Discover paradise on earth in the northern Dominican Republic. Over 10 days, you'll tour highlight locales like the white-sand beaches around Samaná, the towering limestone isles of Los Haitises National Park, and the misty highlands of Jarabacoa. Throughout the trip, you'll enjoy beach time, boat trips, horseback rides, waterfall hikes, and, of course, plenty of famous Dominican cuisine.


  • Visit the white-sand beaches around Samaná
  • Discover the Dominican Republic through its food
  • Venture into the wilds of Los Haitises National Park
  • Hike to the famous El Limón Waterfall
  • Go horseback riding in Jarabacoa

Brief Itinerary

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  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Samaná, Optional Activities

Enjoy the white-sand beaches around Samaná

Welcome to the Dominican Republic! Part of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, this nation is the site of the earliest settlement of Europeans in the Americas. Its capital Santo Domingo was founded in 1496, and many colonial landmarks remain there.

You'll arrive on the Samaná Peninsula, at the northern end of the Dominican, which is a paradise of unspoiled coast, inland jungles, and protected national parks. Upon arrival at the airport in Samaná, a driver will pick you up at the airport for the one-hour drive north to Las Terrenas.

This resort town is famous for its white-sand beaches, backed by coconut palms and fronting turquoise waters. It's a great place to relax, which is precisely what you'll do after checking into your hotel. Head over to Playa Las Ballenas, where you can spend the rest of the day lazing on powdery sands.

Day 2: Hike to El Limón Waterfall

Venture into the rainforest on a hike to El Limón Waterfall

In the morning, you'll transfer by vehicle to the Sierra de Samaná Mountains and embark on a 1.5-mile (2.5 km) journey, which you can do on foot or horseback. This is an adventurous trek through lush rainforests abounding with exotic flora and fauna, including coconut palms, pineapple trees, and tropical birds like the palmchat (the national bird of the Dominican Republic).

The trail ends at El Limón Waterfall—your reward for all that jungle trekking. The falls are a marvel, cascading 131 feet (40 m) into a shimmering emerald pool. Feel free to dive in and cool off. After a refreshing dip, you'll have time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings before returning to the trailhead. Once there, satisfy your appetite with a fantastic Dominican lunch. After eating, you'll transfer back to your hotel and can spend the rest of the day on the beach.

Day 3: Day Trip to Playa Rincón

Enjoy more tranquility at Playa Rincón, another star beach in the Dominican Republic

Leave early on a full-day excursion to Playa Rincón, considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. After a two-hour drive east, you'll arrive at Rincón Bay, where you can take a refreshing dip in the crystalline Caribbean plus relax and sunbathe on the powdery white sands. You'll also visit Río Caño Frío, a river that runs from the interior to the beach. This waterway boasts crystal clear waters, and its riverbed is surrounded by virgin tropical forest.

Other highlights include a visit to the Samaná Market, where you can sample local products like coffee, cocoa, tropical fruits, and mamajuana (a spiced rum drink). You'll also enjoy panoramic clifftop views from the observatory in Punta Balandra—a prime viewing spot for humpback whales. 

Day 4: Day Trip to Los Haitises National Park

Marvel at the karst limestone islets of Los Haitises

After breakfast, you'll transfer south to Los Haitises National Park. Spanning 618 square miles (1,600 sq km), the name "Los Haitises" translates to "mountainous land" in the Indigenous Taíno language, and that's an apt description. The park is notable for its limestone rock formations that rise dramatically out of the water. Other highlights include exotic mangrove forests home to colonies of tropical birds and ancient caves notable for having the largest number of petroglyphs in the country. You'll witness these highlights on a group tour led by an expert guide. Afterward, you'll return to your hotel.

Day 5: Transfer to Cabarete, Playa Grande & Laguna Dudú

On your way to Cabarete, stop for a swim at Laguna Dudú

Meet your guide in the morning for the three-hour drive up the coast to Cabarete, the Caribbean capital of adventure sports. On the way, you'll stop at two highlight beaches of the Dominican's north coast. 

