Business & Pleasure February 8, 2018 | 4:31 pm

Dominican Republic redefines Winter Getaway

Aguas Blancas, Consranza

Santo Domingo.- Record low temperatures have put this winter on track to be the coldest in the last decade. With seven weeks until spring, now is the perfect time to plan a winter getaway to Dominican Republic.

Offering over 1,000 miles of coastline, secluded white sand beaches, luxurious lodging, incredible cuisine and action-packed activities and excursions, Dominican Republic is the perfect place for a winter retreat.

“From the sunny shores of the Caribbean to the colorful charming streets, Dominican Republic’s warm and hospitable people help solidify our place as the premier destination to recharge from the winter cold,” said Magaly Toribio, Marketing Advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism. “Our nine distinct ecological zones, pristine beaches and glorious climate offer something for travelers of all interests looking to escape to Dominican Republic, even if just for the winter.”

From whale watching in Samaná to aquatic play in Cabarete, Dominican Republic’s diverse destinations and activities are sure to revive any snowbird.

Whale watching in Samaná Bay

Samaná is recognized for unique experiences and its world-renowned whale-watching opportunities are no exception. Similar to the thousands of guests who escape to Dominican Republic each year in search of warmer temperatures, the same goes for the nearly 1,500 to 2,000 humpback whales that migrate to Samaná Bay to mate in the bay’s warm waters and nurse newborn calves.

 Experience the annual phenomena by tour boat or on land at the observatory in Punta Balandra. The official whale-watching season runs from mid-January to March, with guided tour boats available as long as whales are in the bay.

Let your adrenaline flow in Cabarete

For adventure-seekers eager to learn a new skill and live like the locals, Cabarete is a must visit on their Dominican journey. Located on the north coast of the country, the beachside community is internationally known as the Kiteboarding Capital of the World. Countless hours can be spent on the water testing Cabarete’s tranquil, yet challenging beaches. Beginners can sign up for a kiteboarding class to spend a few days learning the popular sport.

More interested in watching from the sidelines? Grab a spot and watch local and international athletes display their surfing, kiteboarding and stand up paddle boarding (SUP) skills. Each year, aquatic athletes from all over the world head to Cabarete for Master of the Ocean – the only water sports celebration featuring windsurfing, surfing, kitesurfing and SUP. The event showcases athletes as they conquer the wind and waves competing in all four disciplines to be declared, Master of the Ocean. The 16th annual festival will be held February 24, 2018.

Mark your territory along the 1,000 miles of sparkling coastline

If you’re considering a trip to Dominican Republic, you likely have your sights set on dipping your toes in the water and relaxing in the sand. With 30 beaches in Dominican Republic accredited by Blue Flag for meeting international environmental and safety standards, sun-seekers will find it hard to experience all of the azure waters and peaceful golden sands in one visit.

Punta Cana and Bávaro are famous for their white-sand beaches and watersport offerings. From sailing to snorkeling, the beaches offer endless opportunities for travelers and families in search of an all-inclusive excursion.

In the southeastern corner, La Romana offers the ultimate in luxury escapes, making it a popular destination for international celebrities. Explore the islands of Catalina and Saona, located a few miles off the coast. The private beaches are the perfect way to spend a peaceful day sunbathing, snorkeling or playing in the sand.

For those in search of a local beach experience, Boca Chica and Juan Dolio are the places to be. Located just minutes from Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo (SDQ), the quaint cities beckon beach bums. On most weekdays one can practically have the beach to themselves, but during the weekend, the beaches are filled with locals wading in the crystal blue waters and dining on fried fish and twice-fried plantains.

Celebrate culture in the Colonial City

Carnival Dominicano is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that should be at the top of any traveler’s bucket list. Celebrated every spring, weekends are filled with parades, events and competitions and more. The long-awaited finale is the National Carnival Parade held along the Malecón of Santo Domingo that brings together typical carnival characters from around Dominican Republic to troop in colorful sync, creating an unforgettable live show.

The culture doesn’t stop there, as Santo Domingo is the most animated, cosmopolitan city in the Caribbean. Every traveler is encouraged to sneak away from our luxurious white sand beaches for at least a day and explore the Colonial City. Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the city overflows with beautiful architecture and rich history.  Explore the historical cobblestone streets lined with modern and traditional shops as well as incredible gastronomic options. Holding the unofficial title as the Gastronomy Capital of the Caribbean, we recommend you arrive on an empty stomach.

Tee off at one of the country’s 86 ocean view holes

Haven’t gotten enough of our ocean views? Perfect. With seven golf courses offering 86 holes on or overlooking the ocean, the Dominican Republic truly is the Golf Capital of the Caribbean. If you’re in the north coast, be sure to reserve a tee time at Playa Dorada in Puerto Plata. In addition to the pristine greens azure-blue waters, golfers also may be able to spot a humpback whale on its trek to Samaná Bay.

Along the East Coast golfers can enjoy world-class courses, most within minutes from the beach, allowing for a tan line and tee time all in one day. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy breathtaking views of the Caribbean and its emerald fairways, including Corales Golf Club, home to the 2018 PGA Tour this March 19-25, in addition to Punta Espada, celebrated by GolfWeek as the best course in the Caribbean and Mexico. Another must-see is Casa de Campo’s duo of Pete Dye designed courses, to name a few. With 26 courses to choose from in country, there is a course for any liking.

Dominican Republic’s year-round perfect climate and endless activities makes planning a winter escape to paradise look like a walk in the park. To learn more and begin planning your winter getaway, visit www.GoDominicanRepublic.com

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