25 Best Hikes in the Dominican Republic + Hidden Gems

Hiking in the Dominican Republic is a must if you’re an outdoors lover. This island is full of exciting natural wonders, perfect for travelers looking for a gorgeous adventure and connection with nature on their trip. Hiking is one of my favorite things to do in the Dominican Republic!

From waterfalls to secret caves to lush jungles and sprawling beaches, our Dominican Republic hiking trails are unlike any experience you will have anywhere else. Some spots are so unique that you must book a guide to access them. We’ve included those hiking tours, too!

Best Hikes in the Dominican Republic to Explore

1. La Ciénega to el Pico Duarte 

Welcome to the tallest mountain in the Caribbean! El Pico Duarte hiking trail is long and challenging but boasts epic views, making it one of the best hikes in the Dominican Republic. Hiking La Ciénega-Pico Duarte takes 2-3 days with a few rocky and muddy areas to watch out for (if it rains). The elevation gain here is an impressive 10,383 feet. If possible, take advantage of the sunrise here; it is breathtaking!

  • Level: Hard because it’s long
  • Length: 27 miles (out-and-back)
  • Tours: We have Pico Duarte tours
  • Price: Starting at $250.00

2. Cañón de Río Blanco

One of the best kept secrets is the adventure to the Rio Blanco Canyon. A place full of beautiful landscapes, waterfalls and crystal clear waters. The tour begins with the challenge of the steep climb of the Palomino Hydroelectric Dam. As you go up, you will be rewarded with breathtaking views as you continue hiking along in this paradise. Upon reaching the foot of the Gajo de Toro Hill, you will find an gorgeous place to camp, with natural spring water and the river in front (for a dip).

The fun part is when you climb the hill to reach the viewpoint of the mountain range, where you can see Pico Duarte and then go down to the Rio Blanco Canyon where the beauty of its puddles and waterfalls will make it impossible for you not to want to jump.

  • Tours: Contact Joan Carrasco at (829)703-1666 via Whatsapp
  • Difficulty: Moderate

3. La Plaza (Barahona)

La Plaza hiking trail will take you through dozens of natural ceruleanblue pools, surrounded by lush vegetation and stone formations. This trail takes about 6 hours to complete but offers spectacular views. However, it is NOT easy. It’s like an all natural game course. You have to hope, crawl, splash your way through.

In addition to the pools, hikers can watch for local birds, explore caves, and learn about the massive Javilla trees. Bring your waterproof gear and a towel to cool off in the waterfalls along the way! And be careful of the centipedes!

This hike can easily be combined with the next one (La Cueva).

4. La Cueva de la Virgen 

Cueva de la Virgen is a beautiful short trail in Barahona with so much natural beauty. Hikers will walk along crystal-clear rivers and lush forests until reaching a cave with a ladder. It’s like something out of a movie! Then you go inside the cave to see a cute waterfall and tall rock formations.

Go with a guide on a tour like this one. With this 7-hour experience, you can see all the natural beauty of Cueva de la Virgen safely and efficiently. Do NOT leave your car or motoconcho unattended. Pay someone to watch it.

5. Rio Partido 

Hiking to Rio Partido is an unforgettable experience you must add to your itinerary of things to do in the Dominican Republic. This magical river is hidden in the province of Hermanas Mirabel, with breathtaking falls that can be difficult to access. Booking a guide to help you navigate the river and cave to avoid mishaps and take you into secret areas you’d never know were there. This Full-Day Trip to Rio Partido starts from Palma Hérrada, with a 25-minute walk to the Rio Partido and then another hour to get to the cave. 

6. Limon Waterfall in Samana 

Even though it can get crowded during peak times, Limon Waterfall was one of my highlight experiences in Samana. There are a few ways to get up the mountain to this natural wonder: hiking or horseback riding. And there are also many different trails. I loved the coffee trail on horseback and then lightly hiking the rest of the way.

Please note that the waterfall’s cascade can depend on recent weather patterns.

Limon Waterfall Tours:

  1. From Punta Cana, this full-day tour takes you to El Limón waterfall after traveling through the countryside of Las Cañitas and along the coastline of breathtaking Dominican Republic beaches. A catamaran ride will transport you to Samaná, where you’ll board a safari truck to drive to the top of the 2,100 ft mountain! You’ll end with horseback riding to El Limón and then a small walk/hike.
  1. If you’re already in the Samana region, you can book this horseback Riding to Salto el Limon. Horseback riding to El Limón is an unbelievable experience that can only be done with a tour guide. This tour gives you five beaches to choose from, with about 70 minutes of horseback riding and 45 minutes of relaxing. Bring your swim gear so you can take a dip, and note that food is not included in the tour price but is available for an extra fee. 
  1. I also really loved going on this horseback coffee trail with Santi, who leads high-quality tours and offers a delicious lunch at the end of your excursion in his restaurant space. 
  2. Lastly, this NGO works to improve the lives of local families and children’s education. You can support their mission by going on their tours here.