First up is Playa Grande. This seemingly endless stretch of white sand is as ideal for long walks as it is for relaxing in a lounger. During a stop here, you can relax on the beach and enjoy a plate of grilled lobster and an ice-cold beer or coconut water. Afterward, you'll visit Laguna Dudú. This emerald lagoon comprises about 2,300 feet (700 m) of tunnels connecting two freshwater lakes (feel free to take a dip).

Later, continue to Cabarete. This coastal area draws visitors for its great surf and windsurfing/kitesurfing conditions. Here, you'll check into your hotel and have the rest of the day free.

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

Day 6: Free Day in Cabarete

Strap into a harness and enjoy a zipline ride over the treetops

Today is a free day to enjoy Cabarete however you see fit. You can choose to head out and explore the town on your own or laze on its windswept, golden beach. Another option is to embark on one of the many day trips available in this region. If you like, head west to Puerto Plata, one of the crown jewels of the northern coast. Here, you can enjoy zipline tours or grab a board and ride some waves. Maybe hop in a dune buggy and head out on a countryside tour. Or, take advantage of the offshore winds and learn how to kitesurf.

Day 7: Transfer to Jarabacoa via Santiago de los Caballeros

Tour the cultural highlights of Santiago de los Caballeros

Your driver will pick you up today for the 2.5-hour ride south into the central highlands and Jarabacoa. On the way, you'll stop in Santiago de los Caballeros. Located in the Cibao Valley, in the north of the country, Santiago was one of the provinces created by the first Dominican Constitution in 1844. The area has borne witness to important historical events, such as the Battle of Santiago, which consolidates the first independence of the Dominican Republic.

During the stop, you can embark on a self-guided tour to see the highlights. Don't miss the Leon Jimenes Tobacco Factory and Museum. The first floor features permanent exhibits showcasing Dominican history and culture dating back to Taíno times. There's also a room dedicated to visual arts, and in an adjacent building is an exhibition detailing the history of the tobacco industry in the Dominican Republic. After the stop, you'll continue to the mountain town of Jarabacoa and check into your hotel.

Day 8: Free Day in Jarabacoa

Horseback riding is one of the most popular activities in Jarabacoa

Today is yours to discover the mountain paradise that is Jarabacoa. Located in the Central Cordillera mountain range of La Vega Province, this town is one of the premier ecotourism destinations in the country due to its beautiful pine forests and incredible mountain views. The level of peace and tranquility here is so renowned that locals even have a saying: "God is everywhere... but sleeps in Jarabacoa."

You'll have your choice of many great activities, which include horseback riding, hiking mountain trails, tubing and rafting down the Río Yaque del Norte, and swimming in the lagoons at the Salto de Jimenoa and Salto de Baiguate waterfalls. You can even rappel down canyon walls. For dinner, head up to Aroma de la Montaña, the only 360-degree restaurant in the Dominican Republic. The panoramic views alone are worth it. 

Day 9: Transfer to Santo Domingo, City Tour

The Columbus statue in Parque Colón, Santo Domingo

After breakfast, meet your driver for the two-hour drive south to Santo Domingo, the nation's capital. After checking into your hotel, you'll meet a local guide for a tour of the city. Marveling at Santo Domingo's historic landmarks is a great way to spend your penultimate day in the Dominican Republic.

Your guide will lead you to the Ciudad Colonial neighborhood, the city's historic heart. You'll visit landmarks like the Alcázar de Colón (the first Spanish palace in the Americas), Fortaleza Ozama (the oldest military fort in the Americas), Parque Colón (the main plaza), 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 (c. 1560) and the ruins of Hospital San Nicolás de Bari, among other places of interest.

At the end of the tour, you'll return to your hotel and have the rest of the day free. If you like, embark on an optional trip outside the city to natural wonders like Los Tres Ojos National Park. This nature reserve comprises a group of limestone caves with three crystalline lagoons, known as las tres ojos ("the three eyes"). You can explore these caves and lagoons via a network of boardwalks. 

Day 10: Depart Santo Domingo

Take one last stroll through Santo Domingo before heading to the airport

Wake up early for one last leisurely Dominican breakfast. At the appropriate time, your driver will pick you up for the transfer to the airport, where you'll catch your flight home. Until next time!

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Map of Nature, Culture & Beaches of the Dominican Republic - 10 Days
Map of Nature, Culture & Beaches of the Dominican Republic - 10 Days