A true Dominican Republic travel experience requires stepping beyond the beach resorts. This page is for people who want to organize their own trip and need an idea of where to start looking. It will help you to organize a 4- to 14-day trip; even longer if you have the time. We originally prepared it as a service to our ecolodge guests and later decided to make it available to everybody, without obligation. We hope you find it useful. If you wish, send your observations and comments to us via the Contact page.
The Island of Hispaniola is ten times larger than most Caribbean islands; many people make the mistake of thinking they can see the entire Dominican Republic (the eastern two-thirds of Hispaniola) in a few days. Not possible! But this trip plan can help you to see a lot of it in as few as four days.
The map below shows a loop around the center of the country. We recommend this loop because:
- We propose three distinct in-country destinations that add up to an ideal mix of ocean, mountain and city-life experiences. Choose one or visit them all.
- You get three great road trips between three great regions: a straight drive between regions is never longer than four hours by car or bus. This means no driving at night and lots of daylight time to stop and start and explore along the way.
- Lots of flexibility in trip planning:
- Four international airports located on the loop provide a great variety of flight and gateway options. You can start your trip at any of these gateways
- You can do the loop clockwise or counter-clockwise.
- You can do the loop in just three days. With three road trips and three regions visited—you’ll have done and seen a whole lot!
- You can stay in any type of lodging, from hostel to luxe.
- Your choice of travel options: rented car, coach bus, taxi or public transportation
How to use this map:
- Click to the Google map below and take the time to familiarize yourself with the map and all its contents. Three flag icons on the map provide an overview of the recommended regions
- The map provides a route, not a whole lot of sightseeing information. You should invest in a Lonely Planet Guide or Rough Guide to dig deeper. You can also do Google searches to learn more about each region: use Google’s Images option to dig deeper into pictures that attract you.
- Then start shopping for flight options and figure out which airport gateway is best for you.
- Then decide on your mode of travel; car rental, bus, public, etc.
- Then decide on your lodging options
- If you come between Easter and Christmas you don’t even have to plan much. Just book the first night’s hotel close to your gateway airport and take from there, day by day
- If you come between Christmas and Easter you will need to plan more precisely to ensure your accommodations.
This route is far from exhaustive but it does promise to cover the full gamut of Dominican culture, history, nature, food, sporting activities and entertainment. Needless to say, if one region catches your eye—forget the loop, just stop and enjoy!
Hope this helps! We run Tubagua Ecolodge located in the Puerto Plata region. We made this map to help our guests and now we’re sharing it with anyone who is looking for something more than a resort vacation. If you can, try to fit Tubagua Ecolodge in to your plans.
Note: before zooming in on the map, click through the icons in the water above the island for some introductory tips
Now, go to the map! Happy travels!