The Dominican Republic is known for its beautiful beaches, warm climate and friendly locals, but the island has some hidden treasures unknown to many visitors. The Dominican Republic is one of the most diverse countries in the world offering, the highest mountains in the Caribbean, deserts, private islands, jungle, endless rice fields and the oldest city in the Americas. Most people will go to the Punta Cana region, only few will visit these beautiful destinations below. Here you can find an overview of the best places to visit that are off the beaten track in the Dominican Republic.
The top 5 sights that are off the beaten track in the Dominican Republic
5. Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial
The Zona Colonial is the historic heart of Santo Domingo, also known as the oldest city in the Americas. This square mile of pretty streets, shady squares and historical sights contains some of the oldest colonial buildings in the Western Hemisphere, including the cathedral. Walking along the Calle de las Damas feels like retracing the steps of the first Spanish conquistadors, who used Santo Domingo as a base to conquest Latin America. Yet this district is no museum piece, filled with shops, restaurants and cafes, many housed in colonial-era buildings. It is also a real neighborhood, where families sit outside their homes enjoying the cool of the evening. The Zona Colonial is a must visit for traveleres that want to go off the beaten track in the Dominican Republic.
4. Las Galeras
Off the beaten track in the Dominican Republic you will find this small beautiful fishing village at the far eastern end of the Península de Samaná is an escape from your getaway. Few tourists make it here and therefore less development means the area around Las Galeras includes some of the more scenic locales in all the Dominican Republic. Swaying palm trees back beaches ready made for a movie set and waves crash over cliffs. For at least one sunset, venture out to Restaurant El Cabito, where you might glimpse migrating whales and a group of
3. Rio yesica boat tours
Located just east of Cabarete to under the radar Isla Bon, where an unmarked road winds its way to the mouth of the Rio Yesica. Climb on a wooden boat and take a guided river tour, then head back to the hideaway of La Boca Grill to feast on the day’s fresh 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.
2. The Caribbean’s largest Cave
There aren’t too many opportunities in the Caribbean to ride on horseback to a cave however in Los Haitises National Park, located three hours west of the resorts of Punta Cana you can! Here you will find Fun Fun cave, which is officially known as the largest cave in the Caribbean. The cave itself is in the National Park, therefore access to the land goes across a private ranch and requires a guided tour. Inside the cave, you will find beautiful clear waters and impressive sceneries.
1. Eastern National Park
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 park is a major UNESCO World Heritage Site and contains one of the Caribbean’s largest marine parks with an immense coral reef system. Several species of sea turtles as well as manatees, dolphins, and numerous species of fish live in its crystal clear tropical waters.
Additionally 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 can view examples of art in its system of caves, or relax on some of the park’s remote beaches. The sandy beaches of Saona Island are a popular side trip for visitors to the region. When traveling off the beaten track in the Dominican Republic it is recommended to rent a car or travel with local guide’s that know their way around.