THE NATURAL BEAUTY OF THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
13 Days / 12 Nights
The Natural Beauty of the Dominican Republic 13 Days / 12 Nights
Discover the most beautiful parts of the Dominican Republic that most tourists will never see. Journey through the heart of the island of waterfalls, lakes and mountains; and don’t worry you will not miss the magnificent beaches on this trip either. One of the highlights of this adventurous trip is a one night stay in the remote and pristine National Park “Los Haitises”.
Day 1: Santo Domingo
You will be picked up from the airport and taken to hotel Hodelpa Caribe Colonial in the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo. Welcome beverage and information session about the country and the forthcoming trip at the office of DOMINICAN EXPERT. Take the rest of the day to explore the streets of the colonial city, restaurants, bars and shops on your own.
Accommodation: Hodelpa Caribe Colonial ***(*), Superior Room
Day 2: Santo Domingo
The capital of the Dominican Republic combines modernity with an emerging economy and the historical center of the city, the “Zona Colonial” making this a very special place. During a private two-hour guided tour through the “Zona Colonial”, you will follow the footsteps of Columbus and will (among other things) see the oldest cathedral of the New World, castles, ruins and the residence of Columbus´s son, Don Diego. You will also visit a cigar manufacturer, where you can see the production of the popular Dominican cigars.
After lunch, you might want to take a bus or taxi to get to know other places outside the old town of Santo Domingo. One of the options would be to visit the fascinating “Los Tres Ojos” (Three Eyes), which is part of a collapsed cave system. The evening will be available for you to explore the vibrant nightlife of Santo Domingo.
Accommodation: Hodelpa Caribe Colonial ***(*)
Day 3: Santo Domingo – Jarabacoa
Enjoy a drive through the beautiful mountains, attaining an altitude of 900 meters (2953 feet) above sea level. Here you will see the Cibao plateau, where you will drive past cocoa, coffee, banana, rice and tobacco plantations. You will continue your journey to the Hotel Rancho Baiguate in Jarabacoa, nestled at the foot of the mountains and surrounded by majestic beauty. The Dominicans call it “The City of Eternal Spring” because of its consistently pleasant year-round temperatures. Upon arrival at Rancho Baiguate a typical Dominican lunch is served. The afternoon is at your free disposal. In the evening a hearty Dominican dinner awaits you in a relaxed and charming setting.
Driving time: 2 ½ hours
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Rancho Baiguate***, Master Room
Day 4: Jarabacoa – Punta Rucia
After breakfast you can visit the Butterfly Garden on the premises of the Ranho Baiguate.
You will continue your trip to the city of Santiago where you will see the famous Monument of Santiago. It was designed in 1944 by the architect Henry Gazon Bona. After the fall of the Dictator Trujillo, it was given the name of “Monument to the Heroes of the Revolution”, which it retains to this day. From there, you will follow the Hispaniola coast northwest, arriving at the small idyllic fishing town of Punta Rucia. At the Punta Rucia Lodge you can relax and enjoy the evening with a nice tropical drink on the beautiful beach.
Driving time: 3 hours
Accommodation: Punta Rucia Lodge****, Standard Room
Day 5: Punta Rucia – Cabarete
In the morning a fishing boat will be ready and waiting to take you to a small island with a surface area of only 200 square meters and white sand. The greatest natural pageantry however takes place under the water where the coral reefs provide a magnet for vast varities of colorful fish and other marine life. Snorkeling in this spectacular natural habitat is an unforgettable experience (boat will provide fins, masks and snorkels). The return trip through the mangroves of the National Park takes you back to the Punta Rucia Lodge.
Afterwards, you will follow the road to Cabarete, one of the most popular tourist places to surf. On the way you will stop to visit Fort San Felipe in Puerto Plata. Christopher Columbus arrived in this area on his first voyage documented January 12th, 1493 and founded the town of Puerto Plata (Port Silver). However it was often victimized by pirate raids causing King Felipe II of Spain to command that a fort be built in 1541 to protect this strategic city.
In the late afternoon you arrive at your hotel, which is located directly on the beach of Cabarete, a well-known place for kite- and windsurfing. Enjoy the rest of the day having a stroll through the city or on the mile long beach of Cabarete.
Driving time: 2 hours
Accommodation: Velero Beach Resort***, Standard Room
Day 6: Cabarete – Rio San Juan/ Cabrera
After breakfast your journey takes you down the coast to Playa Grande, one of the most beautiful beaches of the island. There you can enjoy a delicious lunch of lobster, fish or chicken. The route leads you to your next accommodation in Rio San Juan or Cabrera.
