Semana Santa is translated from Spanish as Holy Week and refers to the Easter holidays. This week is also associated for many with spring break. If you are going to be in the Dominican Republic for this time of the year, we congratulate you. You’ve chosen the best place in the world to spend your spring vacation.
First of all, because Semana Santa along with Christmas are the most important holidays for the Dominican people. The whole country joins in big celebrations accompanied with traditional food. However, Good Friday is a day when any loud music and noise is strictly prohibited. It’s important to spend this day in peace and silence fasting and with church services. This is a great opportunity to connect with this cheerful Caribbean nation and learn more about their culture. Secondly, there are so many different ways how you can celebrate Semana Santa because the Dominican Republic has so many things and attractions to offer.
The most popular way of celebrating Easter in the Dominican Republic is to go to a resort. And Punta Cana is an absolute national leader among all-inclusive destinations. Hotels are usually fully booked one month ahead. International and domestic tourists flock to Punta Cana resorts to indulge in limitless food and drinks.
But Punta Cana is not the only place in the country that is worth your visit. And the following list will show you what particular places you can visit in the Dominican Republic and thus enjoy an unconventional way of celebrating your Easter vacation.
1. The highest peak of the Caribbean.
Did you know that the highest mountain of the Caribbean and Grand Antilles is situated in the Dominican Republic? Now imagine challenging yourself to a 3-day trip up to the 3,087-meter (10,178 feet) high peak. The amazing landscapes, nature, fresh air or at least tiredness will definitely take your breath away. The Duarte Peak, by the way, also serves as a natural defense system against hurricanes for the North Coast. If you don’t feel like a mountain hero, you can also just stay in a villa somewhere in Jarabacoa or Constanza. These are two municipalities in the central La Vega province with the coolest temperatures in the Dominican Republic. Constanza also produces almost 80% of vegetables consumed in the country.
2. Beach camping.
It’s undeniable that the Dominican Republic has spectacular beaches. So you may want to get the most out of your Easter holidays and visit the best ones. In this case, we can suggest that you go for a camping trip to beaches, such as Punta Rucia on the North Coast, Fronton beach in Samana or the Eagles Bay in the south. There are eco-hotels that can offer tents under the open sky but with all the comfort of a conventional bed and bathroom. Spending a few days in Dominican pure nature will disconnect you from the rest of the world and let you relax and meditate. Otherwise, you can also go for a road trip and hit different beaches along the North Coast. Our free eBook can guide you through this adventure.
3. Caribbean capital of surfing.
Cabarete, a small town on the North Coast, can be your perfect Easter holidays destination if you’re a free spirit and love water sports. Cabarete is known worldwide for its perfect year round weather conditions for kitesurfing, windsurfing and surfing. Another indispensable element of the Cabarete international fame is beach parties. On Easter holidays, Cabarete turns into a buzzing town full of international visitors and domestic tourists. Several stages on the beach, open air concerts, popular Djs, singers and parties till the dawn are what Cabarete is during Semana Santa. And surfing sessions at the Encuentro beach during the day cannot be missed.
4. Back to the Colonial period.
The Dominican Republic is actually a land of many ‘Firsts’. Apart from being the Number 1 Tourist Destination in the Caribbean, the country can boast the first cathedral, monastery, university and royal court in the New World. And now in the 21st century you can basically travel back in time and visit the first city of the New World. The historic center of Santo Domingo, called the Colonial Zone, is declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. There are many important monuments and landmarks that the government rigorously protects to preserve the historic heritage. You will be charmed by the Zone’s narrow streets, small elegant bars and cafés, street music and artists, tranquility and peace. Besides, the Colonial Zone is the best place to watch the biggest traditional Easter holidays ceremonies and processions.
5. King-style Easter vacation.
Celebrities also like the Dominican Republic. It’s not uncommon to see how different popular figures post photos and videos enjoying their vacation on the island. Michael Jordan and Novak Djokovic are the most recent stars who visited the country. Moreover, Jennifer Lopez, Vin Diesel, Ivanka Trump, the Clintons are only few people from the long list of frequent famous visitors. It comes as no surprise, considering the top-class services of some most exclusive Dominican Republic places. Thus, the Amanera Resort and Ani Resort on the North Coast or Casa de Campo and Tortuga Bay in the south can introduce you to the world of luxury and ultimate comfort. If you want to spend your Easter holidays as a true king, these places will make your dream come true.
To conclude, whatever way you choose to celebrate your Easter Holidays in the Dominican Republic, don’t forget to try ‘habichuelas con dulce’. It’s an absolute must-try Dominican traditional dessert. It is made with red beans, cinnamon, nutmeg, coconut milk, evaporated milk, raisins, butter, sugar and salt. The beans are boiled with salt and then blended to the consistency of soup. The coconut milk and evaporated milk are added along with cooked sweet potato chunks.