This action-packed family tour of the Dominican Republic kicks off in Punta Cana, where you'll visit local beaches, cruise out to Isla Saona, and swim in the "blue hole" cenote of Hoyo Azul. Learn about the life of a Dominican cowboy on a horseback ride and ranch tour, discover the underwater world of the island via Scuba Doo, then head to wild and wonderful Samaná. Hike to the waterfalls of El Limón, trek to untouched beaches, and end by visiting the humpback whales of Samaná Bay.


  • Swim in the deep blue waters of the incredible cenote, Hoyo Azul 
  • Take a wild ride via family "buggy" to Punta Cana's untouched beaches 
  • Hike through dense rainforests to the incredible cascades of El Limón Waterfall
  • Get up close and personal with the humpback whales of Samaná Bay 

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Punta Cana, Explore Punta Cana
Day 2 Day Trip to Isla Saona  Punta Cana
Day 3 Swimming Fun at Hoyo Azul Punta Cana
Day 4 Horseback Riding Adventure Punta Cana
Day 5 Cabeza de Toro Scuba Doo & Snorkeling Tour Punta Cana
Day 6 Playa de Macao Family Buggy Excursion Punta Cana
Day 7 Puna Cana Beach Day Punta Cana
Day 8 Transfer to Samaná, Explore  Samaná
Day 9 Hike to El Limón Waterfall Samaná
Day 10 Discover the Beaches of Samaná Samaná
Day 11 Day Trip to Los Haitises National Park Samaná
Day 12 Family Trek to the Wild Beaches of La Cana, Lanza del Norte & Morón  Samaná
Day 13 Whale Watching Experience Samaná
Day 14 Depart Samaná   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Punta Cana, Explore

Get settled in Punta Cana, then head to explore

Welcome to the Dominican Republic! Your flight arrives in the city of Punta Cana, known for its incredible beaches and natural attractions. Your private transfer will collect your family from the airport and transport you to your hotel, and after you've had some time to relax and regroup, you're free to head out and explore.

If the kids are clamoring for beach time, you have plenty of options, with several beaches located in and around the city. Active families might also enjoy a snorkel tour, where expert guides will take you to the best spots to see marine life such as turtles, rays, and tropical fish. Or, rent bikes and cruise around town, taking in the colorful buildings and checking out local shops for souvenirs. 

Day 2: Day Trip to Isla Saona 

Cruise over to Isla Saona for some sun and fun

Visit one of the Caribbean's most beautiful spots today, the island of Saona. Located off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic, Saona is famous for crystal-clear waters and offshore coral reefs teeming with marine life. In the morning, you'll head to the port of Bayahibe and board your boat, cruising along the ocean and arriving at the island in time for some beach volleyball, or the whole family can participate in a merengue class if you're interested! 

Enjoy a delicious lunch, play on the beach with the little ones, or just relax and watch the waves. This afternoon, return to town via speedboat, stopping along the way at a spot known as the Natural Pool. The shallow waters of this sandbar mean you can wade far out from shore, making it a perfect place for families with smaller children. The kids will also love seeing the many starfish that reside here, as well as fish and other marine life. Tonight, head to a local restaurant for some authentic Caribbean fare.

Day 3: Swimming Fun at Hoyo Azul

Swim in the turquoise waters of Hoyo Azul, a natural cenote formed by erosion

Today's excursion takes you and your family to Hoyo Azul, a stunning "blue hole" cenote located in nearby Scape Park, an ecotourism area that offers a wide range of outdoor activities. After breakfast, meet your driver at the hotel and make the one-hour, scenic drive to the park. From here, you'll set out on foot, crossing a suspension bridge and through a gorgeous orchid garden to this hidden oasis. 

Once there, you're free to dive right in! The cenote is approximately 45 feet (14 m) deep and sits at the foot of a 246-foot (75 m) limestone cliff covered in vegetation. Older kids will love leaping off the nearby rocks, and even the littlest ones will enjoy the cool spring waters (floaties definitely suggested for non-swimmers) and paddling around. On the drive back, you spend some time relaxing or having lunch in Bayahibe, a fun resort town with long stretches of beach and coral reefs. 

Day 4: Horseback Riding Adventure

Learn about the daily life of a Dominican cowboy on a guided horseback ride

Learn all about the life of real Dominican cowboys on a horseback riding adventure. You'll meet with your driver in the morning and drive to the city of Higuey, located about 40 minutes away. After the kids get acquainted with the horses and everyone receives an equipment and safety briefing, you'll embark on a 5.93-mile (9.5 km) ride, which takes you across fields and up mountains, where you'll enjoy panoramic views of the countryside.

With instruction from your guides, you'll ride among more than 300 head of cattle, helping staff herd them and hearing the stories of the cowboys that work here. After the ride, you'll visit the ranch's cocoa plantation, where you and the kids can try some of their exotic fruits and learn more about cocoa processing. End with a traditional Dominican meal, while enjoying a showcase of the ranch's prize-winning horses. 

