Starting just beyond the hustle and bustle of Santo Domingo, and continuing east almost all the way to the southeastern tip of the island, lies what most visitors come to the island for - a taste of the idyllic Caribbean. Referred to locally as the Costa Caribe (Caribbean Coast), the southeast coast of Hispaniola, with its sparkling white sand and translucent, tranquil waters, boasts a number of the Dominican Republic's top-rated beaches. Two of the best are the world-renowned Boca Chica and the less celebrated - though no less beautiful - Bayahibe. Also on the south side are several prime dive spots, including a spectacular coral reef off a small island and a number of underwater caves that have become increasingly popular with extreme divers in recent years. Baseball fans often like to make pilgrimages to the city of San Pedro de MacorÌs, which has produced a remarkable number of Major League stars. But perhaps the crowning glory of the Caribbean Coast is the Parque Nacional del Este, a 172-square-mile habitat for bird and plant life. The park is also the site of fascinating cave complexes housing Taino drawings that depict historical events between the indigenous population and the early conquistadors. This is drawn from our larger guide to the entire Dominican Republic; it zeros in on the Caribbean Coast -- Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, San Pedro de Macoris, La Romana & Bayahibe. An extensive introduction to the Dominican Republic as a whole gives you all the practical information you will need about getting here, getting around, the climate, flora & fauna, culture, history and much more. A language phrasebook and dictionary is included at the end of the guide. The authors -- one of whom is a Dominican Republic native -- share their intimate knowledge of this island nation. Virgin beaches, 16th-century Spanish ruins, the Caribbean's highest mountain, exotic wildlife and vast forest reserves will lure you here. And this book will show you around. Diving, hiking, wildlife, parks, tours, getting around, carnivals and celebrations, services, shopping -- all are covered in detail. Accommodations run the gamut from luxury resorts to bare-bones camping facilities. The authors recommend places to eat, too -- including roadside shacks selling local delicacies. Packed with all the practical travel information you could ever need, from places to stay and eat, tourist information resources, destination-specific travel advice, emergency information, plus sections on history and geography that provide readers with the background knowledge essential to a fantastic holiday. Whether you want to discover hidden waterfalls and secluded beaches, explore crumbling colonial ruins, or experience local festivities, this is your perfect companion. Adventures covered range from from town walking tours and beach-combing to whitewater rafting and organized horseback riding excursions. Cultural activities might be dance lessons, art classes, attending a language school or visiting traditional communities in the area. Town and regional maps make planning day-trips or city tours easy.