The Barahona Province with its capital Santa Cruz de Barahona is one of these special Dominican destinations I often recommend to my friends who like to experience parts of the Dominican Republic that are not yet discovered by mass tourism. The region’s pristine coastline, national parks, lakes and abundance of (endemic) flora and fauna make it an ideal location for almost any type of vacationing. more...
The incredible raw beauty of the undeveloped beaches, like the totally isolated beach of Bahia de Las Aguilas, the Barahona- Enriquillo coastal highway that has been described as one of the most scenic and spectacular coastal roads in the Caribbean and the proximity to 5 spectacular national parks and various mountain forests, make this region one of the best kept secrets of the Caribbean.
The Barahona region boasts the greatest biodiversity of the Dominican Republic thanks to the fact that large parts of the South West used to be a seperate island, which was united with the mainland of Hispaniola by a massive seismological event.
Santa Cruz de Barahona, the largest city on the South West coast, located about 200 km west of Santo Domingo serves as a convenient stop-over on route to the many wonderful coastal villages and hotels on the South West coast. The remarkable leader of the Haitian revolution Toussaint-L’Ouverture founded the town in 1802. Years later Barahona became the centre of the countries sugar industry until the international sugar market collapsed. The town never managed to transform into a significant tourist destination.
In this part of the Dominican Republic you will not find a lot of 4 or 5 star luxury hotels. This is understandable since Dominican tourists and nature experts are still the largest group of people that currently visit the South West of the Dominican Republic. I always say that the lack of tourists and tourist facilities are also some of the key assets of this destination. Barahona and its wonderful people are authentic and never stop to surprise and amaze me. I do recommend making hotel reservations ahead of time.
Only a few (private, domestic, chartered) flights arrive at Barahona International Airport María Montéz (BRX). I always fly to Santo Domingo’s International Airport Las Americas (SDQ) where I rent a car since reaching Barahona by car is easy (West bound on the Sanchez Highway) and does not require a 4x4 driven vehicle. There are busses that run directly from Santo Domingo to Barahona. Here you can take a taxi to your hotel.
For bus information see Caribe Tours
Tours and excursions
There are many outstanding nature and outdoor sports related activities you can partake in. Some attractions, like the little town Los Patos and San Rafael as well as the Larimar mines are relatively close to the city of Barahona. I found that arranging for an excursion with a professional tour company to some of the top attractions in the region like Lago Enriquillo, Bahia de las Aguilas, Laguna Oviedo, the cloud forest of Cachote or Laguna Oviedo, saved me a lot of driving and provided me with a wealth of information that I otherwise would have missed out on.
In our Debbie meets section you can read about my meeting with Johan Guyot, from ECO Tour Barahona.