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Digital Subscriptions > Lonely Planet Traveller (UK) > February 2018 > Best of the Dominican Republic

Best of the Dominican Republic

There’s much more to this Caribbean island country than all-inclusive resorts: discover some stand-out sights and experiences here, century-old colonial heart.
Taking a dip in the Twenty-Seven Waterfalls of Damajagua

SIGHTS

Catedral Primada de America £

(Parque Colon, Santo Domingo)

The first stone of this cathedral, the oldest still standing in the Americas, was set in 1514 by Diego Columbus, son of the explorer. Numerous architects worked on the complex; thus the vault is Gothic, the arches Romanesque and the ornamentation Baroque.

Montana Redonda £

(montanaredonda.com)

Dominicanos flock to this mountaintop viewpoint on weekends to take photos on sky-high swing sets, or 'flying' on broomsticks. The 360-degree mountain and sea views are jaw-dropping. The entrance is four miles west of the Playa Limon turnoff on the highway to Sabana de la Mar.

Parque Nacional Cotubanama £

The renamed Parque Nacional del Este includes emerged reef terraces, 400 or so caverns, and Islas Saona, Catalina and Cata-linita. Most visitors will see the powdery beaches at Saona on a group tour - dive shops in Bayahibe tend to offer more rewarding trips that stop for lunch at Saona, but only after visiting other spots for hiking, snorkelling or both.

Parque Nacional Los Haitises £

West of the small bayside town of Sabana de la Mar, this 530square-mile reserve contains lush green hills jutting from the water, and coastal wetlands that shelter more than 700 plant species, including four types of mangrove. The road from town is rough but (passable for about six miles. Flora Tours (flora-tours.net), in Las Ter -renas across the bay, runs eco-sensitive boat tours of the park.

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February 2018 Issue of Lonely Planet