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Best Hiking Trails in Dominican Republic

Overview

Known more for cheap all-inclusive vacations, Dominican Republic has mountains throughout the country that are ripe for exploration, including the highest peak in the Caribbean, Pico Duarte.  The main areas for hiking in the Dominican Republic include the Central Highlands, near Santiago, which have been referred to as the Dominican Alps.  Many national parks in these mountains including Valle Nuevo National Park, and hikes to Pico Duarte, El Mogote and Loma Quito Espuela.  Other areas include mountains near Puerto Plata, on the Samana Peninsula and Pedernales Peninsula. The best months to hike in the Dominican Republic are November to July, but this varies depending on the region.  Read on for more information on where and when to go hiking in the Dominican Republic. 

Capital: Santo Domingo

When To Hike in Dominican Republic?

November – July: Best month varies according to region; winter and summer months are good everywhere
August – October: Rainy and risk of hurricanes in all regions

Climate: Mild Tropical – which means a hot, rainy season and a cool, drier season but less so compared with other tropical zone countries.  Temps steady throughout the year.

 

Dominican Republic Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium: There doesn’t seem to be much of a hiking culture here; there aren’t many established trails; you have to go with a guide in many places and there are restrictions in some parks. Best thing to do is contact guides wherever you’re based

Transportation required: Vehicle required to access most hikes

Where to stay in Dominican Republic for hiking:

  • Jarabacoa
  • Constanza
  • Santiago
  • Puerto Plata

Top Places to Hike in Dominican Republic

There are four main mountain ranges: Cordillera Central – (highest and most rugged), Cordillera Septentrional, Sierra de Neiba, and Sierra de Bahoruco. Similar to other Caribbean countries, Dominican Republic is not really a hiking destination, despite there being lots of opportunity. Highest Mountain: Pico Duarte (3087 m)

Filter out hiking places of Dominican Republic by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Península de Pedernales

  • Nov – July
  • Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahuroco – known for biodiversity and part of Jaragua-Bahuroco Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve
  • Around Paraiso
  • Cachóte’s Cloud Forest – mountainous but restricted in terms of trails and access

Península de Samaná

  • Dec – Apr
  • Small peninsula jutting out that is mountainous, Sierra de Samaná
  • El Punto

Cordillera Septentrional

  • Dec – July
  • Mountain range running on the northern side of the island
  • Parque Nacional Isabel de Torres – right next to Puerto Plata
  • Diego de Ocampo hike – an hour from Santiago

Central Highlands

  • Dec – Mar; July
  • Cordillera Central – the term ‘Dominican Alps’ has been bandied about to describe these mountains; Santiago main city 
  • Parque Nacional Armando Bermúdez 
  • Parque Nacional José del Carmen Ramirez
  • Pico Duarte, highest peak
  • El Mogote
  • Parque Nacional Valle Nuevo
  • Jarabacoa & Constanza are two good bases for the area
  • Hike to top of Loma Quita Espuela 
  • El Parque Nacional Máximo Gómez – at the very southern end of the Central Highlands

Dominican Republic's Long Distance Trails

  • Pico Duarte is a 2 day trek to the peak

Dominican Republic's Walking & Hiking Resources

Dominican Republic Hiking Books:

  • Lonely Planet Dominican Republic, by Ashley Harrell, Kevin Raub, 2017, Lonely Planet Global Limited
  • Dominican Republic Adventure Guide, by Fe Liza Bencosme, 2007, Hunter Publishing 

 

Best Hiking Trails in Dominican Republic:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices, as there are no published guidebooks:

  • Pico Duarte
  • El Mogote
  • Loma Quita Espuela
  • Diego de Ocampo
  • Parque Nacional Valle Nuevo trails
  • Charcos de Los Militares

Easy Hiking Trails in Dominican Republic:

  • Padro Nuestro trail
  • Parque Nacional Los Haitises

 

Dominican Republic Hiking Websites:

 

Dominican Republic Weather Website:

 

Dominican Republic Official Tourism Organizations:

 

Dominican Republic Hiking Apps:

 

Maps:

What Else To Do

  • Beaches
  • Baseball
  • Whale watching in Peninsula de Samana

Other Important Points

  • Remember that Pico Duarte is quite high so must be prepared for cold weather