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Private guided tour - Dominican Republic

Caribbean adventure vacation

Highlights

  • Adventures through the diverse nature of the Dominican Republic

  • Get exciting background information on the history of the country

  • Choose from five different day trip options

  • Many different activities to experience

  • Comfortable accommodations and transportation throughout the trip

Description

Do you want to experience the unique beauty of the Dominican Republic on extraordinary adventures? Then come with us on this eight-day trip! Spend three nights at a base in the southwest of the island near Barahona and three more in the Alpes Dominicanos in Jarabacoa. Enjoy an active vacation with the best conditions for sightseeing, rapid boat trips over the longest river in the Caribbean, and many other exciting activities!

Destination

Caribbean

Dominican Republic - Santo Domingo

The best time to visit Santo Domingo is between December and May. During this period, the average temperature is around 86°F, and the water temperature is about 80°F.

Please note that the hurricane season runs from June to November, with the probability of hurricanes highest in September and October.

After landing at the airport, a partner agency will welcome you and take you to the old town of Santo Domingo. Use this first day to get to know the oldest city in the New World. The capital is also the largest metropolis in the country, and a great way to have the first glimpse into its culture. Experience the mix of old-world charm and modern Latin flair that characterizes Santo Domingo.

One night at Hodelpa Caribe Colonial*** or similar with breakfast in a Standard Room, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Today’s destination is Barahona! Head out of town towards San Cristóbal, the city where dictator Trujillo was born. You will experience the versatility of the Dominican Republic during this 143-mile journey. As you pass the dreamy villages, lined with mango and breadfruit trees, coconut palms and bananas, you will gradually get to Bani. Afterward, the road ahead leads through barren land, and columnar cacti and yellow-flowering agaves that dominate the panorama. In Hatillo and in the mountains, too, there is a similar landscape, characterized by a stony landscape. Once you have crossed the mountains, you will have an entirely new panorama, opening up the view of the Rio Yaque del Sur with its palm trees. Admire the unique perspective of the only river oasis in this otherwise dry area.

In the early evening, you will reach the provincial capital of Barahona. This town once served as a hiding place for the famous pirate Cofresí. The pirate was feared and sought after in the 19th century but managed to escape again and again. Until one day, he was caught and sentenced to death. Visit the statue and get a glimpse of this piece of history.

Three nights in Rancho Don Cesar*** or similar with breakfast and 2x lunch in a Standard Room, Barahona, Dominican Republic

Dedicate the following two days to getting to know the region around Barahona in the southwest of the country. Choose what you wish to do from the following options:

Option 1: Mountain village Cachote and cloud forest

On this excursion, you will discover the eastern part of the Sierra Baoruco National Park and its unique cloud forest in the mountain village of Cachote. The starting point of the excursion is La Cienega, from where you will drive in a 4x4 vehicle in the mountains of the region until you arrive at a beautiful vantage point. Do you have your camera with you? From here, you will have an unforgettable view of the beaches of Paraiso and the Nizaito River. Also, on this panoramic drive, you will often stop to visit the numerous agricultural plantations, which include coffee, cocoa, and tropical fruits. As you drive, you will hardly notice that you are now at 4,600 feet above sea level. Up here, you can feel the crisp, fresh air amid the tropical cloud forest - inside which almost 50 species of birds feel at home.

After a lunch break, you will begin hiking towards Cachote and learn about the diverse flora on the way. Once in the mountain village, immerse yourself in the life of the locals, which still lives today without electricity and water. The next town, Villa Nizao, located a few yards behind the rainforest in a fertile valley, depends on agriculture and grows oranges, coconuts, and mangos. After a strenuous hike, you can refresh yourself in the river before returning to the hotel.

Option 2: Lago Enriquillo

Almost 130 feet below sea level is Lago Enriquillo. In a slightly dry and hot area, smaller springs and rivers provide fertile soils and welcome contrasts of the landscape. Encrusted salt lakes characterize the rather desert-like environment, and nearby is where the Taíno settlements were discovered.

