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.

 
 
Look out for manatees at the Marine Mammal Sanctuary, where a couple of hiking trails lead you towards a protected lagoon, home to the largest number of endangered herbivore West Indian Manatees in DR.
Montecristi
Jaragua National Park is one of DR’s most significant natural reserves; part of the first UNESCO Biosphere Reserve in the DR, the park encompass diverse ecosystems–from sea to land, lagoon to isles, and a rich and diverse wildlife.
Pedernales
Just like its adjacent Armando Bermúdez National Park, yet less explored, this is one of DR’s first national parks and protected areas. Stretching across three provinces at 764 square kilometers (295 square miles), it provides an alternative entry point to Pico Duarte.
Jarabacoa
Lago Enriquillo is the largest and deepest lake below sea level in the Caribbean, ideal for wildlife watching and nature exploration. Boat trips along the lake’s waters and onto Isla Cabritos reveal a large population of American crocodiles, and flamingos.
Barahona, Pedernales
The largest lagoon in DR, with a salt-water level three times higher than that of the sea, Laguna de Oviedo is a prime bird watching area. Around the lagoon’s thick mangrove swamps and 24 keys you’ll spot royal and blue herons, the great egret, roseate spoonbills, sandpipers, and flamingos.
Pedernales
One of the DR’s major bird sanctuaries, set along a peaceful lagoon flanked by thick mangroves. Boat rides take you along this mystical lagoon daily, though sunset is the best time to see egrets, and vultures soaring and chirping loudly above the mangroves as you pass through narrow channels.
Puerto Plata
DR’s largest freshwater lagoon, reaching 28 square kilometers (11 square miles), Laguna Rincón is home to a variety of flora and wildlife rich enough to make it a protected scientific reserve, with water turtles, iguanas, flamingos, pelicans, herons, and Florida ducks.
Barahona
Los Haitises National Park is one of the crown jewels of the Dominican Republic’s national park system. Los Haitises attracts numerous visitors who come here by boat to see its magnificent series of high rock formations; also, it boasts extensive mangroves along its bay, dotted with keys and caves.
Samaná
Thousands of visitors flock to Samaná every year for its chief seasonal attraction: the equally large number of humpback whales that return to court, mate, and birth in the Atlantic waters off Samaná Bay–an area officially declared a Marine Mammal Sanctuary in 1986.
Samaná
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.
Montecristi

#naturallyDR

Samaná: A total ecological oasis. #naturallydr 📸:@im_joelat
We welcomed an amazing group of photographers and journalists to explore the central region of Jarabacoa and the north coast in Punta Rucia! Our beautiful country did not disappoint. #NaturallyDR
Sunsets in Sosúa. #NaturallyDR
📷: @fashioneatstravel

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