7. Hike to Boca del Diablo “Mouth of the Devil” + Fronton Beach Samana

Boca del Diablo, nicknamed the ‘mouth of the devil,’ is a stunning cavern with a vent that allows massive waves to crash and blast through the rocks. The effect is a cloud of salty seawater that puts on quite a show! This tour will start by hiking to Boca del Diablo and then another 1 hr and 30 minutes to Fronton Beach, one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic. You get to walk through peaceful coconut forests to get there, and the water has so many colors- it’s incredible. 

8. Hike Anamuya Mountain in Cotubanamá National Park 

Leaving from Punta Cana, beginners and small groups will love this tour exploring the Anamuya Mountains. Your guide will spend 4 hours showing you the beautiful lush mountain landscape bursting with island flora and fauna. Birdwatching equipment is included so you can look out for wildlife on the trail. This is not a swimming tour, so wear comfortable clothes and bring sunscreen, sun protection, and water.  

9. Salto de la Jalda 

Salto de la Jalda is the largest waterfall in the Caribbean! Also leaving from Punta Cana, this hike will take you on an adventurous hike through the biggest plantations of the Cacao forest on the island. Led by Native Tour guides, you’ll learn about the Dominican culture and the area’s rich history. The trail is shaded almost the entire way to keep you cool, but still, bring lots of water!

As the tallest in the Caribbean, Salto de la Jalda is on our list of the best waterfalls in the Dominican Republic to visit.

10. Los 27 Charcos de Damajagua en Puerto Plata

Puerto Plata is one of the most vibrant cities in the Dominican Republic, settled on the northern coast and filled with natural wonders such as mountains, beaches, valleys, and rivers. One of the best parts of this area is the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua (27 Charcos). The below tours give you ample opportunity to explore them. 

  1. The 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua HALF-Day Hiking Tour: Start at the visitor’s center with a delicious Dominican meal before traveling to 27 Charcos. You’ll be provided life jackets and helmets to stay safe as you climb, slide, and swim around 7 of the 27 waterfalls. There is a lot of climbing and cliff jumping involved, so be prepared to get your exercise. 
  2. The 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua Full-Day Trip: This FULL-day experience will allow you to jump, slide, and scale 12 of the 27 waterfalls. This experience also includes admission to Runners Adventure in Puerto Plata, a jungle adventure at La Romona, one of the most popular resorts in the Dominican Republic. Lunch is included and water, but this is a long day so bring extra water!  
  3. Jenny Checo @AtlasTravelers also hosts tours here!

11. Los Haitises National Park 

Los Haitises National Park is a unique hiking trail in the Dominican Republic since most visitors only travel through boat here. This region attracts thousands yearly for it’s natural landscapes which resemble something out of Southeast Asia! Travelers arrive by boat to see the lush mangroves, high rock formations, and a series of caves with markings from our Taino ancestors!

There’s a lot more to see, and on this Rainforest and Private Boat Tour, visitors will hike the rainforest and explore three caves with ancient paintings! Super unique opportunity!

12. Parque Nacional Valle Neuvo (COLD)

Valle Nuevo National Park (Parque Nacional Valle Neuvo) is a beautiful nature preserve in the Dominican Republic with several routes to experience rare plants, local birds, and mountain views. Valle Encantado via Alto de Bandera trail is a 9.1-mile out-and-back hike taking nearly 5 hours through the Alto de Bandera Mountains and into the rainforests of the Encantado Valley.

Fun fact: That pyramid (Piráide Ciciópea) is not ancient. It was originally built in honor of one of our crazy dictators (Rafael Trujillo) back in 1958. This area is also known as the “fridge” (La Nevera), because the weather can drop below zero here! It is supposedly located smack dab in the center of the Cordillera mountains.

  • Level: Hard
  • Length: 9.1-12.8 miles; out-and-back
  • Tours: Contact Safari Constanza at (829) 928-0377 (through Whatsapp) 
  • Best Hotel: Villa Pajon

13. Hike El Tabernáculo

Hidden in San Cristobal, the hiking trail to El Tabernáculo Waterfall is perfect for adrenaline seekers and a must-add to your things to do in Santo Domingo.

Hiking tours in this area include swimming, hiking, and climbing, usually taking about 3 to 4 hours to complete. Swimming is mandatory on these routes, but lifejackets are provided to all guests. Be prepared for the water to be cold, and bring a spare change of clothes for later. 

14. Los Tres Ojos

Are you looking for another activity to add to your Santo Domingo itinerary? Los Tres Ojos (Thee Eyes National Park) may not be your typical hiking experience, but the number of steps you need to scale to get there will get your heart pumping.

This 50-yard open limestone cave is stunning, features four unique cenote “eyes” with turquoise hues that look like eyes when the sun hits. Los Tres Ojos is one of the most visited tourist attractions, so it may get crowded at certain times of the day. 

  • Price: $5 per person
  • Transportation: The best way to get here is an Uber. 
  • Book tour here or easily go on your own

15. Rio Nizao Hike 

The Nizao River is one of the most gorgeous rivers on the island and is terrific to hike through. The colors are beautiful emerald greens, with natural pools shooting off in all directions and breathtaking panoramic views of the mountains. Rio Nizao is in the community of Los Cacaos and is a wonderful place to reconnect with nature. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to swim–lifejackets are provided!

