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Top land-based activities in the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic's landscape is rich and diverse. It has four of the highest mountains in the Caribbean, as well as ample waterfalls, lagoons and mangrove swamps. The country also has a rich history and stunning architecture to explore, so there's a multitude of choices for things to see and do without even getting into the water.

You can reach many of these activities independently by car, or take advantage of excellent guided tours which often have convenient pick up points in resorts such as Punta Cana, La Romana or Samana.

Explore the amazing sights and activities of the island’s diverse landscape

With expert adventure guides on hand there are opportunities to fly on a zipline through the rainforest, travelling around from one landing platform to another.

You can also take a trip to the stunning surroundings of Scape Park. Take a trek here among the exotic wild orchids and ferns until you reach Hoyo Azul – or Blue Hole. It's a natural limestone sink-hole at the base of a cliff where you can dive, swim and relax.

If you want to have some fun getting up close to some of the local wildlife, be sure to visit Monkey Land which lies deep in the heart of a jungle. Meet the inhabitants of the monkey sanctuary and also take a look at its botanical gardens.

The Dominican Republic's mountain ranges have four main rivers running through them. Take thrilling action adventure trips to one of the most spectacular areas on the island at the waterfalls of Damajagua in Puerto Plata. With 27 waterfalls in total, you'll experience some amazing scenery as well as the opportunity to swim and play in this breathtaking spot.

You may also take a closer look at the incredible diversity of the island's natural landscape at Los Haitises National Park. Here you can explore dense mangrove swamps teeming with shrimp, carp and manatees, and discover caves with fascinating ancient cave drawings.

Discover the architecture and history of the Dominican Republic

In the capital, Santo Domingo, Catedral Primada de America is a magnificent, 16th-century cathedral and was the first to be built in the Dominican Republic.

It was recently renovated to bring back to life the stunning interior, including a beautifully painted alter piece. There is a park to the side of the church dedicated to Christopher Columbus where you can stroll, relax and feed the doves.

Another first is La Aurora cigar factory, which was established in 1903 as the country's first of many cigar factories. Housed in an impressive building, it produces award winning hand-made as well as machine-made cigars. You can find out more about the history of the place and how their world class cigars are made through a tour.

Santo Domingo is one of the oldest towns in the Dominican Republic. In its Zona Colonial you'll find charming colonial architecture, lots of museums and churches and a lively hub of restaurants and shops.

Or for a move away from colonial architecture visit Altos de Chavon – an amazing recreation of a 16th-century Roman artisan's village. Altos de Chavon has its own museum detailing how it was built for a 1970s film, and a large amphitheatre that's used for big concerts. It also has a lively atmosphere with numerous restaurants, bars, shops and craft studios to explore.

Enjoy a leisurely horse trek or an exhilarating buggy ride

You can take amazing trips on horseback out into the local countryside through some of the Dominican Republic's most spectacular inland scenery.

Parts of the rural landscape around Punta Cana have large tobacco, coffee, vanilla and cocoa plantations that you can visit, while you can also take in vast areas of cattle farming land. Tours often include a traditional Dominican lunch, so you'll get a real feel for the local culture and way of life.

If you'd prefer a wild adrenaline rush, have a go on a fast paced buggy adventure. Try to take in the scenery as you zoom through the countryside, across farms, around plantations and along beaches where you can admire the idyllic sea views.

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