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$$$$-Very Expensive

Dominican Republic The first Caribbean island discovered by the Europeans. Land of superlatives: one of the newest places, with the most hotels; Eito Duarte, the Caribbean's tallest mountain, is over 10,000 feet (3,050 meters). Historic, fun-loving Santo Domingo has flashy nightlife, amber jewelry, and restaurant prices among the lowest in Caribbean. National parks, great birding. Humpback whales play off Samana, January-March. Large resorts. $-$$$. Spanish. Tip: Gigantic Columbus Lighthouse designed as reclining cross, housing Christopher Columbus mausoleum and museums.

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