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Expat Exchange - Best Places to Visit in the Dominican Republic for Christmas Cheer
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Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic


Best Places to Visit in the Dominican Republic for Christmas Cheer

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Abreu & Associates Immigration Services
Abreu & Associates Immigration Services

Summary: Plan a day trip or weekend getaway to get some holiday cheer. This article highlights the best places to visit in the Dominican Republic for Christmas cheer.

For expats and digital nomads who find themselves in the Dominican Republic during the festive month of December, there's a wealth of places to visit to get into the holiday spirit. The country is known for its vibrant culture and warm climate, but it also offers a unique Christmas experience with its own traditions and celebrations. From bustling city markets to charming coastal towns, here are some of the best places to visit for a festive experience in the Dominican Republic.

Santo Domingo's Colonial Zone

The historic Colonial Zone in Santo Domingo transforms into a Christmas wonderland with its festive decorations and lights. The area is known for its rich history and stunning architecture, which provides a picturesque backdrop for the holiday season. During December, the streets come alive with music, and vendors sell traditional Dominican Christmas treats. The Parque Colón becomes a focal point for celebrations, often featuring live performances and a festive atmosphere.

We Recommend: Don't miss the chance to try the traditional Dominican hot chocolate, known for its rich, spiced flavor, which is a popular treat during the holiday season.

Punta Cana

Punta Cana is not just a summer destination; it also offers a tropical Christmas experience. Resorts in the area go all out with their decorations, creating a festive environment for guests. Many of them host special Christmas dinners and events, including beach parties with fireworks. The holiday spirit is palpable, with palm trees wrapped in twinkling lights and Santa hats adorning the staff.

We Recommend: Enjoy a Christmas Eve feast at one of the resorts, where you can indulge in a mix of traditional Dominican and international holiday dishes.

Santiago de los Caballeros

Santiago, the second-largest city in the Dominican Republic, is known for its lively Christmas celebrations. The Monumento a los Héroes de la Restauración becomes the center of festivities, with its surrounding areas decked out in holiday lights and decorations. The city hosts various Christmas events, including concerts and cultural performances, which usually take place throughout December.

We Recommend: Experience the local tradition of "parrandas" or "asaltos navideños," where groups of friends and family go from house to house with music and singing, spreading holiday cheer.

La Romana

La Romana offers a more relaxed holiday vibe, with its luxury resorts and Altos de Chavón—a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village. During December, Altos de Chavón is beautifully decorated with Christmas lights and ornaments, and it often hosts holiday concerts and events in its amphitheater. The cobblestone streets and charming architecture make it a magical place to explore during the holiday season.

We Recommend: Attend a Christmas concert at the Altos de Chavón amphitheater, where you can enjoy live music in a stunning, historic setting.

Cabarete

Cabarete is known for its laid-back atmosphere and water sports, but it also has a festive side during December. The beach town has a close-knit community of locals and expats who come together to celebrate the holidays. Many bars and restaurants along the beachfront offer special holiday menus and themed parties, often with bonfires and live music.

We Recommend: Join in on a beachfront Christmas party for a unique holiday experience, complete with a tropical twist on traditional Christmas dishes.

Las Terrenas

The small town of Las Terrenas in the Samaná Peninsula is another great spot for expats and digital nomads to enjoy Christmas. The multicultural community here embraces holiday traditions from around the world, resulting in a diverse celebration. The town is adorned with festive lights, and local businesses host holiday-themed events, creating a cozy and inclusive atmosphere.

We Recommend: Take part in a community potluck dinner, where you can sample a variety of international dishes and connect with fellow expats and locals.

Jarabacoa

For those looking for a cooler climate and mountainous scenery, Jarabacoa is the perfect holiday destination. Known as the "City of Everlasting Spring," its natural beauty is enhanced by Christmas decorations during December. The town has a peaceful ambiance, with holiday markets selling crafts and local produce, and the sound of traditional Dominican Christmas music filling the air.

We Recommend: Explore the local holiday markets to find unique handmade gifts and decorations, and don't forget to try the "pasteles en hoja," a traditional Dominican Christmas dish similar to tamales.

Bávaro

Bávaro, with its stunning beaches and all-inclusive resorts, also gets into the holiday spirit. The resorts typically organize festive events, including tree-lighting ceremonies, Christmas shows, and special holiday buffets. The area is particularly popular with families, offering a variety of activities and entertainment for all ages.

We Recommend: Participate in a resort-organized Christmas activity, such as a cookie-decorating workshop or a Santa meet-and-greet for a fun family experience.

Whether you're looking for a traditional celebration or a beachside Christmas party, the Dominican Republic has something to offer every expat and digital nomad. The warmth of the Dominican people, combined with the festive atmosphere, makes for a memorable holiday season in this Caribbean paradise.

About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.


Abreu & Associates Immigration Services
Abreu & Associates Immigration Services

Abreu & Associates Immigration Services
Abreu & Associates Immigration Services

Las Terrenas, Dominican Republic

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