National Parks + Protected Areas

The Dominican Republic’s diverse topography and varying climates combine to create the perfect environment for over 6,000 species of thriving flora and fauna, including a high number of endemic species. In Bayahíbe, Cotubanamá National Park stretches from land—where you can spot the national, endemic Bayahíbe Rose—to the marine jewels of Saona and Catalina islands offshore, teeming with marine life. The largest of all national parks, and part of the DR’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, Jaragua National Park includes beach, lagoons, dry forests and cays. Nearby, the Sierra de Bahoruco is the only cloud forest in the Caribbean. Among the most visited parks in the country is also its most stunning: Los Haitises National Park, toured mainly by boat to view its towering rock mounts rising out of the water. In one of the most remote, pristine areas of the country, Valle Nuevo National Park astounds with its dense pine tree forests and frosty mornings.

Whether for hiking, bird watching, or on flora expeditions, the DR’s protected areas should feature on your vacation to do list.

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NATIONAL PARKS +
PROTECTED AREAS IN
Dominican Republic

Explore one of the DR’s 29 national parks across land and sea, including a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.

 
 
Cueva del Chicho is one of the most outstanding underground caves; its aquamarine, sparkling fresh waters draw many hikers and it also holds numerous petroglyphs.
Bayahíbe, La Romana
The Caves of Peñón reveal the richest underwater marine life in Bayahíbe. The sea flows through this series of dramatic, rugged caverns lined along the western edge of Cotubanamá National Park.
Bayahíbe, La Romana
One of the most accessible caves, located inside the Cotubanamá National Park—there are over 400 of them— Cueva del Puente reveals a three-level chamber with stalactites, stalagmites, Taino pictographs, and numerous bats.
Bayahíbe, La Romana
Aptly translating as the “double fun” cave, adrenaline pumps are promised on this hiking and caving expedition to Cueva Fun Fun. You’ll rappel into an enormous chamber filled with stalactites, stalagmites, water in parts, and bats.
Hato Mayor, La Romana, Punta Cana
Tucked inside the forest of El Choco National Park, Cabarete’s caves reveal an underground network dating back millions of years. Cueva de Cristal rests underground with a fresh water pool, while other caves above ground are filled with stalactites and stalagmites.
Puerto Plata
The scientific reserve boasts altitudes ranging from a low 245 meters (800 feet) to a high 1,565 meters (5,135 feet), home to over 600 species of flora and fauna, including over 100 bird species, giant tree frogs, lizards, and over 80 species of orchids.
Constanza
El Choco National Park offers a world of nature for hikes, mountain biking, swimming in fresh water lagoons, and cave exploration. Stretching 78 square kilometers (30 square miles), a handful of hiking trails take you through thick tropical forest along cacao and coffee trees, and into caves dating back millions of years.
Puerto Plata
El Morro rises 242 meters (794 feet) above sea level, gracing Montecristi’s coastal scenery with one of the most striking, unique views in DR. The dry, subtropical forest landscape around El Morro is surrounded by extensive stands of mangroves that can be seen up close on foot, or by boat.
Montecristi
Climb the lookout tower and observe manatees at the Estero Hondo Marine Mammal Sanctuary. The protected lagoon is where the largest number of endangered, herbivore West Indian Manatees reside.
Puerto Plata
Look out for manatees at the Marine Mammal Sanctuary, where a couple of hiking trails lead you towards a protected lagoon, home to the largest number of endangered herbivore West Indian Manatees in DR.
Montecristi

#naturallyDR

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