I would like someone to let me know what Dominican Republic (Puerto Plata, Cabarete, etc.) is like compared to other Caribbean destinations. We have been to Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, and Playa del Carmen/Tulum (Mexico) several times. We have never stayed in an all-inclusive resort since we enjoy eating at local restaurants. We also like to shop for crafts at local shops, swim, and snorkel. We aren't opposed to staying at an all-inclusive, just haven't done it. I guess we don't like being tied down.
I would appreciate all comments and suggestions. We have been to most islands in the Caribbean. A nice beach is a must!