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Travel module - Dominican Republic

Barahona nature experience

Highlights

  • Discover the beauty of the Dominican Republic in four days

  • Accommodation in a comfortable hotel

  • Choose your day trip from 5 options

  • Pure nature, history and culture

  • Enjoy dream beaches, lagoons and views from the mountains

Description

The southwest of the Dominican Republic is known for its unspoiled nature and excursion destinations, such as the Laguna de Oviedo. From iguanas to flamingos to crocodiles, this area is home to numerous animals just waiting to be discovered by you. A selection of excursions will allow you to spend time according to your wishes. Relax on one of the most beautiful and longest natural beaches of the Caribbean, the Bahia de las Aguilas or discover the secret of the Larimar stone.

Destination

Caribbean

Dominican Republic - Santa Cruz de Barahona

You will be picked up at your old town hotel in Santo Domingo and taken by private transfer to Barahona. Along the coastal road you will head out of town to San Cristobal, the birthplace of the dictator Trujillo. Along the way, view the surroundings, which are constantly changing and show you the diversity of this country. Catch a glimpse of the beautiful, dreamy villages lined with mango and breadfruit trees, as well as coconut palms and bananas.

The rest of the route will take you uphill through barren land covered with columnar cacti and yellow-flowering agaves to Bani. The university town is also known as the city of poets and a birthplace of many important sons of the island. Soon you will reach Hatillo, where you can enjoy the breathtaking view of the bay of Ocoa. The landscape, which is characterized by aridity and stony terrain, will accompany you a little further until you reach the big river Rio Yaque del Sur. Here you will find only isolated agaves and cacti, because in the river valley of the only river oasis in this dry area, palm trees predominate.

Soon you will reach Barahona, the provincial capital located on the Bay of Neiba, where you will spend the next three days. The city is marked by the history of the famous pirate Confresí, who used the city as a hideout during his escape.

Travel time Santo Domingo - Baharona: approx. 3.5 hours / approx. 4 hours

3 nights at Rancho Don Cesar*** or similar with 3x breakfast and 2x lunch in Standard Room, Baharona, Dominican Republic

Use the following two or three days to explore the region around Barahona in the southwest of the country. What you see and experience the next few days, you decide yourself, because you have the option to choose from two excursions. The following is your choice:

Option 1: Mountain village of Cachote and cloud forest.

The eastern part of the Sierra Baoruco National Park with the unique cloud forest in the mountain village of Cachote is a special excursion destination that will also attract you. With an off-road vehicle you will drive from La Cienega into the mountains until you reach a viewpoint from which you will have a beautiful view of the beaches of Paraiso and the Nizaito River. On the way, you will stop several times to see the diverse landscape crops such as coffee, cacao and tropical fruits. At an altitude of 1400 meters above sea level, you will be in the middle of the tropical cloud forest, where more than 45 endemic bird species can be found. In the midst of this bird paradise you will have lunch break before setting off on a short hike towards Cachote. On the way, you will learn about the diverse plant life that will be explained to you. When you arrive in the village, you will meet the local people who live in the simplest conditions, still without water and electricity. A little further away, in a fertile valley, lies the village of Villa Nizao, which you will reach after a short hike through the Paraiso rainforest. Here, marvel at how oranges, coconuts and mangos are grown and don't miss the opportunity to swim in a river, which is also a favorite playground for local children. Afterwards, you will drive back to your hotel.

Option 2: Lago Enriquillo

This excursion will take you to Lago Enriquillo, which is one of the most charming areas in the country and lies almost 40 meters below sea level. In the predominantly hot and dry environment you will find hidden springs and small rivers, which make the area extremely fertile in places. In the desert-like environment around the encrusted salt lake, some former Taíno settlements have been discovered, a people belonging to the Arawak in the Greater Antilles. You will admire the statue of the namesake Enriquillo, a famous 16th century chief of the Taíno Indians, during a short photo stop.

You can learn more about the history of the Taínos by visiting the well-preserved Taíno caves of Las Caritas, for which you will have to accept some relatively steep stairs. But the arduous path is worthwhile, because you can not only admire the impressive stone carvings of the indigenous people, but also enjoy an unforgettable view of the expansive Lago Enriquillo from the caves.

Marvel at the unique nature of the national park, which is the retreat of the largest colony of American sharp-mouthed crocodiles, as well as the rare rhinoceros and whorled-tailed iguanas. Haven't spotted any of the reptiles yet? Then take the opportunity during the boat ride across the lake, which will give you new perspectives. If you're lucky, you'll even encounter a colony of flamingos, some of which make their home in Lago Enriquillo and others in Laguna de Oviedo. The park is also home to over 100 species of plants, most of which are endemic. After the many new impressions, you can cool down and relax in the natural pool of Neyba. Afterwards you will drive back to your hotel.