Driving Time: 1 hour
Accommodation: North Coast Sportfishing B&B**, Standard Room or Las Puertas del Paraiso**, Standard Room
Day 7: Rio San Juan/ Cabrera – Samaná – National Park Los Haitises
After having breakfast next to the pool you’ll want to learn more about this part of the island. The friendly owners of the accommodation will explain you where to find the hotspots of the area. For example Laguna Du Du, a crystal clear freshwater lagoon where people can swim in a cave, jump into the water from a 12 meter (39 feet) high cliff or scuba dive through the caves.
In the afternoon the journey continues west to the Samana Peninsula. This part of the scenery includes rivers, lush landscapes, banana plantations, rice fields and beautiful beaches. Upon arrival you will leave the car behind and travel by boat crossing the Samana Bay to a paradisiacal nature place, the Paraiso Caño Hondo in the National Park “Los Haitises”.
Driving time: 2 hours
Boat travel time: 1 hour
Meals: Breakfast, dinner
Accommodation: Hotel Paraíso Caño Hondo***, Standard Room
Day 8: National Park “Los Haitises” / Cayo Levantado (Bacardi Island) – Las Terrenas
In the morning the boat takes you on a tour through the National Park “Los Haitises”. Cruising through secluded islands, bays and rock formations you will visit the “Las Lineas” and the “San Gabriel” cave. In the caves you can find paintings and carvings of the Tainos, the original inhabitants of the Dominican Republic. On your tour you will see an incredible variety of birds. With a little luck, you might even get to see the rare West Indian manatees. Afterwards, your boat will take you to the white beach paradise island of Cayo Levantado, also called “Bacardi Island”. Here you have time to enjoy a typical Dominican lunch and swim in the crystal clear water. The boat will drop you off at Samaná harbor and you will continue your roundtrip. After a short drive you reach Las Terrenas, your last stop of the trip. The small town is a lively fishing village known for its wonderful beaches and its numerous shops, restaurants and bars.
Driving time: 40 minutes
Meals: Breakfast, lunch, dinner
Accommodation: Grand Bahía Príncipe El Portillo****, Double Room (Junior Suite for triple occupancy)
Day 9-13: Las Terrenas
You will spend the last 4 days of your vacation in the All-inclusive Grand Bahia Principe El Portillo****. This is a dream spot where you can lay back and relax, enjoy the Caribbean flair and reminisce about all the exciting activities of the past week. Las Terrenas is truly one of the best spots on the island.
Accommodation: Gran Bahía Príncipe El Portillo****, Double Room (Junior Suite for triple occupancy)
Day 13: Las Terrenas – Santo Domingo
Today you will drive along a well-developed highway across the island directly to the international airport ‘Las Americas’ Santo Domingo. At the airport you will be met by a representative of DOMINICAN EXPERT to help facilitate the return of your rental car.
Driving time: 2 hours
The trip includes:
– Rental vehicle with unlimited mileage and full insurance coverage
(Pick up in the morning of day 3 in the city of Santo Domingo; drop off day 13 (time as desired) at the airport in Santo Domingo)
– All overnight accommodations at hotels mentioned in the program
– All meals mentioned in the itinerary “Meals included”
– Private Guided Walking Tour (2 hours) through the Zona Colonial in Santo Domingo
– Visit of the Butterfly Garden on the premises of the Rancho Baiguate
– Excursion by boat to Cayo Arena
– All transportations by boat on days 7 & 8
– Excursion by boat through Los Haitises National Park and to Cayo Levantado
– Transfer from the airport “Las Americas” (Santo Domingo) to the hotel in the old town of Santo Domingo
– Welcome drink in the office of DOMINICAN EXPERT
– Travel documentation with useful tips and information about Culture, Land & People
– Map of the Dominican Republic with route clearly marked
– Local mobile phone with unlimited calls to the office of DOMINICAN EXPERT in Santo Domingo (loaner phone 50 USD deposit)
The trip does NOT include:
– Tourism fee USD 10 (Payable at the airport upon arrival)
– Personal expenditure
– Flights to/ from Santo Domingo or other airports in the Dominican Republic
– All meals and drinks not included in the program
– Fuel for rented vehicle
Prices per person start from:
- 1.654 USD with double occupancy
- 2.850 USD with single occupancy
- 1.431 USD with triple occupancy
- 1.511 USD when booking two double rooms while using one rental car
- 529 USD child (2-10 years) when travelling with two paying adults
Please enquire for a detailed quote according to your travel dates!