Discover Hiking In The Dominican Republic

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Guest Post – Hiking in Latin America

by Nathan Strebel "Nathan Stebel"

The Dominican Republic may seem like an unlikely place to go on a hiking holiday. After all, it’s a destination best known for the ever popular beach holiday, and of course, weddings.

Hiking in the Dominican Republic

But beyond the perfect sandy beaches, and the ever occurring nuptials, lies a landscape that is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but also extremely versatile and just the right terrain for hiking adventures.

Suitable for hikers of all ages and abilities, the Dominican Republic is home to some of the world’s best and often overlooked hiking trails.

Why go hiking in the Dominican Republic?

Hispaniola – the island on which the Dominican Republic is located – is the second largest island in the Caribbean (after Cuba), and there are four main mountain ranges to be found throughout the island. In fact, nearly 80% of the Dominican Republic is mountainous, with these mountain ranges enjoying forest cover, unlike the ranges found in other Caribbean countries such as Haiti.

"Cordillera Central for hiking in the Dominican Republic next time"

The Dominican Republic is home to the Cordillera Central, the highest range in the whole of the West Indies, which is comprised of the four highest peaks in the region, namely Pico Duarte (3,087m), La Pelona (3,087), La Rucilla (3,049m), and Pico Yaque (2,760m).

Most of the island’s hiking takes place in Paruqe Nacional Armando Bermudez and Jose del Carmen Ramirez, where Pico Duarte is located.

The hike up Pico Duarte takes three days, and while the trail is clearly signposted, visitors are strongly advised to take a guide.

Where Else Can I Go?

It would probably be simpler to ask the question “Where can’t I go?” Dominican Republic holidays aren’t just about the superb mountain ranges.

There are a number of other opportunities for hiking, such as at the Jaragua National Park, where hikers can see some of the island’s birds, visit dry forests, cloud forests and Lake Enriquillo.

"Jaragua National Park for hiking in the Dominican Republic Dominican Republic next holiday"

Guided tours to these areas and more, such as the wetlands, are readily available.

The north coast, where many tourists arrive on the island, is also the ideal starting point for easy hiking in the area, like tours to the El Choco National Park and the Damajagua Falls excursion, which combines hiking with extreme sports such as canyoning.

Hiking is not only a hobby, but a way of life in the Dominican Republic, so look past the popular images of the white, sandy beaches and you’ll be able to see the best places for hiking on the island, if not the Caribbean. After the hiking, look for somewhere to relax and unwind such as at theGran Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado and start planning your next trek.

Discover hiking in the Dominican Republic
Nathan Strebel has been a freelance traveller and writer since 2001 when he left his office job to travel the world. An enthusiastic blogger and traveler, Nathan wrote this post for TravelMatch.co.uk.


14 comments to Discover Hiking In The Dominican Republic

  • ingrid

    thanks for the info….all-inclusive would not give me the name of excursion services that guide hiking

    I don’t really trust the Chamber of Commerce in this banana republic so am looking for referrals/references

  • Try to inquire at their tourism offices, Ingrid. They would surely have a list of them.

  • ingrid de Baintner

    stayed at an all-inclusive on the beach but longed to hike in the mountains I saw in distance
    can anyone recommend reputable
    GUIDE” service??

  • Hello Caroline, this was a guest post submitted quite a while ago. We have not been to the Dominican Republic ourselves, so we do not know the terrain at all. I’m sure you can find out more if you contact their tourism office.(http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/). Good luck and happy hiking!

  • Caroline

    Hello,
    I love In the capital and would like to hike just for an afternoon ir a day but I can’t find trails near santo domingo. Do you know some places?
    Thanks

  • Nadia

    As Dominican I am glad to see that tourists are getting to know our trails! Congrats and feel welcome to come hiking and living the dominican experience at the mountains. I do it a lot and I never get tired of our beautiful mountains. Just wanted to let you know that there are several routes to get to Pico Duarte, some of them as the ones entering from the south like Sabaneta, at San Juan de la Maguana or Guayabal from Azua, and other ones entering from the north side like Matagrande, at Santiago or Los Rodriguez, at Constanza are longer routes that can give an experience of up to 5-6 days to complete. The longer routes offer you really beautiful landscapes so I hope you can experience them sometime. We have other mountains and valleys too with lots of trails available, like Isabel de Torres, El Mogote, Valle Nuevo, etc.

  • I think you have the right attitude, getting away from the resort holiday regime once in a while. A bit of experiencing local colour is always a good idea, whether it is the begging locals or the trying of the real local cuisine not prepared to please the palate of the resort staying tourists.

  • John

    lol, not our wedding but thanks all the same. We live in Kauai and are going all the way to the DR for our cousins wedding. Resorts just aren’t my thing. I like to get off the tourist routes as much as I can and see if I can get more of a cultural experience. I’m also a bit of a foodie lol My wife, having been there before is advising against getting off the resort fearing constant begging from the locals. Is that actually a problem? I would expect that we might get some of that but she seems to believe that’s all we are to expect…

  • Congratulations, John, on your coming nuptials. Hope you all have a good time. You’d be best advised if you search vacation rental sites, like Homeaway to find non-resort type accommodation.

  • John

    Forgot to ask… Is there decent non resort type lodging up in the mountains? Assuming yes… waiting on amazon to deliver my book.

  • John

    I knew there had to be good hiking there! We are heading there for a wedding and staying in a place that costs $600 a night all for a place that will bore me after two days even though I will be happy to visit family. That said I’m perfectly happy with the majority of the tourists staying at their resorts lol

  • I had no idea there was good hiking in the Dominican Republic. Being Canadian, we always just think of it as a beach get away to get away from the cold Canadian winters. Now there’s one more good reason to go.

  • Very true, Ted. Hopefully, with this post, people would remember to check out outdoor activities other than just sitting idly on the seaside on their next beach holiday.

  • Many places noted for sandy beaches have great hiking inland that few take advantage of. Great to know that Dominican Republic is one of these places.

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