If you are into food, you’ll love the DR, if you are into beaches, you’ll love the DR, if you like to have fun on tropical islands, you’ll love the DR.
And, of course, if you are learning Spanish, you’ll love the DR.
We just spent a week in Cuba and the last two weeks in the Dominican Republic.
If you asked me which country I liked more, I would have to give an answer like a parent deciding between their favourite child—I loved them both!
If you are considering a trip through Cuba, check out last week’s video post.
Or, if you would like to travel to the Dominican Republic, keep reading.
Our overall impressions of the Dominican Republic were great.
The Spanish was a challenge, I’ll talk a little more about that below.
Unlike Cuba, from a commercial point of view, the Dominican Republic felt a lot closer to home. What I mean is that there is big business in the Dominican Republic.
You can see billboards on the highway for McDonalds, BMW and Nike. What this meant was you will have no trouble finding a shopping mall to escape the heat, and do some retail therapy if you were feeling a little homesick.
All over the island, we found the people to be incredibly warm and friendly. This is particularly noticeable when you stay in the house of a native and mealtime arrives—put simply, you won’t ever be at risk of going hungry.
Which leads me to the highlights…
Highlights of the Dominican Republic
Ask me to narrow down my highlights of the DR and I would say that it is difficult to look past the beauty of the beaches and quality of the food.
Everywhere you go on the island the sand is white and fine, and the water is aqua blue.
I will say that despite the beauty of the water, it isn’t always that pleasant. The water temperature is hot, like a spa. Which is great when the air is fresh. But, most of the time, the air is tropical, hot and humid. So when you are at the beach all you are after is some respite from the heat, but the water never quite delivers.
That said, we were in the water swimming every single day.
The other highlight was the food. Far from a comprehensive list of Dominican food, we loved the following dishes:
- Pescado Frito (Pecao Frito)
- Chicharrón de Pollo
If you want to learn more about these dishes, you can google them, or watch the Youtube video I recorded above.
Dominican Republic Spanish
Similar to the Spanish in Cuba, Dominican Republic Spanish is fast. And the words get shortened at almost every opportunity.
Mostly, in colloquial speech, they tend to drop the letters ‘d’ and ‘s’.
For example, a common Dominican dish is the ‘pescado frito’, but in colloquial speech, they pronounce this dish as ‘pecao frito’. In fact, this pronunciation is so common that in one restaurant we found the dish written this way on the menu.
The key to getting used to the Spanish in the Dominican Republic is the same as getting used to the Spanish in any Spanish speaking country, don’t be afraid to find someone and just start speaking Spanish with them. If it feels uncomfortable, try to push through.
Take a break and then try, try again.
Would I return to the Dominican Republic? In a heartbeat!
For me, living in Australia makes the DR a very difficult place to get to. But, I can definitely see myself back there sometime soon.
If you live in the United States, there are lots of options for flights from all over the country. And, if you are learning Spanish, and looking for somewhere exotic to spend your holidays, it is completely worth it.
What are your thoughts? Is the Dominican Republic on your list of places to go?