The Dominican Republic promises thrilling stays at luxurious hotels, sunbathing on gorgeous beaches, and adventures down long country roads. Those who visit will relish discovering the country's Spanish Colonial history, which goes all the way back to when America began.

In fact, the capital, Santo Domingo, became the first Spanish settlement in the Americas after Christopher Columbus initiated the first European New World settlement here in 1496. His legacy is preserved in the bricks and mortar of Santo Domingo's historic old section.

The northern Amber Coast region around Puerto Plata, the beautiful Samana Peninsula, and the resort communities of the east coast are other tourist spots, while the South Coast contains some of the destination's bigger cities and national parks. Those who venture off the beaten track will encounter an unspoilt tropical paradise, and welcoming locals.

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