On the way to the lake, stop by the giant statue of Enriquillo, the famous chief of the Taino Indians in the early 16th century. You can also find other well-preserved sites in the surrounding area. Take the steep steps to visit the well-preserved Taíno Caves of Las Caritas. The impressive indigenous stone carvings reward the arduous climb. The unique views of the beautiful National Park and Lake Enriquillo are also worth all the effort.

What you can only guess from high above is that the park is a popular retreat for the largest colony of American black-footed crocodiles, rhinos, and whitetail iguanas. You will come very close to the impressive reptiles on an exciting boat trip and, with a bit of luck, even discover a flamingo colony that likes to stay there. In addition to the numerous animals, the park also houses over 100 beautiful plant species. And, if you feel like cooling off, the Neyba pool is ideal for a bath!

Afterward, head back to the hotel.

Option 3: Larimar mines

A short drive along the coastal road will take you to Paraiso, where you will find the only sandy beach in the south of Barahona. Once here, you will quickly discover why it's named Paraiso ("Paradise"). A little further away, in the mountains, is the only Larimar mine in the world. The Larimar is a unique stone known only since 1974 and only found in the Dominican Republic. Miners found it and took some samples to a jeweler who, fascinated by the color and texture of the stone, gave it the name Larimar. The diamond is scratch-resistant and can be polished very well so that today many necklaces, earrings, and jewelry boxes are made of it.

During your visit, you will have the opportunity to talk to the workers and gain insight into their everyday work. Try to find a stone for yourself. Enjoy an exclusive lunch in a private house located by a refreshing river with natural swimming pools and waterfalls. Admire the stone beaches of the Barahona Peninsula while dining.

On the way back, you can let your eyes wander between the beautiful Caribbean Sea with its play of colors of different shades of green and blue and the tropical landscape. Before returning to the hotel, make a stop at a Larimar Stone studio!

Option 4: Laguna de Oviedo

The destination of this excursion is Los Patos. After driving along the scenic coastal road where you can enjoy unique views, drive over San Rafael and Paraiso to Los Patos. Do you have your camera with you? Then take in the sight of the incomparable, still closed jungles that pull up the mountain slopes. Exceptionally abundant, the tropical rainforest grows in areas where sheltered niches have been formed by the valley veined with rivers.

On the way, you will have the opportunity to shoot unique photos during stops and thus capture the beauty of the landscape.

Time seems to have stopped at the relaxed small fishing village of Enriquillo. From here, you are not far from the Laguna de Oviedo, a fresh saltwater lagoon separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land. Do you have sturdy shoes? Then you can walk along the lagoon, which hides numerous treasures upon closer inspection. Afterward, you will board a boat that will take you along the shore of the lagoon and show you the landscape from a different perspective. Experience the contrast between dry, almost desert-like vegetation and the large number of large birds, such as herons, spoonbills, or ducks, attracted by the water. If you look into the distance, you will discover that the lagoon has a total of 22 islands, each of them unique.

Visit one of the islands and its animal inhabitants, such as iguanas, who live here in the great outdoors. Hike over the small island, characterized by the barren landscape and a lookout tower, offering an unforgettable view over the lagoon and the Jaragua National Park. On the horizon, you can see the shimmering waters of the Caribbean Sea and the mountains of the Sierra Bahoruco.

After the hike, refresh yourself on a boat trip to the largest flamingo colony in the Dominican Republic. You will not be surprised if a whole flamingo-swarm passes by.

In the evening, you will return to Barahona, where you can refresh yourself in the river at Los Patos.

Option 5: Bahia de las Aguilas

A small fishing village with a harbor called Cabo Rojo is located on the beautiful coastal road and is your first stop for today. Get in a small boat that leads you over the turquoise waters to the beach on the Bahia de las Aguilas, the Eagle Bay. Located in the Jaragua National Park, this unique, untouched, and the snow-white beach is considered one of the best on Earth. The beach stretches over eight kilometers on the extraordinary coast, where you will be served lunch. Use the day and do what you feel like doing. Walk on the beach, snorkel, swim, or enjoy the untouched nature - that's up to you. Explore and discover the 130 species of birds, of which 76 are permanently located in the bay.

