Magnificent beaches, enchanting scenery and exotic wildlife, it is little wonder that Christopher Columbus once regarded the Dominican Republic as ‘one of the most beautiful places in the world'. Beach and wildlife enthusiasts flock to its shores each year to sample the very best of the ‘New World' Caribbean culture.
If you manage to pull yourself away from the pristine beaches, you can discover a wealth of architecture, such as palaces and church buildings, all steeped in Spanish colonial heritage.
Find time to meet the friendly locals, most of African and Spanish descent, and visit an array of local restaurants, bars and shops that are dotted around the capital, Santo Domingo. Be sure to visit the World Heritage Site Ciudad ‘Zona' Colonial, which will magically take you back to old cobble-stones streets and horse-drawn carriages.
Currency: Dominican peso