The Dominican Republic is brimming with hundreds of great opportunities to get outside and enjoy the year-round warm and sunny climate. From days surfing crystal waters to cool afternoons putting on the green grass of Playa’s Grande’s iconic golf course, this diverse and beautiful country has something for everyone. The country’s most popular sport is undoubtedly baseball. In fact, behind the US, the Dominican Republic is home to the second highest number of players playing in the major leagues. From a young age, many children here dream of hitting the big time. Take a stroll through any of the parks and you’ll see groups of baseball-mad kids getting their game up to scratch. Grab a cold beer, some friends and catch a game at Quisqueya Stadium. Even if you don’t love the game, the atmosphere is buzzing and you can say you’ve enjoyed the true Dominican Republic baseball experience amongst 14,000 people. But for those of you who want to get outdoors and get stuck in, here are the five best sports to enjoy whilst in the Dominican Republic.
Kitesurfing in Cabarete
Head over to the northern side of the island to Cabarete- a small, laid-back beach-front town, spectacular enough to claim the title of kitesurfing capital of the world. There are four popular kitesurfing beaches to choose from and for first timers, there are plenty of schools on Kite and Bozo Beaches to learn the basics before hitting the waves. The town is worthy of its title, as thanks to spot on wave and wind conditions, the opportunities to surf are nothing short of perfect all year round. Flat waters await beginners and waves of around 1 metre await those who are more advanced just 200m offshore. If you don’t feel like trying your hand at the sport, make your way to Kite Beach, the birthplace of the sport and watch the incredibly talented freestyler riders work their magic on the waves.
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There are millions of places to get your flippers wet all round the world, but the Dominican Republic’s rich marine life and historical sea bed keeps dive enthusiasts coming back year after year. Divers can enjoy warm waters and great visibility throughout the nine vast ecological regions, all rich in sea life, reefs and wrecks. The sunken wrecks of vessels from years gone by are the top spots for diving around the coast, where colourful coral reefs and sponges are able to thrive, clinging to every nook and cranny for divers to explore. Hickory and Limon, Boca Chic are both popular wrecks at 44 and 21 metres in length and Ray Point makes for a great dive site among these mysterious creatures. If you don’t already have your PADI license, the DR is a fantastic place to get it as the cost is low and the conditions in which you learn a far more appealing than the local swimming pool back home. If you travel to the DR between July and November it’s possible that visibility will decrease as hurricanes can occur during these months.
Swimming at Playa Rincón
You don’t need to be an action man or adventure woman to enjoy sport in the DR. Head to the secluded beach of Playa Rincón for the greatest swim of your life. The swimming conditions in this unperturbed cove are perfect and with no waves and no water sports to contend with, you can enjoy the DR’s crystal clear waters at your leisure surrounded by a coconut tree clad beach and jungle greenery. There a few bars and restaurants along the beachfront serving seafood as fresh as it comes.
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For those who want to get up close to the abundant marine life without the hassle of completing a diving course, snorkeling is the ideal solution. You needn’t look far, as just by wading into the shallows of the Caribbean waters you’ll come across schools of colourful tropical fish darting to and fro between your legs. If you’re looking for a once in a lifetime snorkeling adventure, join one of the limited trips to the Silver Bank to see the humpback whales as they make their yearly trip to the DR’s waters. Swimming with these majestic giants is an experience you’ll never forget. Trips run between January and April.
Golf at Playa Grande
To play golf with a backdrop like this is a rare thing. Over 180 acres of winding green hugs the coastline, offering panoramic views from cliff sides and slopes along the way. Ten holes make up the course and with each intricate putt comes a new sweeping vista. The golf course was recently renovated by the renowned golf designer, Rees Jones and sits parallel to the stunning Amanera Playa Grande, a collection of custom built villas that enjoy the same far-reaching views as the golf course. They are luxurious, architecturally stunning and the best part is of course that they come with a lifelong membership to the Playa Grande Golf Course!