Before returning in the evening, stop at the only source of water in the Jaragua National Park.

After the adventurous last two days, your next destination is Jarabacoa! In San Cristóbal, you will head off the highway and drive north through small, typical Dominican villages. As you continue along the route, you will go higher and higher up the mountains, arriving at the Cordillera Central - the highest mountain range in the Dominican Republic and all of the Caribbean region. The popular destination is 1968 feet above sea level!

Your next accommodation is at the renowned Rancho Baiguate. Spring-like temperatures, pine forests, rivers, and the mountains make this resort a well-known health resort that attracts thousands of hikers and nature lovers every year. Look at the colorful flowers and stroll through this idyllic haven.

Three nights at Rancho Baiguate*** or similar with breakfast, 2x lunch, 3x dinner in the Standard Room, Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic

You once again have two days of fun and action ahead of you! Decide which activities to experience. For tours lasting half a day, a trained guide will accompany you. Enjoy your lunch at Rancho Baiguate before heading off to other activities in the afternoon, or just relax and unwind!

From the following selection, choose what suits you best:

  • River Rafting: rafting on the longest river in the Caribbean with II-III speed categories over eight miles

  • Canyoning: the Jimenoa River offers perfect conditions for jumping into deep pools, abseiling and rushing waterfalls and water slides

  • Baiguate Waterfall: discover the breathtaking 100 ft high waterfall with the natural pool, to which you can walk or ride a horse

  • Jimenoa II Waterfall: take a hiking tour to the remarkable waterfall

  • Monte Alto coffee factory: learn about growing coffee on the plantations and taste a cup of it afterward

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Before you know it, you are back in Santo Domingo, and your exciting tour comes to an end. We hope you have experienced unforgettable moments during your extraordinary Caribbean adventure vacation.

itravel - for that moment.

Hodelpa Caribe Colonial***, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (1 night)

In the heart of the colonial city is Hodelpa Caribe Colonial**.** The accommodation offers space for relaxation and is only a few steps away from the sights of Santo Domingo. Its modern amenities include a sun terrace, internet, free parking, taxi service, and rental car service. All 54 spacious and comfortable rooms come furnished in a modern Art Deco style.

Hotel Rancho Don Cesar***, Barahona, Dominican Republic (3 nights)

Attention nature lovers! This small, familiar eco-lodge awaits you at the entrance of Paraíso and impresses with its fantastic location at the picturesque Rio Nizao. The eight rooms have a private bathroom, a fan, and a desk. The hotel also offers a large terrace with hammocks, free WiFi, and a lounge with a TV. In the restaurant you can taste seafood specialties, the bar serves local and imported beers and a wide selection of wines.

Rancho Baiguate***, Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic (3 nights)

In the valley of Jarabacoa, this accommodation awaits you with 27 rooms. Enjoy local delicacies from the buffet at the in-house restaurant and round off the eventful day with a sundowner in the bar. Take part in various activities offered by the hotel. You can reach the Jimenoa Waterfall in just five minutes by car. Relax at the outdoor pool while surrounded by lush vegetation.

Duration of the trip: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Including

  • 7 nights in the hotels mentioned or similar in rooms with shower/toilet

  • 7x breakfast, 4x lunch, and 3x dinner, as described

  • Excursions in passenger cars, boats, minibusses, or buses depending on the number of participants

  • Local English-speaking guides during day trips

  • All entrances, taxes, and fees

  • 2-day trips to choose from, including lunch

  • Two adventures and two activities on the Rancho Baiguate in Jarabacoa, as described

  • Welcome meeting and travel documentation with useful tips and information

Excluding

  • International flights

  • Meals and drinks that are not included in the scope of services

  • Personal expenses, such as minibar and tips

  • Private transfer (from Punta Cana Airport or hotel to Santo Domingo or vice versa)

Services & Notes

  • Minimum number of participants: 2 people

Additional experiences

Culinary city tour in Santo Domingo

  1. Price per person from 152 € excl. Flight
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Boat trip to Saona Island

  1. Price per person from 91 € excl. Flight
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