El Morro


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The jewel of the northwest, the border province of Montecristi presents a wild and striking landscape ripe for off-the-beaten-track adventures. Rice plantations, banana fields, goats and giant cacti stand sentry roadside, leading towards salt ponds and onto limestone cliffs hugging a wave-rich Atlantic Ocean. Around this part desert and part Mediterranean-like scenery, thick mangrove tunnels give way to fresh lagoons, while offshore cayes teem with migratory birds, and offer secluded white sand beaches.

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Unpretentious, the town of San Fernando de Montecristi–founded by Nicolás de Ovando in 1501 and named after King Ferdinand of Spain–reveals a rich and inspiring legacy. It’s where Cuban José Martí and Dominican General Máximo Gómez planned for Cuba’s independence from Spain–you can view key documents on display at the Museo Máximo Gómez. Juan Isidro Jiménez, President of the Dominican Republic from 1899 to 1911, hailed from Montecristi, while immigrants flocked from Europe, the United States, and South America during this period to help export the region’s wood and agricultural products. The town was transformed into a major trading port. Few also know that Montecristi is where the Dominican Republic’s first aqueduct, railroad, and telephones were installed.

Sunsets grace the town’s small but beautiful boardwalk and beach, with multiple surrounding hotels and restaurants serving the area’s traditional spicy goat specialty. From your seafront table and from any point in town are unmistakable views of El Morro–the iconic mesa looming over Montecristi like its very own “Table Mountain,” at the foot of which sits a spectacular blond beach. Those who venture off the sand onto the Atlantic Ocean can kitesurf to their heart’s content, or go underwater to explore the coral barrier reef running parallel to El Morro and stretching all the way to Punta Rucia. It’s the largest and healthiest reef in the DR. In the distance, across the bay of Montecristi, the best snorkeling and diving adventures in the country lie off Cayo Siete Hermanos, a series of seven cayes doubling as a primary nesting site of brown boobies and migratory birds.

Last but not least, you’ll want to look out for shipwrecks–Montecristi’s waters are known as the “ship graveyard of the Caribbean,” with over 450 sunken galleons dating back to Columbus’s days, many of which await discovery and study from marine archeologists.

With a wild terrain that leads to inevitable outdoor surprises, Montecristi is where you can live out your own Pirates of the Caribbean adventure.

The main gateway to Montecristi is the Cibao International Airport (STI) in Santiago, followed by the Gregorio Luperón International Airport (POP), in Puerto Plata.

Jun 27 - Jun 29

Caribbean Tourism Exchange (BTC)

Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino
The Caribbean Tourism Exchange (BTC) will be held at the Dominican Fiesta Hotel & Casino in Sant...
Jun 27 @ 9:30 am - 12:30 pm

Ruta de Recitales Ambulatorios – Koribe 2019

Colonial City
The Ministry of Culture presents the Koribe Chamber Choir in its second edition of the Route of Reci...
Jun 27 @ 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm

XX Santo Domingo Jazz Festival 2019

Casa de Teatro
The Santo Domingo Jazz Festival at Casa de Teatro will be held from June 6 until July 25. This will ...


Attractions in Montecristi

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Bird watching

Some of the best bird watching in the Caribbean can be found in Montecristi. Ornithological enthusiasts can spot boobies, brown pelicans, magnificent frigate birds, wood storks, spoonbills, great egrets, a variety of herons, terns, plovers and willets – you may even catch a glimpse of a flock of flamingos near the shore.

Montecristi, Ecotourism

Cayo Arena

Cayo Arena offers schools of tropical fish that can also easily be seen in shallow turquoise waters, making this spot a paradise for snorkeling fans; the area boasts some of the most abundant marine life in the DR, with corals and sponges, and schools of tropical fish swimming around your feet.

Montecristi, Puerto Plata

Diving in Montecristi

On the northwestern side of the country, Montecristi is for experienced divers. There are dozens of real shipwrecks from the time of the Spanish armada sunk due to weather and in battle with English and Dutch pirates. Snorkeling is wonderful at the Cayo Siete Hermanos islands. The infamous pirate Francis Drake used Montecristi as a base for supplying his ships and hiding from the Spanish fleet in the 16th century. He and other pirates attacked countless Spanish ships, looting the treasure and sinking the vessels off the coast of Montecristi. Many of the estimated 150 shipwrecks have been discovered and a number of them are close to shore and at depths shallow enough for the adventure diver.

Montecristi, Scuba Diving + Snorkeling, Water Sports

Montecristi Dining

Montecristi is famous for its diverse offerings of fish and seafood.  In Montecristi you can enjoy a good meal at restaurants such as Cocomar, Hotel Marina del Mar and Terraza Doña Ana. Another traditional local favorite is "chivo liniero" (stewed or oven-baked goat) that is served at small roadside restaurants dotted along the Montecristi to Navarrete highway.

Montecristi, Dining

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