Sand as far as the eye can see
The white sand beach at Uvero Alto is the kind that holidays to the Dominican Republic are renowned for. Lined with tall coconut palms, it provides the typical picture of a Caribbean retreat. Quieter than other beaches in the region, there’s so much space that peaceful snoozing spots are easy to come by.
There are some gentle watersports available such as snorkelling and pedalo hire but the most rewarding water-based pastime has to be heading out to the coral reef to scuba dive with tropical fish floating past. For more splashing about, the brand new Cocotal Waterpark can be found at the Sirenis Hotel with lots of slides, a pirate ship and kids play areas.
Starting at Uvero Alto Ranch you can take horseback rides along the beach or you might prefer the speedier options of beach buggies and 4Ã4 excursions. To see the green island from the water and have the chance of spotting humpback whales from January to March, you could set sail on a catamaran trip from the nearby fishing village of Bayahibe.
When eating out you’ll find that seafood and Dominican dishes are abundant, but the big hotels also bring international flavours including Lebanese, Italian and French. You can dine at casual restaurants like Barefoot Grill, or go upmarket at fine dining restaurants such as Gourmond Restaurant at the Sivory Punta Cana Boutique Hotel, which is AAA Four-Diamond-rated.
After dinner you can mosey along to a chilled out beach bar and sip drinks with the sound of the waves in the background or head back to your hotel to make the most of the All Inclusive entertainment.
There are a few souvenir shops at the small Plaza Uvero Alto shopping centre selling local crafts and ceramics, amber and larimar – a pretty blue stone. However if you want big brand names, you’d be best heading to the Palma Real Shopping Village in Bavaro, the next resort down the coast.
Travel inland and you’ll reach the historic city of Higuey, whose main attraction is the 15th-century cathedral. It’s home to the famous Virgen de la Altagracia painting and on 21st January each year the city is descended upon by thousands of pilgrims. Nearby, you can wander around the busy daily market, and then stop at the Cigar Museum. If you’re visiting in February, it’s worth a trip to Higuey to take part in the month long carnival celebrations.
Slightly further afield is the capital Santo Domingo, which is the largest city in the Caribbean. It has a mix of modern architecture and buildings dating back to the 1500s including Christopher Columbus’ palace. Visit here for sightseeing and shopping as well as nightlife full of merengue and bachata music.
See the sights
For animal lovers, enjoy a trip to Animal Adventure Park in Punta Cana to get up close with dolphins and sea lions. You can see tigers being fed up-close and watch exotic bird-shows, a great day out for kids and big kids alike.
Usually held in October, the Bavaro Brugal Merengue Festival gives you the chance to hear some of the island’s most loved musicians playing traditional music. Held at the Palma Real Shopping Plaza and on the beach, it’s a lively event to mingle with the locals and their musical celebrities, while Autumn is the ideal time to find cheap holidays to the Dominican Republic.