If you want to escape to a quaint tropical paradise (sans the crowds and beachfront resort high-rises), look no further than the Dominican Republic. Nestled immediately to the east of Haiti, this geographically diverse country boasts spectacular beaches and majestic mountains, making it an ideal vacation spot for the adventurer and the relaxer alike. And no matter what your perfect getaway entails, you can enjoy the luxury of all-inclusive vacation packages without breaking the bank.
The excitement of planning your DR vacation can only be matched with a stay on the North Coast, where water sports and hiking are daily and all-day affairs. After mountain biking in the coastal hills and catching some killer waves, you'll want to freshen up before your night out; and there's no better place to do so than at the 4-star Riu Bachata Hotel in Puerto Plata, pictured to the right. Book yourself an all-inclusive 4-night hotel and flight package for two (from $1,293.36, a low by $106; expires August 14) and you'll have enough time to enjoy fun in the sun, but also get in some ultra-relaxing moments lounging on the beach in the evenings.
If you just got excited reading "ultra-relaxing moments," then skip the surfing and consider a 3-night stay for 2 at the all-inclusive Barceló Puerto Plata (from $308.88, a low by $40; expires August 14). Here you'll enjoy the exclusive Playa Dorada, with its powdery sand and crystal clear water. Or you could check out the equally beautifuul south side of the island and the all-inclusive The Gran Bahia Principe Hotel La Romana. Book a 4-night stay for two (from $499, a low by $73; expires August 11) in a superior junior suite and focus more on your mai thai than your party wave as you enjoy a variety of amenities including complimentary beach towels, recliners, and more.
But to make the very most of your all-inclusive Caribbean vacation, you'll want to head to the eastern-most tip of the Dominican Republic, to Punta Cana. The epicenter of the country's tourism, this region boasts a plethora of activities, and seemingly endless soft, white sand beaches, which rival those anywhere else in the Caribbean. A 4-night hotel and flight package for two with a stay at the newly-renovated Riu Naiboa Hotel (from $1,322.76, a low by $62; expires August 16) will give you ample time to explore the city and relax. This resort is located near the Caribbean Street promenade, but is also just a short walk from the beach. Here you'll enjoy complimentary access to the neighboring accommodations of Riu Naiboa and Riu Bambu, and their bars, restaurants, and nightclubs. But perhaps what makes this resort truly exciting, are its activities: scuba diving, horseback riding, tennis, and more.
Think you could get used to that? Well then, you may want to extend your vacation by a day: how does a 5-night stay for two at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Punta Cana (from $1,049, a low by $433; expires December 15) sound? You'll stay in a Caribbean Suite at this 4.5-star hotel and enjoy a whopping $1,500 credit that you can put towards the spa, golf, room upgrades, sightseeing, and much more.
All this relaxing can drive some folks stir crazy. Surely hitting a few golf balls to relieve whatever tropical stress you're feeling will help. And you can do just that at the Melia Caribe Tropical Resort, pictured to the right. A 4-night stay for two at this all-inclusive resort ($850, a low by $420; expires August 31) includes a complimentary round of 18-hole golf. If you're not tuckered out from your free game, be sure to take a dip in one (or all!) of the resort's 10 pools; get a massage at one of two spas; practice your backhand slice on one of eight tennis courts; and get out into the water for a variety of complimentary water sports.
Your Dominican Republic all-inclusive getaway awaits! And no matter which hotel you decide upon, each of these vacation packages exemplifies the beauty of Hispaniola. But if you'd prefer to book a trip somewhere else, be sure to check out our weekly roundup of the top travel deals for additional discounted flights, hotels, and vacation packages.
Note that this feature has been updated since it was originally published this spring.