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  • Writer's pictureCindy Van Dyck

Travel around The Southwest of the Dominican Republic

Updated: Jun 6, 2023

Picture of Playa San Rafael, Barahona
Picture Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Everyone knows the beaches of Punta Cana, and Las Terrenas is also starting to become more and more familiar to European tourists. But the Dominican Republic has much more to offer than these two vacation resorts. Therefore, today we focus on the southwestern part where you will be immersed in the beautiful nature of the island!

This is the ideal area for a Glamping experience!

Atmosphere pictures of the province of Barahona
Picture Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Departure from Santo Domingo

The route towards this piece of paradise is one that you need to prepare well, as the first stop is 3h from Santo Domingo. Therefore, it is best to land and depart from the capital itself. You can then easily rent a car at the airport and start your wonderful journey!

For the car, it is best to choose a jeep or a similar car. We recommend to rent at Europcar as we are really happy about their service! Personally we would go for a Hyundai Tucson/Cantus or Kia Sportage, as it is perfect and gives the necessary comfort. In short: go for a Jeep (or Jeepeta as they say in the DR). This a you will encounter quite a few bumpy roads and then you do not want to bang your head against the ceiling of the car every time. Neither arrive with back pain.

In addition, you can also choose to first spend a day in Santo Domingo itself, so you can rest a bit after your long flight. Safety is the most important when traveling! And you can find nice boutique hotels for less than 150€ per night for two people in the historical area of Santo Domingo, close to the airport.

The first stop: Barahona

The first stop you make is in Barahona, located 3 hours from the capital. You will recognize this province thanks to its beautiful blue waters and pearly white beaches. Here you can enjoy hours of a day at the beach and rivers! A famous stretch of beach, which by the way can already be seen from the mountains, is San Rafael. Here we have also personally enjoyed a day.

From this beach you can also depart towards your first overnight stay: Rancho Platon*. This is located in the middle of the mountains at 40km of Barahona itself. This ecolodge gives you the perfect balance between a luxury Glamping stay and camping in the middle of nature. Around the ranch you will find several rivers and a waterfall.

*Click here for the direct reservation link on*

Pictures of ecolodge Rancho Platon
Picture Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Travel towards Pedernales

How many days you can stay in Barahona obviously depends on the length of your trip, but we definitely recommend a minimum of a two-night stay. This will give you enough time to unwind from the driving.

After you are fully rested you can leave for Pedernales, located at the border with Haiti. On the way to this city you will pass the national park "Jaragua" where you will not only discover beautiful nature again, but also the most amazing glamping sites! Therefore, we would like to take you to our favorite: Glamping Cueva De Las Aguilas.

And this Glamping is just amazing! The tents come with a comfortable bed and depending on your booking, also with a terrace and sea view. On the site itself you can enjoy the magical sunset while sipping your fresh beer and after dinner you can gather around the campfire. The sound of the breaking waves brings you in an oasis of tranquility that you have never experienced before!

*Click here for the direct reservations link on*

Pictures of Glamping Cueva de las Aguilas
Picture Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Bahia De Las Aguilas

During your stay at the Glamping you have several excursion possibilities including a visit to the beach of Bahia De Las Aguilas. Here you can spend hours snorkeling and sailing among the beautiful rocks. You can take the boat to the Glamping itself.

A little further on, on the other side of the natural park, you can also visit Lago de Oviendo, also called the lake of the flamingos. We personally had no luck when we got there, so inform yourself well about the season or attendance before booking.

Atmopshere pictures of Bahia de las Aguilas
Picture Credits: Cindy Van Dyck

Back to Santo Domingo

After staying at the Glamping for two to three days, you can do the road back to Santo Domingo and also stay there for a few days before heading back home. This is because the vibrant city has a tremendous amount to offer in terms of culinary and cultural experiences!

When planning this return trip (it is a 5 hours drive back to the capital), stop at a local store (called a colmado) or supermarket to bring enough drinks and food for the road. Of course, you can always take a break and stop at a local restaurant with an ocean view!

Atmosphere pictures of La Zona Colonial, Santo Domingo
Picture Credits: Cindy Van Dyck


Although this trip requires quite a few hours on the road, this is truly the most beautiful part of the island. Adventurers, nature lovers and those looking for a unique vacation will certainly find their happiness here!

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