Rich in history, the Dominican Republic’s first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Since then, it has developed into a diverse and luxurious destination offering both Dominican Republic and European flavours to more than 220,000 British visitors each year. A leader in eco-tourism, the Dominican Republic created the world’s first Whale Sanctuary and has established protection zones for more than 20% of its land and coastal areas.
Whether you dance the night away with costumed characters at Carnival celebrations in Santiago and La Vega or dance to pulse-pounding merengue at festivals in the New World’s first city, Dominican Republic has it all. Some of the events are listed below.
Jan – Dec – Santo Domingo de Fiesta: The free outdoor show begins at 9 p.m. every Friday and Saturday at the Plaza de España in the Colonial Zone
Jan – Dec – Arts & Crafts Fair in Colonial City: The craft fair is held at Plazoleta Fray Bartolome de las Casas every Friday through Sunday from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Shoppers can view and purchase a selection of Dominican-made fine arts and crafts.
Jan – Laser Midwinter Regatta: The annual Regatta is held in Cabarete, the Kite-boarding Capital of the World, and marks the start of the world’s Laser Regatta calendar.
Jan – Professional Baseball Championships Semi-finals: Fans can take in the post-season and watch Dominican baseball greats in the annual winter playoffs. www.lidom.com/calendario.htm
Jan – The Parade of the Three Kings: Celebrates the epiphany twelve days after Christmas on Calle El Conde in the historic Colonial Zone, located in Santo Domingo.
Jan-Mar – Humpback Whales Observation Season: View the 3,000 to 5,000 whales that migrate to the waters of the Bay of Samaná on a guided boat tour or at the land observatory. Whale Watching – Between January 15th and March 25th each year, thousands of humpback whales of the North Atlantic population migrate to the Samana Bay region, located on the east coast of the Dominican Republic. Tour operators provide boat excursions deep into the bay so visitors may witness these large, warm blooded mammals as they play in the sea. Many tour operators also provide educational commentary about the whales during each excursion.
Caribbean Baseball Series: Held in Santo Domingo at the Quisqueya Baseball Stadium, the Caribbean Baseball Series hosts the best teams from Mexico, Venezuela, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic.
Procigar Festival 2016 – The ninth annual Procigar Festival will be held from 21-26 February, 2016 in Santiago, the country’s second largest city, and in the eastern city of La Romana, home to “Casa de Campo,” one of the Caribbean’s top resorts. In La Romana and Santiago – also known as the “Cigar Capital of the World” – participants will have the opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s top-brand cigars, become familiar with the tobacco-making industry, and participate in other tobacco industry-related events. The five-day program will include educational seminars and programs on the tobacco industry, and will provide plenty of entertainment, leisurely activities and endless possibilities to enjoy some of the world’s top-rated cigars. The upcoming Festival will also include a visit to Punta Cana – one of the Caribbean’s top tourism destinations – and participants will be able to go snorkelling and horseback riding, among other activities. www.Procigar.org
Feb – Mar – Dominican Carnival: With origins dating back to 1520, Dominican Carnival is a tradition inherited from Spanish forefathers and each city has a unique celebration with parades every Sunday of the month. Famous cities for festive Dominican Carnival celebrations, include Puerto Plata, Rio San Juan, Constanza, La Vega, Montecristi, Samaná; Higuey, La Romana, La Vega, Santiago and Santo Domingo.
23- 28 Feb – Master of the Ocean 2016: Playa Cabarete, Puerto Plata
Known as the triathlon of wave riding, because it combines surfing, windsurfing, kite-surfing and Stand Up Paddle (SUP). bringing together professionals from the Dominican Republic and international athletes, specialized in these four disciplines.
Feb 27 – Dominican Independence Day of 1844 Parade: The parade begins at 4 p.m. along the Avenue of the Malecón resting alongside the Caribbean Sea in the capital city, Santo Domingo.
Mar – Punta Cana Carnival: Visitors and locals alike celebrate Punta Cana Carnival in Punta Cana Village every March. The annual parade features carnival troops from throughout the country, costumed characters and live performances. www.puntacana.com
April – Master of the Ocean: An annual kite-boarding and surfing competition held in beautiful Cabarete Bay on Dominican Republic’s North Coast. www.MasteroftheOcean.com
May – International Book Fair: The fair is held at the Plaza de la Cultura in Santo Domingo and commemorates the anniversary of the constitution of the Dioceses of Santo Domingo. Catholic editors, speakers and experts participate in the fair. http://www.ferilibro.com
June – Puerto Plata Cultural Festival: Normally held the third week of June, the Puerto Plata Cultural Festival offers an insight into Dominican culture with Folk Music, traditional African tribal dances, salsa and merengue. There are also many exhibits of crafts from local artists.
Dominican Republic Golf Open – The Dominican Republic Professional Golf Open will take place at Teeth of the Dog in La Romana this year. The tournament is scheduled for May 2016. The tournament is operated under the PGA Tour Latin America (Nec Series Tour). The PGA has been backing the Dominican Republic Open for the past two years.
June – Kiteboarding World Cup: Cabarete, the Kite-boarding Capital of the World, is known for hosting the most spectacular kite-boarding events. The region ensures the perfect wind and water conditions for competitors. www.cabareteevents.com
July – August – Merengue Festival in Santo Domingo: Every year top bands at Santo Domingo’s seaside promenade, El Malecón, pump out the infectious music that is much loved by Dominicans at the Merengue Festival. Both locals and tourists alike dance on the beach, in hotels and throughout the capital with amateur DJs on every block.
SEPT 2016 – DOMINICAN REPUBLIC GROOVEFEST
GrooveFest International Music Festival in the Dominican Republic. is the first festival of its kind in the Dominican Republic featuring some of the biggest DJs in the world. http://www.groovefestevents.com/
October Taste Santo Domingo: The most complete gastronomic event in the country where the audience can enjoy multiple activities such as wine tasting, dinners, private events and award ceremonies. Also, the excellent cuisine that the Dominican Republic offers, along with wines and spirits. www.tastesantodomingo.com
October Regional Music Festival – This top regional music festival, and certainly the Dominican Republic’s most important, is scheduled for October. The festival will be held in Santo Domingo’s Olympic Stadium, situated in the very heart of the capital city.
October – Puerto Plata Merengue Festival: Vendors set up booths on both sides of the malecón the first week of October and sell a variety of homemade goods to eat, drink or wear, and a huge stage is erected for concerts by famous merengue musicians. www.PuertoPlata.com
October – Dominicana Moda
Dominicana Moda has become the most advertised event in the history of Dominican Republic. with the support of the Ministry of Tourism of the Dominican Republic, will this year be celebrating its tenth anniversary. The event has become the most important event of the Caribbean Fashion Calendar and is one of the most prestigious. This celebration parade platform shall consist of the best of Dominican and Latin American design in an attractive calendar of shows which takes place the 3rd week in October annually.
October – January
Dominican Winter Professional Baseball: The winter season kicks off with series games taking place all across the country starting in September. Many U.S. MLB players began their careers in Dominican baseball. www.lidom.com/calendario.htm
For more information on Events visit: http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/events/upcoming