An adventure guide to the Dominican Republic

It’s very easy to visit the Dominican Republic and spend your days lying on the gorgeous beaches. But for those who like to get their pulses racing on their holiday, there are plenty of options available from zip lining over lagoons to climbing tall mountains. Here are eight of the best things to do for the adventurous at heart.

Aim for the top

Take a trek through the jungle and climb to the summit of Pico Duarte. This 10,125 feet mountain is the highest in the Caribbean and will not only give your amazing views and a sense of achievement but also provide a break from the relentless sun and heat (it’s a bit chilly up there). Make sure to bring your hiking shoes.

Race across dunes

Hire a dune buggy for a day of high octane driving and fun. Starting at Punta Cana you can explore the surrounding countryside and head at speed through plantations, past palm trees and across the white, sandy beaches. It’s a great way to see the island but you will need to be able to drive and use a gear stick.

Swoop like a bird

The stunning cenote of Hoya Azul is well worth a visit, but adrenaline junkies should try the huge zip wire that takes you on an adventure across treetops before giving you a birds-eye view of the stunning blue waters below. You’ll need a head for heights but all the family can take part in this unforgettable experience.

Rivers of dreams

Head to the remote North East of the island for a canyon tour by kayak where you’ll navigate spectacular rivers, immerse yourself under tinkling waterfalls and take a breather by placid, deep pools. It’s exciting, challenging and your camera phone may overheat from all the spectacular scenery you want to capture.

Spelunk in style

The island has an extensive system of caves that are available to intrepid explorers. If you’re lucky then you might come across Taino rock art left by natives, some of which records the arrival of Christopher Columbus and his crew. Make sure you get a local guide to lead you as it’s easy to get lost in the underground.

Search for sunken treasure

As well as numerous teeming reefs, the Dominican Republic offers a wide variety of adventures for those who love snorkelling. At Parque Nacional La Caleta, a treasure-hunting skip called Hickory has been sunk, allowing you to explore the wreck, meet its fishy inhabitants and maybe, just maybe, find some golden loot of your own.

Wave at the whales

In the winter, thousands of humpback whales visit the island to mate and give birth. For you, it means the chance to get up close with these magnificent creatures on a whale-watching boat. The boats depart from Samaná every day and some offer a week-long trip where you can even go swimming with the whales themselves.

Get in the fast lane

Visit the offshore island of Saona Island by speedboat and explore its natural beauty. The trip itself will be a thrill a minute but when you get there you’ll find a great resort full of food, music and fun. On the way back, hop on a catamaran for a more leisurely return home but with open air dancing and drinks in the sun to keep the excitement going.

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