16. La Taína Waterfall 

Jetting from the heart of the mountains in the San Cristobal Province, La Taína Waterfall is magical, ranking high on the list of the most beautiful Dominican Republic waterfalls. There are several hiking trails to get to this hidden gem, passing through valleys, natural pools, caves, and more. This is a great waterfall to hike if you want to avoid crowds–it’s one of the least visited waterfalls on the island!

17. Charco dos Aguas 

Another gem located in San Jose de Ocoa is the crystal clear waters of Charco dos Aguas. You pass the Jiguey avocado dam and beautiful orange grove on the way here. There are many ascends and descends along the way, but the view is worth it. You are indeed out in the wilderness here, with no bathrooms, places to buy food, or cell phone service!

  • Tours: Find tours in town or through your hotel

18. Valle de Dios 

Avid hikers may love this challenging route in San Cristóbel near Los Cacaos. Valle de Dios is perfect for bird watching, backpacking, camping, and testing your hiking abilities. There are many slopes to navigate, and hiking poles are recommended if you have them. A beautiful red stream flows along this route, one of the few red rivers in the world. There is little to no shade, so bring sunblock and sun protection. 

  • Level: Hard
  • Length: 7.4 miles; out-and-back

19. Toro Flaco Waterfall Hike 

Toro Flaco Waterfall is one of the more unique waterfalls in San José de Ocoa due to its interesting structure. This guided hike from Bonao is easy and relaxing, taking about 40 minutes to get to the falls. With a guided tour, you can explore other areas of the park and pair your tour with delicious Dominican meals to fuel your trip. Be prepared to carry helmets, lifejackets, and other equipment on your hike. 

20. Baiguate Waterfall 

We love this trail for a quick and easy hike that boasts big rewards for natural beauty. The 0.5-mile out-and-back hike to Baiguate Waterfall is located in Jarabacoa. And it only takes 6 minutes to get to a safe, paved trail that leads to the beautiful waterfall. (Yes–you can swim here!) The best way to access the trail is to get dropped off by a taxi at the entrance and pair it with other amazing things to do in Jarabocoa.

  • Level: Easy peasy
  • Length: 0.5 miles; 12 minutes
  • Taxi Number: (809) 902-4870 (Diogenes) 

21. Salto de Aguas Blancas

Valle Nuevo National Park is also home to the Salto de Aguas Blancas Waterfalls and is full of hiking opportunities. With this Valle Nuevo tour, you’ll explore the lush tropical forests leading up to the Salto de Aguas Blancas falls while learning about the unique biodiversity. The trail can be rocky in places. Be careful with the ledge! On these tours, the more people you bring, the lower the price!

  • Level: Easy
  • Length: Half Day 
  • Tours: Salto de Aguas Blancas Hiking Trip 
  • Price: $132 per person ($16 per person ) 

22. Socoa Waterfall Monte Plata 

We love the waterfalls at Monte Plata! This is an amazing place to rest, swim, and relax with friends and family while gazing at the tallest falls in the area–Socoa Waterfall. The water here is stunning turquoise and incredibly clear. Some tours will take you to all the falls in Monte Plata, so you can really get the most out of your trip. 

23. El Morro de Monte Cristi 

El Morro de Monte Cristi is a national park with several beaches, islands, and natural pools to explore. And you can also hike El Morro, if you’re looking for amazing views of mighty mountains along Atlantic beach shores. Here, you’ll witness tall limestone outcrops with an elevation of 794 feet that gives you spectacular views.

You’re only ten minutes from town, and several local companies host excursions through the park’s mangroves and lagoons by boat. Which I HIGHLY recommend doing. At night, I hear you can catch epic views of the night sky here.

  • Tours: Find tours in town or through your hotel or Airbnb
  • Length: Quick, depends on how far you wander
  • Best hotel: Hotel Santa Clara

24. Sand Dunes of Bani + Sandboarding 

The Dominican Republic has deserts and dunes that are a ton of fun to hike and explore. This tour will first lead you to the natural salt pans before hitting the dunes of Bani. They are quite a climb! If you want, you can try your hand at standing or sitting on sandboards to cruise down the dunes, with a certified instructor ready to help. For a unique experience, try visiting Playa El Derrumbao on your hike, where you can watch fish and coral underwater. 

25. Pico Diego de Ocampo 

This 9.3-mile trail sits north of Santiago on the highest point at Cordillera Septentrional. Be prepared for a steep and narrow path when hiking in this area (the descent is steeper than the ascent), with dense forest all around. Bird watchers will love this hike, with local birds such as American Kestrels, Scaly-naped Pigeons, Hispaniolan Parakeets, and more. Reservations are required to hike Pico Diego de Ocampo.

  • Level: Easy- Moderate
  • Length: 9.3 miles (point-to-point)
  • Tours: Call the Sociedad Ecológica del Cibao (SOECI) for reservations (809-247-3833)  

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