Rio San Juan
Rio San Juan, a lovely fishing and farming town on the North Coast of the Dominican Republic, is an ideal destination for people who love to explore nature, enjoy an authentic Dominican setting and look forward to spend time on some of the most gorgeous beaches the Dominican Republic has to offer. The town, located about 100 km east of Puerto Plata became known for its proximity to the mesmerizing Gri Gri lagoon. With so much to offer, it is no mystery why Rio San Juan has been designated to become the next luxury Dominican holiday destination. I think the best time to enjoy Rio San Juan and its amazing surroundings is right now, before the tourist masses will arrive. more...
Rio San Juan is an authentic Dominican fishing town whose fishermen provide a large part of the north coast of the Dominican Republic with fresh seafood. For me it is always a fascinating and rather romantic sight to watch the unloading of the daily catch. The cozy restaurants close to the beach have no shortage of fresh ingredients to work with as the surrounding fields complement the ocean. The local markets offer an abundance of fresh fruits and vegetables.
An interesting excursion that is being offered in Rio San Juan includes a few hours of fishing combined with a visit to the Gri Gri lagoon and Playa Caleton. I skip the fishing part and get on a boat, which gently glides through the fresh water of the Gri Gri lagoon, the most famous mangrove forest in the Dominican Republic. Its natural canopy is home to the numerous birds we observe flying from branch to branch, their sounds as clear as the shimmering water that surrounds us. Although the Gri Gri lagoon has seen better days, I think it is still very much worth a visit. As far as beaches go, Rio San Juan is truly blessed. I love to go snorkeling and feed pieces of banana to the fish at Playa Caleton, just one of the fine quiet beaches close to town that holds its own against the most celebrated beach in the region, Playa Grande, which is rightfully considered to be one of the most outstanding beaches in the Dominican Republic. Surf lovers will enjoy the fantastic waves, while experienced and novice divers have various exciting diving sites at their disposal.
One sign that Rio San Juan is about to change is the construction of the world- class golf course Playa Grande and some high-end all inclusive resorts that set new standards in luxury and comfort. Experience tells me that it is inevitable that some of the original charm of the Rio San Juan will be lost in the process.
How to get there
Although the Samana International Airport is the nearest airport to Rio San Juan, it is more likely you will fly into Puerto Plata's Gregorio Lupe Ron International Airport or Santiago's CIBA International Airport. Both are relatively close to Rio San Juan from where you take an airport transfer, bus or taxi to your final destination. Flying into Santo Domingo's Las Americas International Airport is an option that involves a long bus ride.
- Dominican Republic International and Domestic Flights
For detailed bus information see: Caribe Tours
While staying in Rio San Juan, renting a car is probably the most convenient way to get around.
Tour and excursions
The hotels and all-inclusive hotels offer tours and excursions, many of which will originate or are located in the larger cities on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, which by themselves make for a great excursion. In the vicinity of Rio San Juan you find many great natural attractions like the Gri Gri Lagoon, Playa Grande, Playa Preciosa, Cueva de las Golondrinas, formed by an 1846 rockslide and the Laguna Dudu, an awkwardly named but really fantastic spot. For a golf excursion I can recommend the Robert Trent Jones-designed Playa Grande 18-hole golf course that is rated by many golf experts as being the best in the Caribbean