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Where to Go in the Dominican Republic

The seemingly endless stretches of palm-fringed beach touted in the tourist brochures are most heavily associated with Punta Cana in the southeast of the island, where most of the big all- inclusive resorts are, and Puerto Plata in the north, while Sammana is also gathering momentum as a hip tropical getaway. In the capital, Santo Domingo, the concentration of New World history in the old Zona Colonial is well worth a day’s sightseeing, but outside its walls the huge, frenetic city can be overwhelming. Casa de Campo on the way from Santo Domingo to La Romana is a popular bolthole for visiting celebrities, and an obligatory stopover for the golf nut. Take a tour of the Altos de Chavon hilltop village, a fairytale Italian-style creation that draws in artists, musicians and architecture boffins. Santo Domingo’s natural beauty is impossible to narrow down into highlights. If you have time, venture into the central mountains to hike the Caribbean’s highest mountains, or head underground at Los Haytises or Los Tres Ojos to explore the yawning limestone caves that run beneath the country.

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