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Family Holidays to the Dominican Republic

Family holidays to the Caribbean idyll of the Dominican Republic take in some of the world's most beautiful beaches, and adventure parks that showcase stunning natural landscapes. The Coconut Coast best suits families and provides reams of choice in All Inclusive hotels.

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Head to the Dominican Republic's east coast for luxury family resorts

After nine hours in the air, you'll arrive to dig your feet into white sands and let the Dominican Republic's hotels pamper you and your family.

The largest concentration of All Inclusive resorts in the Caribbean can be found on the 50-kilometre stretch of eastern coast around Punta Cana, making it a popular choice with families. Known as the Coconut Coast, it takes in the popular area of Bavaro and more remote and exclusive Uvero Alto.

Bavaro is the place for long, palm-lined beaches, a buzz of activities in the water and a dinosaur-themed adventure park. Plus it's close to Punta Cana to make use of its waterpark, amusement and animal park, and beautiful natural caves and freshwater pool at Hoyo Azul. Further north is trendsetting Uvero Alto, with a more laid-back lifestyle and hotels that ooze luxury.

Best family friendly beaches

Bavaro's white sands are some of the best serviced in the area with bright beach shacks serving drinks and snacks, but at 10 kilometres long, there's plenty of space for relaxation too. There are shallow shores for paddling, backed by palms and mangroves, with watersports further out to sea, including parasailing, scuba diving, jet skiing and speed boating.

Over at Uvero Alto's wide beach, the pace and the watersports are markedly gentler. That being said, you can head to Uvero Alto Ranch to take horseback rides along the beach or hire beach buggies and start a 4x4 excursion. Between Bavaro and Uvero Alto, Macao beach takes things down a notch again as there are no nearby hotels, just surfers utilising the waves and a very good clifftop restaurant.

Best family activities in the Dominican Republic

A playground for kids and grown-ups, Bavaro Adventure Park has run with a dinosaur theme – you can't miss the big statues. Among the 15 active pursuits here are treetop ziplines, a rope course, flight simulators, bungee trampolines and mountain bike and Segway tracks.

Another place to have an adventure is Scape Park in Punta Cana, which has more zipline and horse riding opportunities. The main attraction here is the Hoyo Azul lagoon – a 75-metre deep cenote sinkhole with a transparent blue freshwater pool you can descend into for a swim. For more fun in the water in Punta Cana, head to the waterslides and splash park at Sirenis Aquagames.

Located between Uvero Alto and Bavaro is the Historic Centre of Macao, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. A fascinating place to wander around, ancient buildings here include Chinese temples, Portuguese fortresses and even Moorish-style barracks.

And to really explore the Dominican Republic's natural side, take a day trip an hour's drive away to Parque National del Este, near Bayahibe. Spread over 310 sq kilometres, and taking in Soana Island, it incorporates 400 caves, eight barrier reefs and hundreds of species of fish and birds. On Soana you can see where a small indigenous population lives and view 2,000-year-old cave paintings by the Taino tribe.

Other popular holidays in the Caribbean

To find out which other Caribbean countries would suit your family holiday, take a look at vibrant Jamaica and Cuba or greenery-rich St Lucia. And to see if the Dominican Republic has everything you're looking for, read more in our travel guide and take a look at three top family hotel options below.

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