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Private guided tour - Dominican Republic

Caribbean adventure vacation

Highlights

  • Adventures through the Dominican Republic’s diverse nature

  • Learn about the country’s history and culture

  • Choose your adventures from five options

  • Many different activities to experience

  • Comfortable accommodations and transportation throughout the trip

Description

Have you always wanted to experience the unique beauty of the Dominican Republic? Then join us for an eight-day adventure! Spend three nights at a base in the southwest of the island near Barahona and three more in the Alpes Dominicanos in Jarabacoa. This active-packed vacation offers great sightseeing opportunities, 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 30°C, and the water temperature is about 27°C.

Please note that the hurricane season runs from June to November, with the highest probability of hurricanes 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, giving you glimpses of 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 230-kilometer 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 dominate Hatillo’s panorama. Once you have crossed the mountains’ stony landscape, you will have an entirely new spectacle as the view of the Rio Yaque del Sur appears beyond its palm trees. Admire the unique perspective of the only river oasis in this dry landscape.

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 multiple times. Until one day, he was finally 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 get to know the region around Barahona in the country's southwest. Choose what you wish to do from the following options:

Option 1: Cachote and cloud forest

On this excursion, you will discover the eastern part of the Sierra De Baoruco National Park and its unique cloud forest in the mountain village of Cachote. You will start in La Cienega, where you hop into a 4x4 vehicle and drive toward the region’s mountain. Grab your camera and capture unforgettable views of Paraiso Beach and Nizaito River from a beautiful vantage point. This panoramic drive also includes stops at numerous agricultural plantations. The drive gradually reaches 1,400 meters above sea level, rewarding you with crisp, fresh air and the tropical cloud forest.

After a lunch break, you will begin hiking towards Cachote and learn about the diverse flora and the 50 different bird species. Once you reach the mountain village, immerse yourself in the locals’ everyday life. The next town, Villa Nizao, is in a fertile valley just a few meters behind the rainforest. After a strenuous hike, you can refresh yourself in the river before returning to the hotel.

Option 2: Lago Enriquillo

Lago Enriquillo is a lake that’s about 40 meters below sea level. In a slightly dry and hot area, smaller springs and rivers provide fertile soils. The encrusted salt lake characterizes the rather desert-like environment, and where the Taíno settlements were discovered.

On the way to the lake, stop by the giant statue of Enriquillo, the famous chief of the Taíno indigenous people in the early 16th century. You can also find other well-preserved sites in the surrounding area, such as the well-preserved Taíno Caves of Las Caritas. The arduous climb is worth it when you reach the impressive indigenous stone carvings. Relish unique views of the beautiful national park and Lake Enriquillo.

You will notice where large colonies of American black-footed crocodiles, rhinos, and whitetail iguanas retreat from high above. And next, an exciting boat trip brings you closer to the impressive reptiles and maybe even a flamingo colony! In addition to the numerous animals, the park also houses over 100 beautiful plant species. And after an adventure-packed day, jump into the Neyba pool for a refreshing dip!

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 southern Barahona. Once here, you will quickly discover why it's named Paraiso ("paradise"). Head a little further into the mountains and discover the only Larimar mine in the world. The Larimar is a unique stone that was discovered in 1974 and only found in the Dominican Republic. Miners found it and took some samples to a jeweler who was fascinated by the stone's color and texture and gave it the name Larimar. Since the diamond is scratch-resistant and polishes up well, jewelers create necklaces, earrings, and jewelry boxes out of it.

During your visit, you will have the opportunity to talk to the workers and learn about their everyday work. Try to find a stone for yourself! Enjoy an exclusive lunch in a private house by a refreshing river. Admire its natural swimming pools, waterfalls, and the peninsula’s stone beaches while you savor delicious food.

On the way back, you can let your eyes wander between the glistening Caribbean Sea 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 making your way along the scenic coastal road, drive over San Rafael and Paraiso to Los Patos. Relish the unparalleled views and capture photos of this incredible journey. Suddenly, you will see the incomparable jungles that fringe the mountain slopes. Exceptionally abundant, the tropical rainforest grows in areas where sheltered niches have been formed by the valley veined with rivers. You will have many photo opportunities on your way!

After you pass through Enriquillo, you are not far from the Laguna de Oviedo, a fresh saltwater lagoon separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land. Don’t forget your hiking shoes for your walk along the lagoon. Uncover numerous treasures that hide in the crevices of your surroundings. Afterward, you will board a boat that will take you along the lagoon's shore, showing you the landscape from a different perspective. Notice the desert-like vegetation and many large birds, such as herons, spoonbills, or ducks, attracted by the water. If you look into the distance, you will see that the lagoon has a total of 22 unique islands.

Visit one of the islands, home to an array of animal inhabitants, such as iguanas. Hike over the island’s barren landscape until you reach a lookout tower that offers 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 Baoruco Mountain Range.

After the hike, a boat trip will take you to the Dominican Republic's largest flamingo colony.

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

Option 5: Bahia de las Aguilas

Your first stop is Cabo Rojo, a small fishing village with a harbor located on the beautiful coastal road. Get in a small boat and coast over the turquoise waters to the Bahia de las Aguilas beach, aka the Eagle Bay. Located in the Jaragua National Park, this unique, untouched, and snow-white sand is one of the best in the world. Enjoy a scrumptious lunch on the beach that stretches over eight kilometers on the extraordinary coast. The rest of the day is up to you: walk along on the dreamy beach, snorkel in the colorful underwater world, swim in the turquoise water, or explore the untouched nature.

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

Take a break from the adventures and relax at your next destination, 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 climb higher up the mountains (600 meters above sea level to be exact) and arrive at the Cordillera Central, the highest mountain range in the Caribbean.

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

Three nights at Rancho Baiguate*** or similar with breakfast, 2x lunch, 3x dinner in a standard room, Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic

The fun and action haven’t stopped here! Decide which activities you want to experience for the next two days. Tour guides accompany you on half-day tours, and lunch is served at Rancho Baiguate before heading off to other activities. You can also choose to relax at the resort.

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 13 kilometers

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

  • Baiguate Waterfall: see the breathtaking 30-meter high waterfall with the natural pool, to which you can walk or ride a horse

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

  • Monte Alto coffee factory: learn how coffee grows 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 experienced unforgettable moments during your extraordinary Caribbean adventure.

itravel - for that moment.

Hodelpa Caribe Colonial***+, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic (One 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 Santo Domingo’s highlights. 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 (Three nights)

This small, familiar eco-lodge awaits you at Paraiso's entrance 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. You can taste seafood specialties in the restaurant, and the bar serves local and imported beers and a wide selection of wines.

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

In the valley of Jarabacoa, Rancho Baiguate awaits you with 27 rooms. Enjoy local delicacies from the in-house restaurant’s buffet and round off the eventful day with a sundowner in the bar. Book various activities offered by the hotel; for example, you can drive to the Jimenoa Waterfall in five minutes. Relax at the outdoor pool while surrounded by lush vegetation.

Duration of the trip: 8 Days / 7 Nights

Including

  • Seven 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
  • Two-day trips to choose from, including lunch
  • Two adventures and two activities when staying at the Rancho Baiguate in Jarabacoa
  • Welcome meeting and travel documents with useful tips and information

Excluding

  • International flights
  • Meals and drinks not mentioned 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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