The Dominican Republic is a bustling Caribbean nation, where adventure backpackers flock each and every year. They arrive to sunbathe on the stunning beaches of Punta Cana on the east of the island, to have fun and party the night away in San Juan. And to explore the varied wildlife and natural surroundings of the island — be it to see the cloud-capped peaks of the Central Mountains or to explore the rainforests that lie on the north shore.
As wonderful as these places are, they are also extremely popular and well-known. If you’ve never visited the Dominican Republic before, but don’t want to visit the ‘usual’ spots, it can be hard to know where to start. Luckily, we’ve created a handy guide on how to get off the beaten path in the Dominican Republic, meaning you have a truly unique experience.
Some of the best off-the-beaten-track places to visit in the Dominican Republic are the eco-friendly accommodation options, as well as the activities that fall under this category. Over twenty-five percent of the land in the Dominican Republic is lush green vegetation and idyllic coastline. Plus, with such a bio-diverse country comes incredible opportunities that some tourists miss out completely on their travels.
One of the country’s best-kept secrets is the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua. This spectacular attraction is situated only thirty minutes from Puerto Plata and is well worth the journey. You’ll spend your time climbing to the different levels of the waterfalls, swimming in some of the pools as you go, taking in the stunning surroundings. After the two hour climb to the top, you’re rewarded with a jump from the falls into the sparkling pools below. It’s said to be a drop as high as 26 feet on some days, so it’s definitely one for the adrenaline junkies among you.
And if you’re looking for an off-the-beaten-track nature experience, head to the Dominican Republic during the earlier months of the year. Whilst many other people may be fighting for a prime spot on the Punta Cana beaches, you could be witnessing the migration of up to 5,000 humpback whales as they pass by on their way to the Northeast Coast.
Another off the beaten path location in the Dominican Republic is Jarabacoa, which is found in the La Vega Province. Here you can go horseback riding with breathtaking views, take long weekend hikes and even go canoeing and rafting — Jarabacoa is said to be the birthplace for ecotourism. Strangely enough, this gem is still fairly under the radar with visitors and tends to be a place where affluent locals from Santo Domingo and Santiago build their summer homes. This laid-back charm and abundance of locals gives you a more authentic experience of the country’s culture, whilst providing you with ample opportunity to explore and take part in adventures that will last a lifetime.
About the author: Sage Fitzpatrick is a travel blogger currently living in London. She can be found drinking tea, reading and traveling the world. When she’s not traveling she spends her time blogging about her travels over at A Virtual Postcard.