Punta Cana’s Playa Juanillo, Dominican Republic © Dominican Republic Tourist Board

The wow factor: The Dominican Republic makes up the eastern side of the island of Hispaniola, and its beaches are lauded as some of the best in the world. They don’t come any finer than Playa Juanillo, close to Punta Cana on Dom Rep’s eastern tip. Alluringly-angled palm trees sprout from dazzling white sands gently washed by azure waters in a bay protected from the pounding Atlantic surf by an offshore reef. The beach is close to exclusive golf resorts and communities, with celebrities owning homes including Julio Iglesias.

Did you know? The Dominican Republic is very popular with film makers. Scenes from famous movies shot there include the Godfather II, Apocalypse Now, and Rambo II.

Stay: Thomas Cook offers seven nights at the all-inclusive Dreams Punta Cana Resort & Spa from £932 per person, including flights. www.thomascook.com

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