the reception at Velero Beach Resort

5. Senator Puerto Plata Spa Resort

 Located in San Felipe de Puerto Plata, 1.9 km from Fortaleza San Felipe, Senator Puerto Plata Spa Resort has accommodations with a restaurant, free private parking, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness centre. Among the various facilities are a bar, a shared lounge, as well as a garden. The property provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.

A picture of Senator Puerto Plata Spa Resort

Unique Things to do in the Dominican Republic

1. Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo’s historic district

If you are coming from los angeles to Santo Domingo then you should consider visiting the Zona Colonial. It is the oldest continuously inhabited European-established settlement in the Americas, is the historic central neighborhood of the Dominican Republic’s capital Santo Domingo. It is home to hundreds of significant historical sites ranging from monuments, forts, and old buildings to see.

2. Dominican Republic beaches

The Dominican Republic’s beautiful beaches are what draw most visitors to this beautiful country surrounded by Caribbean and Atlantic waters. The mile-long Boca Chica Beach on the southern coast is one of the most popular, with its sheltered bay hosting a variety of thrills and water sports. There’s also the broad coast of Macao Beach in the northeast, which draws surfers with its exciting surf.

3. Waterfalls

For those looking for action and adventure in unique natural settings, the 27 Waterfalls complex is one of the best things to do in the Dominican Republic. With its collection of 27 varying cascades that either trickle or gush into various pools, it combines the thrills of hiking, discovery, and canyoning.

4. National Zoological Park

In the Dominican capital of Santo Domingo, the National Zoological Park (Parque Zoológico Nacional) is a great place to take the kids. The zoo is located just north of the city centre. There will be plenty of colorful birds and exotic animals to photograph for Instagram, including flocks of pink flamingos in lush lagoons and African lions and Bengal tigers. There are also ultra-rare species in the zoo’s collection, such as the endemic Hispaniolan solenodon.

5. Lake Enriquillo

Lake Enriquillo is the largest in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean as a whole. It is saltier than seawater and is 44 metres below sea level. It’s a fantastic destination for nature lovers, who will especially enjoy Goat Island (Isla Cabritos) in the middle, which is teeming with exotic wildlife and birds.

6. Samana Bay

Samana Bay (Bahá de Samaná) is a scenic waterway on the Dominican Republic’s northeast coast best known for hosting humpback whales. The bay is part of the Dominican Republic‘s Sanctuary for Marine Mammals, which was established in 1996.

The best time to see these magnificent cetaceans breach the surface off Samana is during the winter mating season, which lasts from December to March. Apart from taking a whale-spotting tour, other coastal towns where you can frequently see them breach include Punta Balandra with its Observatorio de Ballenas and Las Galeras on the opposite north of the peninsula.

7. Mercado Modelo

Shopping at Mercado Modelo in Santo Domingo is a visual feast, with stalls selling a variety of colorful souvenirs, local crafts, and jewelry. The indoor market is also the largest in the Dominican capital, and you’ll likely spend hours treasure hunting inside. There are also plenty of stalls selling food and refreshments for when you need to take a break after haggling hard.

Packing Tips for the Dominican Republic


  • Casual clothes in lightweight natural fabrics (cotton, silk and linen) will work best – it is warm and sunny but not unbearably hot all year round. However, the nights tend to be a little cooler so a sweater or wrap is worth popping in your case.
  • Daytime essentials include t-shirts or camisoles, sarong and shorts as most people spend their time on the beach or by the pool.
  • And remember your sun hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen
  • Mosquitoes can be a problem, so take insect/mosquito repellent and cover up with long sleeves and pants when you can, particularly in the evenings if you are outdoors. Avoid wearing any scent or perfume.


  • Tissues or baby wipes
  • Bar of soap (better than a bottle because it’s not a liquid)
  • Shampoo and conditioner
  • Toothpaste and toothbrush
  • Shaving supplies
  • Contact lens supplies if necessary
  • Sanitary products
  • Makeup
  • Hair products and accessories
  • Travel towel
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunscreen
  • Baby powder for sand removal when leaving the beach
  • Deodorant or antiperspirant.


  • Prescription medications (and copies of the prescriptions)
  • EpiPen if necessary
  • Basic travel medication: Imodium, ibuprofen, Tums/antacid tablets, Benadryl
  • Allergy medication or inhalers
  • Hand sanitizer (wipes or lotion)
  • Electrolyte tablets or oral rehydration sachets
  • Aloe vera
  • Anti-itch cream for bug bites
  • Band-Aids

Dominican Republic Travel Requirements

As of April 23, 2022, all passengers and crew members do not need to present a COVID-19 Vaccination Card, PCR, or antigen test to enter the Dominican Republic or to enter tourist centres, any establishments or to receive services such as excursions. Random COVID-19 testing for passengers and crew upon arrival in the Dominican Republic are no longer performed. However, when required, random testing operations may be performed. Passengers who present their Vaccination Card will be exempted from random testing.

Visit Caribbean latest travel requirements covid-19 update to get  more information on the covid-19 guidelines. 

All foreign citizens who enter the Dominican Republic, exclusively for tourism purposes, must have a valid passport during their stay and departure from the country. This exceptional measure is valid until December 31, 2022.

All foreign passengers entering or leaving the Dominican Republic on commercial flights must complete the free electronic entry and exit form, which combines the Traveler’s Health Affidavit, Customs Declaration and International Embarkation/Disembarkation forms. The form is available in English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Portuguese and Russian and can be accessed on https://eticket.migracion.gob.do/

Flying from Los Angeles to Dominican Republic

When travelling from los angeles to dominican republic, it’s often cheaper to come via a charter flight. Most of these are a result of the huge all-inclusive tourism industry built up along Dominican shores; package deals for airfare, hotel and food abound, with astounding rates available to those willing to shop around.

Check out Booking.com to see amazing deals on flight tickets. It offers access to an array of booking services. This Dutch booking marketplace makes finding deals from both early and established airlines a breeze

Visit our IC Caribbean shop to find all your vacation merchandise

Additionally, before you travel be sure to check out  our podcast on Grenada Travel Tip by Verna Haywood

Enjoy your vacation and stay safe!

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