Get off the beach to explore these gems of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a popular Caribbean destination, known for its stunning beaches, rich culture, and diverse landscapes, but there’s more to this island nation than meets the eye. If you’re looking for some off-the-beaten-path adventures, here are 10 under-the-radar attractions that will make your trip unforgettable.

Isla Catalina

Isla Catalina is a small island off the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic, near La Romana. It’s a paradise for snorkelers and divers, who can explore the crystal-clear waters, colorful coral reefs, and abundant marine life. You can also relax on the white sand beach, enjoy a barbecue lunch, and visit the shipwreck of the pirate Captain Kidd.

Larimar Mines

Larimar is a rare blue gemstone that is only found in the Dominican Republic. You can visit the only mine in the world where this precious stone is extracted, located in the Barahona province. You’ll need a 4×4 vehicle to reach the remote area, where you can see how local miners work in challenging conditions to bring out the larimar. You can also buy some jewelry or souvenirs made of this unique stone.

Scape Park

Scape Park is an eco-adventure park in Cap Cana, near Punta Cana. It offers a variety of activities for all ages and tastes, such as zip-lining, cave swimming, waterfall jumping, horseback riding, cultural tours, and more. You can also enjoy the natural beauty of the park, which features tropical forests, limestone cliffs, cenotes, and lagoons.

Blue Holes National Park

Blue Holes National Park is a protected area on Andros Island, which is part of the Bahamas but close to the Dominican Republic. It’s home to the highest concentration of blue holes in the world, which are underwater caves that form natural pools of fresh water. One of the most popular ones is Captain Bill’s Blue Hole, where you can jump from a platform into the deep water.

Los Haitises National Park

Los Haitises National Park is a natural wonder in the northeast of the Dominican Republic, near Samaná. It’s a haven for wildlife lovers, who can spot birds, dolphins, manatees, and other animals in their habitats. The park also features impressive rock formations, mangrove forests, caves with ancient paintings, and secluded beaches.

Salto El Limón

Salto El Limón is a spectacular waterfall in the Samaná peninsula, surrounded by lush greenery. You can reach it by hiking through the forest or riding a horse along a scenic trail. Once there, you can swim in the refreshing pool at the base of the waterfall or just admire its beauty.

Casa de Campo

Casa de Campo is a luxury resort in La Romana that offers more than just accommodation. It’s a destination in itself, with a range of attractions and activities for guests and visitors. You can play golf at one of its world-class courses, visit Altos de Chavón (a replica of a 16th-century Mediterranean village), enjoy some water sports at Minitas Beach, or watch a show at its amphitheater.

Monte Cristi National Park

Monte Cristi National Park is a hidden gem in the northwest of the Dominican Republic, near the border with Haiti. It’s a place of contrasts, where you can find desert landscapes, mangrove swamps, coral reefs, and islands. You can also see some historical landmarks, such as El Morro (a rocky hill that overlooks the sea) and Cayo Siete Hermanos (a group of seven islands that were once used by pirates).

Pico Duarte

Pico Duarte is the highest mountain in the in the Caribbean, with an elevation of 3,087 meters. It’s located in the Cordillera Central, a mountain range that runs through the center of the Dominican Republic. It’s a challenging but rewarding hike that takes about three days to complete. You’ll need a guide, a permit, and some camping gear to make the trip.

Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo is the capital and largest city of the Dominican Republic, and also the oldest European settlement in the Americas. It’s a vibrant and historic place, where you can explore its colonial heritage, cultural diversity, and modern attractions. You can visit the Zona Colonial (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), where you can see monuments such as the Cathedral, the Alcázar de Colón, and the Fortaleza Ozama. You can also enjoy some shopping, dining, nightlife, and museums in other parts of the city.

Hotels in Punta Cana, DR

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