I visited the Dominican Republic for one week earlier this month, and I had a great time. The water was crystal clear, the beaches were made of white sand, and the sun was hot: around 25-30C everyday! The showers didn't have hot water until after 4pm, so it was best to swim in the ocean during the day (it was so warm), and then shower in the afternoon. The Dominican Republic is a beautiful lush island full of friendly people and signifigant history. It's the place where Christopher Columbus landed in 1492, so there is a ton of old buildings dating back to the 1500's in the capital city of Santo Domingo. A lot of Spanish influence remains on this island in the architechture, culture, music, and of course the language.
BELOW: This pic below was taken on Calle El Conde, the main shopping strip. I fancied it up a bit in Photoshop, using bokeh from pics I took in Nova Scotia. :)
BELOW: The Panteón Nacional, was the last building constructed by the Spaniards (1748) in Santo Domingo.
BELOW: Posh café's in a pedestrian-only area of Santo Domingo.
BELOW: The Reloj de Sol, erected in 1753, is one of the oldest sun dials in all the Americas. It was used as the official time-teller and could be seen from the government offices in the Casas Reales. This dial sits atop a large stone pillar and has two vertical dials or faces. The Southeast face is to measure the morning hours, and the Southwest side is for the afternoon hours. The large metal plate with its raised parts show the hours by the shaded markings.
BELOW: This is the oldest church in all the Americas! Construction on the Catedral de Santa María la Menor begun in 1514 and was completed in 1540. Fronted with a golden-tinted coral limestone facade, the church combines elements of both Gothic and baroque with some lavish plateresque styles as exemplified by the high altar chiseled out of silver.
BELOW: A hotel sign in Boca Chica. Most hotels were lined with barbed wire, and even some residential homes used a smaller barb for their fences.
BELOW: I saw breathtakingly amazing sunsets each and every night. :)