Day 5: Cabeza de Toro Scuba Doo & Snorkeling Tour

Spend the day exploring underwater worlds with Scuba Doos and snorkels

Hit the water in a unique way today as you try out the fun sport of Scuba Doo. This combined marine scooter/dive suit allows you to explore the underwater kingdom of the Caribbean without requiring any diving experience, making it a great family activity! Board the Panoramic One boat, which is equipped with a large glass bottom, and cruise out to the open water, enjoying beverages and snacks along the way. 

Your guides will walk you and the kids through how to properly use the equipment, and once you're in your suit, the incredible marine world of the Caribbean is yours to explore. With clear visibility through the mask, combined with the propulsion of the scooter, you can navigate comfortably around the reef while enjoying 180-degree views of the sea life. The Scuba Doo can descend to a depth of 13 feet (4 m) and it travels at a comfortable, safe speed. Scuba Doo is a great option for nearly everyone, although parents should keep in mind that the minimum age to participate is seven years old. 

After your undersea excursion, the kids can watch the endless marine life through the glass bottom panels of the boat while you head to the coastal town of Cabeza de Toro. Here you can snorkel at the shallow dive site El Niño, where you'll view schools of fish and unspoiled corals, accompanied by a guide. Relax here for the rest of the afternoon, then return to your hotel. 

Day 6: Playa de Macao Family Buggy Excursion

Head out on 4WD ATVs and explore the trails and beaches like Playa de Macao

Take a wild ride via a family "buggy" tour, exploring the beaches and trails around the island. You'll meet with your guides and set out in your Polaris dune buggy, an ATV-style vehicle that has power steering and a covered chassis–a comfortable ride for kids and adults alike. If you've got older kids, your guides might even allow them to take the wheel for a bit!   

Drive to Playa de Macao, a popular surf spot with wide sandy beaches, then head to a coffee plantation, where you'll see how they grow, harvest, and process the coffee, cocoa, and Dominican tobacco grown there, while the kids stretch their legs and play. Finish the day by cooling off in a 1,000-year-old cenote, located in a nearby cave and replete with a subterranean river. 

Plan your trip to the Dominican Republic
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

Day 7: Puna Cana Beach Day

See some of the Dominican Republic's amazing beaches

Make it a beach day today, relaxing on the gorgeous white sands that the Dominican Republic is so known for. Start at Playa Blanca, easily considered one of the most pristine beaches in Punta Cana, with pure white sands and a gentle shore break that the little ones will love. For a quieter start to the day, visit Playa Cabeza de Toro. There are a few resorts here, but if you walk just a short distance north, you'll find a peaceful palm grove and a relatively untouched beach.

Families looking for active fun can opt for Playa Bavaro, one of Punta Cana's main beaches. There are several big resorts here and four public access points, and your family can rent equipment, join tours, or do some souvenir shopping with one of the many vendors along the beach. Playa Bavaro is also considered one of the best beaches in Punta Cana for swimming, so the kids will be able to burn lots of energy playing and diving in the clear waters. 

Day 8: Transfer to Samaná, Explore 

Hire a boat to go to the white sand beaches of Cayo Levantado

Your next destination is Samaná, a peninsula that hugs a tranquil bay of the same name and is a truly secluded Dominican paradise. Its endless stretches of rainforests, unspoiled white-sand beaches, and hidden islands have long made the region desirable to everyone from marauding pirates and invading armies to migrating humpback whales looking for a romance! Now, you'll get to experience the highlights of this singularly beautiful region with your family.

After breakfast, your private driver will transport you to Samaná, a drive of about four hours. Once you've gotten settled at your accommodations, you're free to see more of this charming town on your own. For some family time out on the water, hop on the ferry and make the hour trip to Cayo Levantado, a small island located in Samaná Bay. You can go kayaking, paddleboarding, or laze on the beach. Tonight, have dinner at a local restaurant and browse the boutiques and shops around town. You can find souvenirs such as Dominican rum and coffee, or handmade crafts and toys that the kids might like. 

Day 9: Hike to El Limón Waterfall

Hike to the El Limón Waterfall and cool off with a swim

Head into the mountains today for an epic hike through the incredible jungles of Samaná. You'll meet with your guide in the morning and begin your trek into the Sierra de Samaná mountains, a 1.5-mile (2.5 km) journey that takes you through fertile rainforests, lush greenery, and an abundance of wildlife. You'll have the option of traveling on foot or via horseback, and the kids should keep their eyes peeled for birds such as parrots, palmchats (the national bird of the Dominican Republic), or the various reptiles that call the forest home. 

The trail ends at the roaring El Limón Waterfall, a cascade of 131 feet (40 m) with a shimmering green pool. Take a dip and cool off, let the kids play, and relax for a bit amid the beautiful jungle surroundings. Afterward, you'll make your way back to the main trailhead, finishing the day with a delicious Dominican lunch.

