cave dominican republic

5 of the Best Off the Beaten Path Experiences in The Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is known for its picturesque beaches, warm climate and fiery culture, but the island has some hidden treasures unbeknown to many visitors. There are myriad resorts to choose from, but if you’re looking for a wide variety of all-inclusive Dominican Republic hotels and resorts, Barcelo may be the best choice for accommodation.

Once you’ve booked your home away from home, explore some of these incredible island experiences during your stay.

santo domingo

Santo Domingo: The Zona Colonial

“The Zona Colonial is the historic heart of Santo Domingo. This square mile of pretty streets and shady squares contains some of the oldest colonial buildings in the Western Hemisphere, including the cathedral. To walk along the Calle de las Damas is to retrace the steps of the first Spanish conquistadors, who used Santo Domingo as a base for the conquest of Latin America. Yet this district is no museum piece. It’s dotted with shops, restaurants and cafes, many housed in colonial-era buildings. It is also a real neighbourhood, where families sit outside their homes enjoying the cool of the evening.” (Reader’s Digest)

las galeras

Photo Las Galeras via Shutterstock

Las Galeras

“This sleepy fishing village at the far eastern end of the Península de Samaná is an escape from your getaway. Fewer tourists and therefore less development means the area around Las Galeras includes some of the more scenic locales in all the DR. Swaying palm trees back beaches ready made for a movie set and waves crash over hard-to-get-to cliffs. For at least one sunset, venture out to Restaurant El Cabito, where you might glimpse migrating whales and a dolphin or two.” (Lonely Planet)

river dominican republic

Photo river in Dominican Republic via Shutterstock

Rio Yesica Boat Tour

Venture just east of Cabarete to under-the-radar Isla Bon, where an unmarked road winds its way to the mouth of the Rio Yesica. Hop on a wooden skiff and take a guided river tour, then head back to the end-of-the-road hideaway of La Boca Grill to feast on the day’s catch. The adventure outfitter Iguana Mama can arrange mountain biking trips, or for the less inclined, a quick van ride – to the secluded spot for half-day excursions. (Caribbean Travel Magazine 

cave dominican republic

Photo cave Dominican Republic via Shutterstock

Spelunking the Caribbean’s Largest Cave

“There aren’t too many opportunities in the Caribbean to ride on horseback to a cave.

In Los Haitises National Park, located three hours west of the resorts of Punta Cana, Fun Fun (pronounced “Foon Foon”) Cave is officially known as the largest cave in the Caribbean. Though the cave itself is in the National Park, access to the land goes across a private ranch and requires a guided tour.

While the nearly three-hour drive from the resorts of Punta Cana is a lengthy, bumpy, journey into the interior, the scenes from the window provide an authentic glimpse into rural Dominican life. Sugar cane sways, schoolchildren wave, and mangoes drip from the trees.” (AFAR)

eastern national park dominican republic

Photo via Massimiliano Giani

Eastern National Park

“A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Eastern National Park (Parque Nacional del Este) is a prime habitat for hundreds of species of plants and animals, including 112 species of birds. The reserve also encompasses one of the Caribbean’s largest marine parks with an immense coral reef system. Four species of sea turtles as well as manatees, bottlenose dolphins, and numerous species of fish live in its tropical waters. In addition to this wealth of biodiversity, the park is the habitat for the rare paloma coronita (crowned, or white-headed dove) and the rhinoceros iguana. Besides the excellent diving and snorkeling, visitors to the park can view examples of pre-Columbian art in its system of caves, or relax on some of the park’s remote beaches. The sandy beaches of Saona Island (Isla Saona) are a popular side trip for visitors to the region.” (Planet Ware)

*Brought to you by Barcelo Hotels & Resorts

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