The seashores of Barahona offer astounding coastal scenery with white pebble beaches and stunning waters that are different shades of blue. Many of the beaches are ideal for surfing due to the wave and wind conditions, and the area’s lush landscapes immerse beach goers into the magnificent natural environment.
Playa Quemaito – This popular pebble beach gets its name from the warm waters, sand and gravel, and beckons swimmers of all levels. While it has been underdeveloped, restaurants and food stalls line the surrounding area, adding to the picturesque setting of the green mountainous landscape.
Playa Bahoruco – Just 10 miles (15 kilometers) south of Barahona is Playa Bahoruco, a surfer’s paradise with ideal winds and waves. The striking stretch of virgin beach that goes on for miles with unobstructed views, warm Caribbean waters and the dense vegetation of the Sierra de Bahoruco give visitors the opportunity to meet the mouth of a nearby stream.
Playa La Ciénaga – Encircled by small reefs, La Cienaga’s stunning pebble beach offers a delightful coastal landscape.
Playa San Rafael – A local favorite, San Rafael is a combination of the ocean waves of the Caribbean Sea and a natural swimming pool created at the mouth of the San Rafael River. The pebble and gravel beach is popular for surfing, and on the weekends beachgoers can dance to the Dominican music played by local restaurants. Swimming is not recommended in the area due to the strong waves.
Playa Paraiso – The pebble beach is set among striking scenery and boasts waters various shades of blue and turquoise. The waves in this area are known to be stronger and therefore swimming is not advised.
Playa Los Patos – This beach is made up of shells and rocks, and crystal clear waters that make for a spectacular view and quiet getaway. Los Patos is also a popular beach for surfing due to its deep waters and high waves. Here, one of the shortest rivers in the world flows into the beach to form a natural pool. Small local restaurants and gift shops are located along the sides of the river.
PLAYA CASITA BLANCA – Casita Blanca Beach is a popular beach for relaxing due to its fine white sand and soft waves. The beach is surrounded by the Sierra Martin Garcia and the foothills of the Sierra de Bahoruco.
Playazul – Hotel Playazul rests atop a cliff facing the Caribbean Sea, surrounded by the area’s magnificent biodiversity. Beachgoers can enjoy a swim at the private sandy beach or in the pool, and delight in the Dominican or international cuisine offered at the restaurant. Massages are also available in the middle of the pristine nature or overlooking the stunning scenery.
Villa Miriam – Villa Miriam is a private home that charges visitors a small admission fee to enjoy its pools set amidst river cascades and lush vegetation between the San Rafael and Paraiso Rivers. The chilling water is said to sooth souls and is surrounded by tropical flowers and nature. The stressfree environment makes its visitors feel completely at ease. The property is open from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. and people are welcome to bring their own refreshments.
Parque Nacional Jaragua – Jaragua National Park, Dominican Republic’s largest national park and one of its natural treasures, is located in the nearby Province of Pedernales and covers many diverse types of terrain. Well known for its various types of cacti, the park generally has warm weather and low precipitation levels. Guides take visitors through the area to witness native Taino cave art, flamingos, verdant foliage and much more. The national park includes natural resources of great ecological and historical value, including Bahia de Aguilas (Bay of Eagles), which is the area’s most popular beach tourist attraction, and Laguna de Oviedo.
Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco – The biodiversity hotspot of the Sierra de Bahoruco contains scenic local savannas and valleys, and forms one of the three core zones in the UNESCO Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve, which supports more than 50 globally threatened species. 52 percent of the orchid species found in Dominican Republic are in the Sierra de Bahoruco, totaling 166 species, 10 percent of which are endemic to Sierra de Bahoruco. The mountain peaks in this area range from between 3,000 and 5,000 feet (914 and 1,524 kilometers) tall and the range spans a little over 15 miles (24 kilometers) along the waterfront. Further north lays the Sierra de Neiba and Sierra Martin Garcia ranges, two smaller sections of hills, separated from Bahoruco by the Rio Yaque del Sur.
Parque Nacional Lago Enriquillo/Isla Cabritos
Part of Lake Enriquillo National Park, Lake Enriquillo is the Caribbean’s largest saltwater lake, and at 131.2 feet (40 meters) below sea level, it’s also the Caribbean’s lowest point. it serves as a sanctuary for flocks of bright pink flamingos and its high salt content is ideal for its resident American crocodiles. Three islands are set within Lake Enriquillo; the largest called Isla Cabritos, which means “little goat’s island.” It’s scattered with cacti, red-eyed Riccordi Iguanas and massive Rhinoceros Iguanas that are easily tempted with food. When visiting the park, it’s recommended to do so with a tour operator