Five Lesser-Known Destinations in the Dominican Republic

Montaña Redonda near Miches, El Seibo

Photo: Shutterstock

Escape the Crowds and Discover the Dominican Destinations Your Tour Operator Rarely Mentions

Instead of putting our visitors in the 'mainstream tourist' box, we'd like to expose you to the lesser-known regions that harbor the essence of a natural and cultural beauty that defines the people, landscapes, and wildlife of the Dominican Republic.  


Sun-seekers, Eco-travelers, Hotel buffs, and Sports enthusiasts are looking for newer destinations to visit this year - so we've put together a brief bucket list of places for those with an appetite for unique travel experiences.


It's time to take Dominican travel to another level.

Playa Diamante near Miches, El Seibo

Photo: Shutterstock

01. El Seibo

Gaining traction on the Caribbean stage for travel, the province of El Seibo has a wealth of exclusive beaches, mountainous valleys, and tropical forests.


On the northeastern coast between the Bay of Samaná and Punta Cana, El Seibo's main town of Miches is the ideal escape for travelers who want the benefit of having a lively Caribbean setting, without all of the buzz of a major tourist hotspot.


Fitness and health-conscience travelers can enjoy hiking up the panoramic Montaña Redonda (round mountain) for an unbelievable 360-view of the province and surrounding regions.  And if you love paddling through open lagoons in prime Dominican Birdwatching territory, the Redonda and Limon Lagoon Natural Scientific Reserve is not to be overlooked.

Salto de Jima, Bonao

Photo: Alamy

02. Bonao

Bonao is the capital city of the Monesñor Nouel province in central Dominican Republic, dating back to pre-colonial Hispaniola when the Taíno Cacique (Chief) of the same name 'Bonao' governed.


This city is home to art museums such as Casa Museo Cristian Toribio, and Museo Candido Bidó, a cultural center dedicated to the famed Dominican painter, whose style and composition are symbolic of fine Dominican art and mastery around the world.


Leaving the busyness of the city, Bonao is surrounded by mountains covered with lush vegetation - fed by the Yuna River - where you can take a dip with locals at Rio Masipedro. And for a more adventurous rush, you can trek-it-up to Salto de Jima or Salto del Rodeo (Caño Francisco) waterfalls, and let the mist from the cascading waters replenish your inner you.


The Eco-tourism Center Rio Blanco is also a fascinating place to learn about the environment and farmland preservation in Bonao and surrounding sectors.


Discover the top 10 Prettiest Waterfalls in the Dominican Republic!

View from Sierra de Neiba of Lake Enriquillo

Photo: Javier Gautier

03. Neiba

Neiba or Neyba is the low-key capital of the Bahoruco province, largely overshadowed by the region's main attractions like Lake Enriquillo and Sierra de Bahoruco, among others. Neiba is also an important lodging location for adventurous travelers wishing to enter the expansive Transboundary Biosphere Reserve that merges national parks on both sides of the border between the Dominican Republic and Haiti.


This little town is known as a big grape and coffee producer due to its ideal weather and altitude, between 700 and 1,400 meters above sea level in the Sierra de Neiba.


Dominican domestic travelers are drawn to the natural spas and pools, Balneario Las Marias and Balneario Zurza, where a cool swim through its clear waters populated by small schools of fish is a lifesaver during the summer months.


For a touch of indigenous Taíno culture to your trip - visit the 'Caritas de Los Indios' or "Little Indian Faces".  An authentic Taíno rocky site with carvings of rounded faces that the artsy indigenous people left behind.

Las Dunas de Baní, Peravia

Photo: Shutterstock

04. Peravia

A rarely mentioned province, even amongst the Dominican population, Peravia is only less than an hour's drive from Santo Domingo, making it a refreshing getaway from the Captial City.


The climate is partially dry and subtropical, forming a landscape of deserted areas like Las Dunas de Baní, and dry-humid forests, like the Maximo Gomez National Park, where you can get a little cave exploration going.


Further up north for experienced trekkers, the locally popular river area of El Tabernaculo should be on every traveler's bucket list.


Head into Peravia's mountainous heights for a cycling workout made for champions, with a killer view made for the soul at the Padre Luis Quinn National Park.  And, as a coastal province on the Caribbean Sea, it has some of the most incredible beaches in the area, like the Hollywood scenic Punta Salinas Beach.

Los Haitises National Park, Hato Mayor

Photo: José Miguel Pérez

05. Hato Mayor

Hato Mayor is a province with distinguishable characteristics - possessing a fully tropical northern-coastal region facing the Bay of Samaná called Sabana de la Mar.


While its south-central region Hato Mayor del Rey is aligned with the humid-tropical weather of the Cordillera Central and the wet forests of El Seibo.


Located in the rugged jaws of Bahia de San Lorenzo, Playa Cueva de La Arena beach is an ultra-secluded little beach within a mystic cave.  And just north of the bay - Playa Punta Arena Park is an ecological wonder to see.


Going inland, you'll be surprised to find the highest waterfall in the Caribbean, Salto La Jalda or Leaping Jalda, at 120 meters and is virtually hidden within the thick vegetation where several bodies of water meet.  Also, Salto El Zumbador is a relaxing treat, lying in the opposite north-western region.


The above locations are mostly part of Los Haitises National Park, which stretches over into Samaná with 826 square kilometers of protected land and water.

Written by Omar Guzman.


Published November 2022.

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