El Morro
Punta Rucia


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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.

Jan 15 - Mar 31

Whale Watching Season

Samana Bay
Watch the 1,500 to 2,000 whales that migrate to the waters of the Samaná Bay on a guided boat tour ...
Feb 4 @ 3:00 pm

Punta Cana Carnival 2023

Punta Cana Village
Punta Cana Carnival features the best representation of national and international groups, integrate...
Feb 5 - Feb 27

La Vega Carnival 2023

On February 5, 12, 19, 26 and 27, La Vega becomes a carnival for more than a million visitors. Its 2...


Attractions in Montecristi

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The Montecristi Underwater National Park boasts a rich coral barrier. It is the most untouched and vibrant reef in the country, and yet the least visited. You’ll spot gorgeous hard and soft coral gardens at various depths, including large moose horn corals, and schools of small tropical fish.
National Parks + Protected Areas, Scuba Diving + Snorkeling, Wildlife Spotting
Uncover the history of Cuba’s independence! Once the 19th century home of Dominican General Máximo Gómez, the small, single story residence turned museum houses key historical documents related to Cuba’s independence.
Iconic Sights, Museums
Playa Buen Hombre, located in a fishing village, is well known amid avid kitesurfers for its white sand stretch, and its on-site kite school teaching you how to ride the intense waves along this wild Atlantic shoreline.
Beaches, Family-Friendly, Surfing + Kitesurfing
Boasting one of the most breathtaking sceneries in the Dominican Republic, the golden shores of Playa El Morro are hugged by towering limestone cliffs–including El Morro–with gorgeous blue Atlantic waves. You will hike down a series of boulders to reach the beach.
Beaches, Ecotourism, Family-Friendly
Playa Juan de Bolaños conveniently lines the seafront boulevard, offering views of the iconic El Morro cliff. Residents flock to this white sand beach and its turquoise waters on weekdays to watch the sun setting right before its shores.
Beaches, Family-Friendly
Punta Rucia boasts a brilliant white sand beach and calm turquoise sea, flanked by soaring mountain views. The main jumping-off point to Cayo Arena, thousands of visitors come here daily to reach the caye and snorkel off the large coral reef just offshore.
Beaches, Family-Friendly, Wildlife Spotting
A paradise for snorkeling fans, this area boasts some of the most abundant marine life in DR, with corals and sponges that surround the cay, including schools of surgeonfish, sergeant majors, damselfish, angelfish, and yellowtail snappers swimming around your feet.
Excursions, Scuba Diving + Snorkeling
The clock tower in Montecristi’s town square, shaped like a mini-version of the Eiffel Tower, was designed by French engineer Alexandre Gustave Eiffel of Eiffel Tower-fame, and built by famous French clockmaker Jean-Paul Garnier.
Iconic Sights
Before arriving in the heart of town are Montecristi’s renowned salt ponds. You can tour the area to see how sea salt is made; seawater is concentrated in shallow, man-made ponds before the seawater evaporates, leaving behind large salt crystals that are then transformed into table salt.
Iconic Sights
The “crab trail” takes you on a route through dry forest and scrubland on the way to the towering El Morro. You’ll climb a partly rocky, challenging path to reach the mesa’s summit. Once there, the panoramic views sweep over the Atlantic.

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