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The five best things to do in the Dominican Republic

Tick this lot off your list between sunlounger sessions

By Time Out in association with British Airways
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Meet the Dominican Willy Wonkas

Kah Kow has shops on the island (some with small chocolate-making machines), but it’s better to head straight to the source and visit their plantation and factory at La Esmeralda, where you will see the beans harvested, sweated, dried, roasted, winnowed and chocolate conched, and put into moulds.

San Francisco de Macoris, www.cacaotour.com

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Hackenberg-Photo-Cologne / Alamy Stock Photo

Unearth the island’s past

The Regional Museum of Archaeology is the Caribbean’s best illumination of Amerindian Taíno life – represented in their canoes, mill-stones, axe-heads, pottery and zemies (stone representations of their gods). If you aim to flex the brain cells once on your visit, this is the place to do it. 


Altos de Chavon, www.altosdechavon.museum

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Taste the sweet life on a rum tour

It’s well-known as the national drink, but did you ever wonder how rum is made? At Barceló’s factory you can visit the ageing cellar, where the rum is blended and aged in scorched whisky barrels, and then taste the finished product in the Historic Centre, among the old stills and other machinery of distillation. 

San Pedro de Macoris, www.visitronbarcelo.com

Hike to a waterfall

Salto de la Jalda, the Caribbean’s tallest waterfall, is set in a newly designated National Park, and tumbles 400 feet down a mountainside into a rockpool, a seven-kilometre hike (or horse-ride) from the park entrance. Sweaty ramblers get to cool off in the falls after the hike.

Salto de la Jalda National Park

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Roll with it at a cigar factory

The Dominican Republic makes some of the world’s best-known cigars, which can be seen at the Tabacalera de García in La Romana. Even non-smokers will find it interesting to see the leaves dried, selected for strength, rolled into torpedos, panetelas and Churchills, and then cut, before being packed into boxes. 

La Romana, www.cigarcountrytours.com

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