The Dominican Republic
Dominicans will extend a gracious welcome, saying, "This is your home!" and indeed are happy to share their beautiful island bathed by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Sea to the south. Among its most precious assets are 1,000 miles (1,600 km) of gorgeous beaches studded with coconut palms and sands ranging from pearl-white to golden brown to volcanic black. The Caribbean sun kisses this exotic land, which averages 82°F year-round. In recent years, the D.R. has grown up, as the all-inclusive resorts have become more upscale, and small, stellar boutique properties have opened in all of the most popular tourist areas. The level of service staff and middle management has also improved.
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The vibrant lifestyle of this sun-drenched Latin-Caribbean country, where Spanish is the national language and where people are hospitable, makes the Dominican Republic a different cultural experience. If you pick up the rhythm of life here, as freewheeling as the trademark meringue, this can be a beguiling destination.