Day 10: Discover the Beaches of Samaná

Swim and play on the beaches of Samaná

One of the best things about the Dominican Republic is the miles and miles of incredible beaches, especially on the Samaná peninsula. See more of those beaches with your family, starting with a drive to nearby La Terrenas and a visit to Playa Cosón. This popular beach for surfing enthusiasts is the perfect spot for a peaceful morning beach walk with the kids. From here, head to Playa Bonita, which has calm, crystal-clear waters that the little ones can spend hours enjoying. The beach also sits near several hotels, bars, and restaurants, so you can grab a bite to eat here if you'd like.

Not far from Las Terrenas lies Las Ballenas. This stretch of sand sits at the mouth of the Río Marico, with cool flowing waters that are great fun for the kids. Sports enthusiasts in the family will also love this beach, as there are all kinds of equipment rentals—you can Jet Ski, sea kayak, or take a boat excursion. Other beaches include Las Terrenas, a popular spot for locals and tourists alike, or for walks along golden sands, drive east to Portillo. You may also want to see El Limón, a spectacular 3-mile (4.8 km) stretch of sand that offers views of Cayo El Limón.

Families who want to practice their surfing can spend some time on the protected beach of El Valle, which sits just north of Samaná Bay, or you can end the day relaxing at the peaceful Las Galeras, which retains a fishing village feel and is quieter than some of the other beaches. You can also consider some offshore fun with a water taxi over to Cayo Levantado, a small island with relaxing, quiet beaches and shady palm trees. 

Day 11: Day Trip to Los Haitises National Park

See the colonies of birds who call Los Haitises National Park home

Today's adventure takes you on a full-day tour of Los Haitises National Park, a protected area that spans 618 square miles (1,600 sq km). The park is home to dense rainforests, mangroves, ancient caves, and blue ocean. It serves as a sanctuary to more than 200 species of birds, including the endangered Ridgway's hawk, woodpeckers, pelicans, herons, and more. You and the kids are also likely to see dolphins and manatees in the park's waters. 

Your guides will collect you from your hotel in the morning, and you'll make the one-hour drive to the port of Samaná, where you'll board a boat that will transport you across the bay and into the park. The name "Los Haitises" translates to "Mountainous Land," and upon arrival in the park, you'll quickly see it's an apt description. You'll pass limestone rock formations rising dramatically from the sea, set against the dense mangrove forests along the shore. There are also ancient caves here that are notable for having the largest number of petroglyphs in the country.  

Witness all of these highlights alongside your expert guide, who will share insight into the history of the area while offering an education on the importance of the protection and conservation of the animals that live here. Afterward, you'll take a boat back to the dock and return to your hotel, where the rest of your evening is free. 

Day 12: Family Trek to the Wild Beaches of La Cana, Lanza del Norte & Morón 

Hike to the untouched beaches of La Cana, Lanza del Norte, and Playa Morón

Visit Samaná's wildest beaches on a guided hike around the remote and uninhabited landscapes that make this region so beautiful. In the morning, your guide will pick you up from your hotel and you'll head to the trailhead to begin a three-hour hike. Travel deep into the rainforest, skirt around mountains, and see panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. There are a few different routes available, and your guide will adjust based on the ages and abilities of all family members.

Your first stop will be the windswept shores of La Cana, with its golden beaches and gentle waves. From here, you'll head to the rugged Lanza del Norte, then arrive at the tranquil beaches of Playa Morón, where turquoise waters lap at the shore. Along the way, your guides will explain more about the history of the beaches, and how these stretches of coast are little changed over the past 500 years. After all that hiking, the whole family is likely to be quite hungry, and your guides will take you to the local restaurant Santi Rancho for lunch. 

Day 13: Whale Watching Experience

See humpback whales on a whale watching excursion

Get up close and personal with the whales of Samaná Bay today. Meet up with your guides in the morning and depart from the Port of Miches via catamaran or boat, cruising out into the bay to see these gentle giants. Humpback whales gather in Samaná every season to meet, give birth, and nurse their young, making it one of the best places in the world to see these incredible mammals.

Known to be one of the most active whale species, you and the kids will likely see them breaching, swimming, and playing right alongside the boat. Spend the morning viewing the whales and talking to your guides about their habits, then return to shore and make the most of your last night in the Dominican Republic with dinner at a local restaurant or a sunset walk on the beach. 

Day 14: Depart Samaná

Farewell to the beautiful Dominican Republic! 

It's time to bid farewell to the Dominican Republic! Your driver will collect you from your hotel in the morning, transferring you to the airport for your flight home. Safe travels! 

More Dominican Republic Itineraries

Looking for more inspiration for your trip to the Dominican Republic? Check out these other Dominican Republic itineraries, explore different ways to spend two weeks in the Dominican Republic, or discover the best time to visit the Dominican Republic


Map of Adventurous Family Tour of the Dominican Republic - 14 Days
Map of Adventurous Family Tour of the Dominican Republic - 14 Days