If you love critters, then you’ll be happy to find a wide variety in the DR, across coastal and mountainous climates. Hop on whale-watching boat tours from Samaná during the mating season, and watch the world’s largest mammals mating and birthing in our bay. In the north, watch manatees surface at Estero Hondo Marine Reserve, or dolphins flipping in the bay waters of Los Haitises National Park. Birds are a big part of wildlife, with 32 endemic species—look out for the Ridgway’s Hawk—that you can spot on hiking excursions in national parks, but also in the hills, valleys, and on offshore islands of the DR. The Dominican southwest is for reptiles, ranging from the American crocodiles teeming inside Lago Enriquillo, and endangered iguanas that inhabit this cacti-lined, desert-like region.
Whether you’re hiking, kayaking, or boating, excursions abound to get you close to the DR’s wildlife world.