Visiting two to four destinations is ideal for 10 days in the Dominican Republic. For a nature and culture-focused itinerary, you'll want to see the white-sand beaches around Samaná and the highlands of Jarabacoa. Adventurers should head north to the coast to Haitises National Park to do some caving and kayaking, while travelers wanting to beach hop should hit Punta Cana and Bayahibe. To get off the beaten path, opt for hiking excursions from Barahona to the nearby national parks and Lago Enriquillo.

Itinerary #1: Nature, Culture & Beaches of the Dominican Republic

Opt for this classic itinerary focusing on the northern Dominican Republic with one night in Santo Domingo—ideal for first-time visitors to the island. You'll discover the white-sand beaches and hike to the famous El Limón Waterfall in Samaná, admire the towering limestone isles of Los Haitises National Park, go horseback riding in the misty highlands of Jarabacoa, and experience the Dominican Republic through its food. 

Cool off in the El Limón Waterfall near Samaná
Cool off in the El Limón waterfall near Samaná
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Samaná, Optional Activities Samaná
Day 2 Hike to El Limón Waterfall Samaná
Day 3 Day Trip to Playa Rincón Samaná
Day 4 Day Trip to Los Haitises National Park Samaná
Day 5 Transfer to Cabarete, Playa Grande & Laguna Dudú Cabarete
Day 6 Free Day in Cabarete Cabarete
Day 7 Transfer to Jarabacoa via Santiago de los Caballeros Jarabacoa
Day 8 Free Day in Jarabacoa Jarabacoa
Day 9 Transfer to Santo Domingo, City Tour Santo Domingo
Day 10 Depart Santo Domingo  

Sink travel-weary toes in the white sand at Playa Las Ballenas in the Samaná Peninsula on your first day before venturing into the rainforest on a hike to El Limón Waterfall. The next day, visit Playa Rincón, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and wander through Samaná Market, where you can sample local products or spot whales from the cliff-top observatory in Punta Balandra. On Day 4, take a day trip to admire and explore the karst limestone islets and mangrove forests of Los Haitises National Park. Then, en route to Cabarete, stop for a swim at Playa Grande and the emerald waters of Laguna Dudú.

Surf, ride a dune buggy, or zipline at Puerto Plata on Day 6, and tour the cultural highlights of Santiago de los Caballeros before experiencing Jarabacoa's many activities. Choose from horseback riding, hiking mountain trails, tubing and rafting down the Río Yaque del Norte, or swimming in the lagoons at the Salto de Jimenoa and Salto de Baiguate waterfalls. On your penultimate day, marvel at Santo Domingo's historic landmarks, including Alcázar de Colón (the first Spanish palace in the Americas), Fortaleza Ozama (the oldest military fort in the Americas), Parque Colón, and the Northern Walls. Learn more

Itinerary #2: The Wild Side of the Dominican Republic

This active itinerary offers outdoor and water excursions for more adventurous travelers. Experience the wild side of the Dominican Republic with a bicycle tour of the colonial landmarks in the capital of Santo Domingo. Venture north to the coast and Haitises National Park to do some caving and kayaking, then continue to the virgin coastline of Samaná for snorkeling, sunbathing, and swimming in lagoons.

Enjoy outdoor adventures like whale watching in the Dominican
Enjoy outdoor adventures like whale watching in the Dominican Republic
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santo Domingo, Guided Bicycle Tour Santo Domingo
Day 2 Transfer to Los Haitises, Optional Activities Los Haitises
Day 3 Los Haitises Kayak Tour Los Haitises
Day 4 Los Haitises Guided Cave Tour Los Haitises
Day 5 Transfer to Samaná, Optional Activities Samaná
Day 6 Day Trip to Playa Grande & Laguna Dudú Samaná
Day 7 Free Day in Samaná Samaná
Day 8 Day Trip to Playa Rincón Samaná
Day 9 Snorkeling in Cayo Levantado Samaná
Day 10 Transfer to Santo Domingo, Depart  

Begin in Santo Domingo, touring the Ciudad Colonial neighborhood packed with historic architecture, like the Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor. Next, transfer to Los Haitises National Park, famous for the annual migration of humpback whales. You'll visit modern towns like Sabana de la Mar, explore caverns with ancient cave paintings, kayak along Los Haitises' waterways, and take a boat tour to spot marine mammals, like manatees, dolphins, and whales (season depending). On a guided cave tour, discover the caverns once occupied by the Taino people and relax, rock climb, hike, or visit the famous mangroves of San Lorenzo Bay.

You'll transfer to Samaná on Day 5 to wander the colorful town and surrounding beaches, grab a souvenir at Las Terrenas or hop on a ferry to Cayo Levantado island. Then, cool off in the turquoise waters of Laguna Dudú on a day trip before enjoying free time at the beach, heading east to explore the region of El Limón, or going snorkeling or diving. You'll have more downtime at beautiful Playa Rincón and marvel at night-sky views from the observatory in Punta Balandra. Your last full day has you snorkeling amid the aquatic life around the island of Farola and the reefs at Cayo Levantando before your departure the next day. Learn more

Plan your trip to the Dominican Republic
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Itinerary #3: Explore the Beaches of the Dominican Republic

The pace slows down with two beachy locations, the white sands of Punta Cana and the turquoise waters of Bayahibe, on this relaxing beach vacation. Between time on the sand and in the surf, you'll enjoy adventures like horseback riding and driving buggies in the jungle, boat tours to offshore coral islands, snorkeling, and exploring the underwater world in a Scuba Doo. 

