Its surface covering over 350 square kilometers (135 square miles), Lago Enriquillo is the largest lake in the Caribbean, and also the region’s sole body of water located more than 43 meters (140 feet) below sea level. Named after Enriquillo, the first Taino chief who successfully revolted against Spanish colonialists, the lake and its surrounding lands are ideal for wildlife watching and nature exploration. Boat trips along the lake’s waters and onto Isla Cabritos–sitting in the middle of this unique body of water–reveal a large population of American crocodiles which you’ll view up close, as well as pink flamingos at Boca de Cachón, and numerous other bird species. Iguanas guard the entrance to the lake, and the surrounding land includes tropical and dry forests, water springs–La Azufrada–and farmland. Bring a hat and plenty of water as the heat is at its most intense in these parts, particularly on the boat ride.

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Cabo Rojo

Cabo Rojo remains one of the DR’s most popular beaches, winning visitors over with its captivating coastal views. Its turquoise waters are also home to some of the Caribbean Sea’s best-preserved coral reefs, providing a breeding ground for Antillean Manatees and the juvenile hawksbills.

Pedernales, Beaches, Ecotourism, Family-Friendly

Cabral

Cabral is best known for its colorful carnival at the end of Easter, when the Cachúa characters dress in bat-like costumes and unfold impressive whips as they go in pursuit of the demons from Thursday to the Monday after Easter Week. Close by is La Lista, a small town famous for its wooden rocking chairs and other arts and crafts from wood. Some 22 workshops fill the town.

Barahona, Iconic Sights

Cafeto Madre

Cafeto Madre is another option for a coffee trail in the mountains of Polo. Local guides will take you hiking across multiple trails leading to the coffee plantation. You could also combine an excursion to the nearby cloud forest of Cachote while you’re there.

Barahona, Family-Friendly, Plantation Trails

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