Enjoy the family trip of a lifetime over seven days on the Dominican Republic's south coast. You'll do it all, from snorkeling around offshore islands to visiting mysterious caves to off-roading around some of the most stunning white-sand beaches in the Caribbean. You'll also get active on a bicycle tour of Santo Domingo's historic sights, go starfish spotting in natural pools, and even spend time with playful squirrel monkeys.


  • See Santo Domingo's colonial buildings on a bike tour
  • Stay at Bayahibe, one of DR's most beautiful resort areas 
  • Dine on white-sand beaches at secluded islands
  • Go snorkeling and diving in crystalline Caribbean waters

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Santo Domingo & City Bike Tour Santo Domingo
Day 2 Los Tres Ojos National Park Excursion, Optional Activities Santo Domingo
Day 3 Transfer to Bayahibe, Stop at Cueva de las Maravillas bayahibe
Day 4 Day Trip to Saona Island bayahibe
Day 5 Bayahibe Off-roading 4x4 Tour & Monkeyland Visit bayahibe
Day 6 Diving on Catalina Island bayahibe
Day 7 Bayahibe to Santo Domingo, Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Santo Domingo & City Bike Tour

 Bike Guided City Tour
See Santo Domingo's sights on a bicycle

Welcome to Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic! This is one of the Caribbean's most impressive capitals, and it's the site of the very first European settlement anywhere in the Americas. Upon arrival at the airport, a private car will be waiting to take your family to your hotel. 

After unpacking and unwinding, you and the gang will head out for a 1.5-hour bicycle tour of the city. This is the best way to experience Santo Domingo, founded in 1496. As the oldest city in the Caribbean, its Zona Colonial (colonial center) is packed with historic architecture. Your guide will highlight the most impressive landmarks, such as the Basilica Cathedral of Santa María la Menor. Built in 1514, this is the first church in the Americas and the oldest.
Other highlights include the Alcázar de Colón (the first Spanish palace in the Americas), Fortaleza Ozama (the oldest military fort in the Americas), and the remains of the Northern Walls, the defensive structures that once protected the city from attacks on both land and sea. You'll also stop at the Monastery of San Francisco (1560) and the ruins of Hospital San Nicolás de Bari, among other places of interest.

Day 2: Los Tres Ojos National Park Excursion, Optional Activities

Los Tres Ojos National Park Excursion
Los Tres Ojos National Park Excursion
This morning, you'll head out on a nature excursion the whole family will love—and you don't have to go far to do it. A mere 10-minute drive from the Zona Colonial sits Los Tres Ojos National Park, a nature reserve and network of limestone caves. There are three crystalline lagoons here, known as las tres ojos (the three eyes). You and your family will explore these caves and lagoons throughout the morning. 
Afterward, you can spend the rest of the day however you like. Perhaps take the kids on a self-guided walk around the neighborhoods, as it's the best way to experience the local culture. In these barrios, the sounds of authentic Dominican life—dominos slapped on tables, backfiring mufflers, the din of traffic horns, merengue blasting from corner stores, etc.—are most intense. You could also return to the Zona Colonial and admire the historic buildings you might not have seen on the bicycle tour.

Day 3: Transfer to Bayahibe, Stop at Cueva de las Maravillas

 Transfer to Bayahibe stop at Maravillas Caves
One of the white-sand beaches in Bayahibe
Plan your trip to the Dominican Republic
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.

After breakfast, the car will pick your family up for the drive east from Santo Domingo to Bayahibe, one of the most beautiful beaches on the Dominican's south coast.

On your way, you'll stop at Cueva de las Maravillas (Cave of Wonders). The cavern is located in the province of San Pedro de Macoris and measures 2,625-feet (800-m) long and 82-feet (25-m) deep. Inside, there are around 500 ancient pictographs and petroglyphs made by the Taíno people and date back thousands of years. Also, El Espejo de Agua (The Water Mirror) is an artificial lake whose glassy surface reflects the cave's roof. 

Once you finish the guided tour, you'll continue to Bayahibe. This stretch of coast offers all the beauty of Punta Cana without the mass crowds. Here, your family will enjoy tranquility combined with cultural activities and adventures. Witness the stunning Parque Nacional del Este, which encompasses the turquoise waters and white-sand beaches of Saona Island.

Upon arrival, you'll all check in to the hotel and relax.

Day 4: Day Trip to Saona Island

Day trip to Saona Island
Day trip to Saona Island

You and your family are in for a real treat today, as you'll take a 4-hour trip to Saona Island, located just off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. This island is famous for crystal-clear waters, beautiful white sand beaches, and offshore coral reefs home to exotic marine life. Coming here is undoubtedly one of the highlights of a stay in the Dominican. 

From the port of Bayahibe, you'll hop on a boat and travel to Saona. Upon arrival, enjoy a decadent lunch followed by time to relax on the beach and swim in the crystalline Caribbean waters. If you have the energy, play some beach volleyball or even participate in a meringue class. Then it's time to board a speedboat and explore the coast around the island. Along the way, you'll stop at a place called the Natural Pool. The shallow waters of this sandbar mean you can wade waist-deep in turquoise waters even hundreds of meters from shore. The kids will be spotting the large number of starfish that call this area home.

Day 5: Bayahibe Off-roading 4x4 Tour & Monkeyland Visit

Bayahibe 4x4 Buggy y Monkeyland Experience
Hop in a 4x4 and explore Bayahibe
After breakfast, your transfer will whisk you off on today's 2-hour off-roading ride! Feel the adrenaline of driving your own 4x4 buggy in the Dominican countryside. After the adventure, stop by the Casa de Coco (Coconut House) to learn how coconut oil is produced. You'll also sample organic products like Caribbean fruits, roasted coffee, and cocoa. 

Finish the day with a stop at Monkeyland, a natural jungle habitat where your family will interact in close proximity with the park's playful squirrel monkeys. It's a great outing for kids and adults alike, as these are some of the friendliest monkeys in the animal kingdom. Should you choose, you can change the Monkeyland visit to a zip-line adventure over the treetops. 

Day 6: Diving on Catalina Island

Take a dip off of pretty Catalina Island
Today you and your family will enjoy a 5-hour trip to Isla Catalina. Once here, you'll all get to snorkel in one of the most beautiful marine ecosystems of the Dominican Republic. The beaches are breathtaking, and the marine life around the coral is abundant. You'll also enjoy a buffet lunch on the beach.
Should you choose, you can also discover one of the most colorful seabeds on a scuba trip around the island. It's the perfect activity for ocean lovers and anyone curious about marine nature. If you don't already have a PADI certification, the tour includes a monitor.

Day 7: Bayahibe to Santo Domingo, Depart

Goodbye, DR
Unfortunately, all good things must end. Your private transfer will pick your family up for the 2-hour drive back to Santo Domingo and the airport at the appropriate time. Then catch your flight home. Adios!

More Great Dominican Republic Itineraries

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


Map of Family Trip to the Dominican Republic - 7 Days
Map of Family Trip to the Dominican Republic - 7 Days