Discover some of the best beaches in the Dominican, like those at Punta Cana
Discover some of the best beaches in the Dominican, like those at Punta Cana
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Punta Cana, Optional Activities Punta Cana
Day 2 Horseback Riding in Punta Cana Punta Cana
Day 3 Punta Cana Free Day Punta Cana
Day 4 Scuba Doo Experience Punta Cana
Day 5 Transfer to Bayahibe, Optional Activities Bayahibe
Day 6 Buggy Ride & Monkeyland Experience Bayahibe
Day 7 Diving at Isla Catalina  Bayahibe
Day 8 Bayahibe Free Day Bayahibe
Day 9 Day Trip to Isla Saona  Bayahibe
Day 10 Transfer to Punta Cana & Depart  

Begin in Punta Cana, where you can relax on Playa Bavara, the resort town's main beach, snorkel, or visit a nearby cenote. Spend Day 2 horseback riding and driving cattle near Higuey, then enjoy a free day and consider taking a dip in the Hoyo Azul cenote, cruising on a catamaran, or participating in a cooking class. Admire exotic marine life in a unique Scuba Doo marine scooter/dive suit before hitting the beach at Cabeza de Toro on Day 4, where you can snorkel at El Niño amid unspoiled corals. From Bayahibe, venture into Parque Nacional del Este, relax on Playa Bayahibe, or tour the VegaFina Cigar Factory.

On an off-roading adventure on Day 6, you'll drive a 4WD buggy through the Dominican countryside, stopping by the Casa de Coco to learn how coconut oil is produced. Afterward, meet playful squirrel monkeys at Monkeyland. Dive into the crystalline waters to snorkel around Isla Catalina and visit Playa Dominicus, a secluded beach, or spend the day on a catamaran. Cruise to Isla Saona on your last day, where you can swim, play beach volleyball, or participate in a merengue (dance) lesson. End with a speedboat ride and stop at the Natural Pool sandbar. Learn more

Itinerary #4: Off the Beaten Path in the Dominican Republic

Go beyond Santo Domingo on this off-the-beaten-path itinerary to observe the exotic plants and wildlife of lesser-visited destinations. After touring the colonial landmarks in the nation's capital, you're off to the southwest region around Barahona, where you'll explore hidden coves and hike national parks. More than that, you'll laze on white-sand beaches, stroll cacao fields, swim in freshwater lagoons, and ride horseback in the Jarabacoa highlands. 

Get off the tourist trail in the Dominican Republic and check out Lago Enriquillo
Get off the tourist trail in the Dominican Republic and check out Lago Enriquillo
Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santo Domingo, Optional Activities Santo Domingo
Day 2 Guided City Tour by Bike Santo Domingo
Day 3 Transfer to Barahona, Optional Activities Barahona
Day 4 Day Trip to Jaragua National Park & Eagle's Bay Barahona
Day 5 Hike La Sierra de Bahoruco National Park Barahona
Day 6 Hike to Lago Enriquillo Barahona
Day 7 Transfer to Jarabacoa, Optional Activities Jarabacoa
Day 8 Horseback Riding Adventure Jarabacoa
Day 9 Day Trip to Constanza Jarabacoa
Day 10 Transfer to Santo Domingo & Depart  

Your adventure starts in the capital city of Santo Domingo. On a bike tour, visit historic sites like the central plaza of Parque Colón, the Monastery of San Francisco, and the ruins of Hospital San Nicolás de Bari. The following day, in Barahona, sun-seekers can hit the beach, while nature lovers and birders should venture inland to the rainforests. Next, stop at the charming fishing village of Las Cuevas and take a boat into the Jaragua National Park and to Eagle's Bay, where you'll enjoy a wide array of ecosystems and wildlife. On a day trip, hike around the forests and mountains of Sierra de Bahoruco National Park.

On Day 6, enjoy the exotic flora and fauna at Lago Enriquillo, hike along the "cacao route," experience the farming town of Villa Nizao, and dine by the Río Nizaíto before reaching Paraíso's white-pebble beach. The following day, you'll hike in the highlands around Jarabacoa. You can horseback ride there, raft down the Río Yaque del Norte, and swim at the Salto de Jimenoa and Salto de Baiguate waterfalls. Then saddle up for a horseback adventure in the mountains on Day 8, followed by a day trip to Constanza, where you'll stop at Valle Nuevo National Park and an impressive waterfall at Aguas Blancas. Learn more

More Great Dominican Republic Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Dominican Republic? Check out these other Dominican Republic itineraries, with outdoor adventures, beach vacations, and best-of tours to hit the highlights. 


Map of 10 Days in the Dominican Republic - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas
Map of 10 Days in the Dominican Republic - 4 Unique Itinerary Ideas