Option 3: Larimar Mines

After a few kilometers along the coastal road, you will reach Bahoruco, from where you will head high into the mountains to the only Larimar mine in the world. The Dominican Republic is the only country in the world where these semi-precious stones can be found. The first stone was discovered in 1974, when a Dominican miner brought some specimens to a jeweler. The latter gave the name of Larimar to the stone, which is scratch-resistant and easy to polish, thanks to its light blue color. The stone is often used for necklaces, earrings and other jewelry and enjoys great popularity worldwide.

At the mine, you will have the opportunity to talk to the workers and learn more about the work before being led into the mine entrance and experiencing firsthand how these stones are mined under the most difficult conditions. Would you like to find a stone in a mine yourself? Then take this opportunity and knock off some of the rock, in which, with a little luck, a gemstone can be found.

After the effort you will drive towards San Rafael, where you will have lunch. Here, refreshing river flows in natural pools invite you to swim. On the way back, you will visit a Larimar workshop to learn more about the process of processing the stone. Here you will also have the opportunity to work your own stone.

Option 4: Laguna de Oviedo

This excursion begins with a drive along the picturesque coastal road with indescribable views, past San Rafael and Paraiso to Los Patos. Here nature is still untouched, so that closed virgin forests stretch up the mountain slopes. Admire how the tropical rainforest forms protected niches, especially at the valley incisions with river courses, where it thrives particularly luxuriantly. For particularly beautiful photo motifs, you will make repeated photo stops in between.

You will reach Enriquillo, a small fishing village where time seems to stand still and where everything is rather cozy. After a short drive you will arrive in Oviedo, where you will admire the fresh salt water lagoon Laguna de Oviedo, which is only separated from the sea by a narrow strip of land. Walk along the beautiful lagoon until you reach a boat that will take you along the shore of the lagoon, giving you a new perspective. The vegetation here is predominantly dry and almost desert-like, which attracts a large number of different large birds such as herons, spoonbills or ducks. The Laguna de Oviedo has a total of 22 islands, which vary in size.

During the following island tour, during which you will walk across one of the islands, you will have the unique chance to observe iguanas in the wild and to see the sparse and cactus-covered vegetation. You will reach an observation tower from where you will have an indescribably beautiful view of the lagoon and Jaragua National Park, as well as the crystal clear Caribbean Sea and the mountains of Sierra de Bahoruco.

Finally, you will take a boat ride approaching one of the largest flamingo colonies in the Dominican Republic, which serves as a unique photo motif for many. Afterwards the trip leads back to Barahona and at Los Patos refreshing rivers and the pebble beach invite you for a swim.

Option 5: Bahía de las Aguilas

Along the picturesque coastal road you will drive to the small harbor of the fishing village Cabo Rojo. In La Cueva, board a boat that will take you to what is arguably the most beautiful natural beach in the country in just 15 minutes. This beach at the Bahía de las Aguilas, the Bay of Eagles, in the Jaragua National Park, is considered one of the most beautiful on our planet, thanks to its absolute cleanliness and snow-white color. The bay stretches for eight kilometers and offers crystal clear waters of all shades, which merge with the clear sky on the horizon. Lunch will be served in front of an extraordinary coastal landscape before you can spend the afternoon according to your preferences. Experience the unspoiled nature, go swimming or snorkeling and discover the 130 species of birds, 76 of which are permanent residents of the bay.

Today the last day of your trip has begun. After breakfast you will reach the airport of Santo Domingo by transfer and take your return flight. We would be happy to organize an extension of your stay on site or in another region. Tell us your wishes and we will put together your dream trip individually.

itravel - for that moment.

Rancho Don Cesar***, Baharona, Dominican Republic (3 nights)

The small, family-run eco-lodge with only eight rooms is located at the entrance of Paraíso and impresses with its fantastic location directly at the Rio Nizaito in a scenically beautiful environment - the perfect place for every nature lover! The hotel is ideal for adventurers and those looking for a relaxing environment. The in-house restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner and convinces with excellent seafood specialties. In the bar you can order local as well as imported beers as well as end the day with an excellent glass of wine.

Duration of the trip: 4 days / 3 nights

Included

  • Private transfer and excursions by car, minibus or bus depending on the number of participants, as well as by boat
  • 3 overnight stays in the mentioned hotels or similar in rooms with shower/WC
  • Meals according to description
  • 2 day excursions to choose from
  • Spanish speaking driver during the transfers
  • English, Spanish or French speaking local guide during the day excursions
  • All entrance fees, taxes and charges
  • Travel documentation with useful tips and information

Not included

  • International flights
  • Extra charge for private transfer from/to Santo Domingo
  • Tips for driver/guide
  • Meals and beverages not mentioned in the scope of services
  • Personal expenses, such as minibar and tips
  • Transportation
  • Visa, if required

Additional experiences

Lago Enriquillo

  1. Price per person from 89 € excl. Flight
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Larimar Mine

  1. Price per person from 76 € excl. Flight
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