Wildlife Spotting

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.

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Wildlife Spotting in
Dominican Republic

Spot as many as you can from over 6,000 flora and fauna that thrive in the DR’s abundant outdoors.

 
 
The Armando Bermúdez National Park stretches 767 square kilometers (296 square miles), and together with the neighboring José del Carmen Ramírez National Park, boasts the tallest peaks in the Caribbean region, including the mighty Pico Duarte, source of the Yaque del Norte river.
Jarabacoa
Cachote is a stunning protected cloud forest area, with a tiny community living at 1,097 meters (3,600 feet) above sea level. There are winding paths along which you can observe tropical flora, including bromeliads and wild orchids, as well as a series of hiking trails for excellent bird-watching.
Barahona
Formed by coral sands, they offer a world of underwater exploration and wildlife. Around the cayes’ shores, you’ll spot cacti, iguanas, and crabs. Underwater, submerged forests, sandy bottoms, and large rocky walls make this area a one-stop site for snorkeling, day or night diving.
Montecristi
This is one of the most cave riddled and adventure-packed national parks in the DR counting more than 500 flora species, 300 types of birds, and long stretches of white beaches and islands.
Bayahíbe, La Romana, Punta Cana
Tucked in the lush forests below the Bahoruco mountain range, a thirty-minute hike through a lush rainforest leads to this huge cavern and its emerald-colored pools.
Barahona
Tucked along the scraggly Atlantic coastline of Río San Juan, swim in the calm natural pool surrounding the cave or view its rock composition from ceiling to floor while you float on crystal clear turquoise waters.
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

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