There’s a fair amount of confusion surrounding the Dominican Republic. People think of the small Caribbean nation and picture beach resorts, palm trees, and spring break crowds cracking beers at Punta Cana. Yes, that all exists, but the country has so much more to offer. This is why travel accommodation startup AllTheRooms and us want to take you away from the busy resorts to the quiet beaches, rugged coasts, thick rainforests, and towering peaks that make the DR much more than a party vacation. And they are perfect spots for a destination wedding! Besides, your wedding isn’t like any vacation you’ve ever taken. You want something unique and unforgettable. With that in mind, here are the best places in the Dominican Republic to have your big day.
Jarabacoa River Club and Resort – Jarabacoa
For the adventurer who isn’t content to kick back on the beach and sip cocktails. Jarabacoa River Club is a small resort tucked away in the mountains in the country’s center. The terrain is rugged, the location remote, and the different pools and jacuzzis rising up the river banks make for quite an atmosphere. You and your guests can fill the days hiking through the surrounding areas in search of the best views from the nearby peaks or navigating your way through the river’s rapids. And if you want some time at the beach, Puerto Plata is only two hours from the resort. Oh, and be sure to take your weddings pictures at sunset on the rope bridge stretching over the river. You won’t be disappointed.
Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado – Isla Cayo Levantado
Every person dreams of their walk down the aisle. Imagine if your aisle was made of wooden planks laid across the sand and your view behind the altar is blue waves crashing down on the shore of your own private beach. You don’t have to dream, this is all a reality on a small island just off the Dominican Republic’s northern coast. From private spa areas to massage tables tucked under palm trees, to quiet beaches, to amazing coral reefs located just offshore for scuba diving and snorkeling, Cayo Levantado has it all. The island itself is walkable in about twenty minutes and can feel like it’s set up just for you and your wedding party. The dining area looks out on the water and makes an ideal setting for the post-ceremony dinner party. Needless to say, the sunsets are amazing.
Casa de Campo – La Romana
What we love most about Casa de Campo is the famous Altos de Chavon. Next to the comforts of modernity and beachfront luxury is a series of colonial buildings to take you back in time. Whether you choose to take your wedding photos in front of the church or to have to actual procession there, the setting is dream-like. In addition to these colonial like surroundings, Casa de Campo checks all the waterfront relaxation boxes and boasts excellent golf and fishing due to the nearby port. This option is certainly less remote and better known than the other options, but it’s well-known for good reason. The staff also include wedding planning experts, so expect to be in great hands.
While you are visiting Casa de Campo, you can always go to Bayahibe, which is the following town. Only a short ride away and you can experience a real Dominican town that has great food and lots of activities to do.
Bayahibe is also the spot where boat tours to Saona and Catalina Island depart, so get your snorkel ready!
Velero Beach Resort – Cabarete
Back off the radar, Velero Beach Resort is on the smaller side, but that’s partially why we love it so much. The resort itself is relatively simple and affordable while the scenery is nothing short of incredible. Located at the end of a peninsula stretching out from the country’s north coast, the resort’s views are difficult to beat. Whether you choose to lounge in the pool overlooking the sea or head down to the beach to try a water sport (Cabarete is an excellent location for surfing and windsurfing due to its strong winds and large swells) your days before and after the ceremony will be spent smiling. As for the wedding itself, set up by the pool and time the ceremony to coincide with the sunset for a dream combination.
Natura Cabana Boutique Hotel and Spa – Cabarete
Our pick for the couple that wants a truly private wedding in a beautiful, hidden location. Natura Cabana doesn’t have the massive pools or the dining rooms of other Dominican Republic resorts. It’s located at the end of a dirt road and has cool, beach hut-style cabins tucked in a shady enclave right next to the water, perfect for a small post-reception celebration. The beach itself is beautiful and would work perfectly as a reception by the water. Oh, and don’t think the cabins are rough beachcomber accommodations. The resort sneaks in plenty of special touches. You could easily turn this hidden gem into your party’s own private playground.