South Coast Pearls: Barahona & Bahia de las Aguilas

It’s one of the most important cities on the island, with a very active port and many ecotourism attractions. The city is also a center of sugar production and industries.

The surrounding landscape is the real draw. The incredible natural environment includes mountains, lakes, interesting vegetation, and gorgeous coastlines. The remote and hidden beaches are the prettiest you'll see in the Dominican Republic.

The largest protected area in the country, Parque National Jaraqua, contains Laguna Oviedo, which is home to over 60 bird species, including the countries largest population of flamingos. Parque National Isla Cabritos, contains Lago Enriquillo, the largest salt water lake in the Antilles, located 45 meters below sea level, home of the American Crocodile. Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco is a mountainous park with rainforest vegetation. It’s within this park that you can also visit the Larimar mines, which are located 40 km south of Barahona.

This is the Far West of the Dominican Republic, a place that stands out for its panoramic scenery, surfing beaches, biodiversity, forests and birdwatching. The inland provinces of Bahoruco and Independencia and coastal Barahona make up this destination in the southwest. While places may appear to be close to each other on the map, this is in fact a very large area covering around 3,000 square miles (around 7,500 km2) requiring several days to see its spread out attractions.

Most visitors will arrive by land but charter flights can also be arranged into the María Montez International Airport (BRX).

Bahia de las Aguilas

Literally "Eagles Bay", Bahia de las Aguilas is an 8 km long beach along the southwestern coast of the Dominican Republic near the southernmost part of the border with Haiti. The bay is part of the Jaragua National Park, and it is considered by many Dominicans (and visitors as well) as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

The thing that visitors like the most about this beach, is that is totally isolated. 323 km from Santo Domingo and approximately 25 km from Pedernales(the nearest town) this beach is a true oasis in the middle of the deserted steppe of the park. Departing from Pedernales, one gets to a small village called "La Cueva" (literally "The Cave") named so because of the numerous caves surrounding the village, where up until 2007, used to be occupied by local fishermen. La Cueva is located on a tip of land called Cabo Rojo ( Red Cape/Point).

Sand Dunes of Baní 

The sand dunes of Baní are unique in the Caribbean, they are located in the south of Baní, about an hour from the capital Santo Domingo, in Las Calderas Bay.

Bani Dunes covers about 15 km along the Caribbean Sea and up to 35 meters high, it is possible to walk in the dunes and along the Caribbean Sea for hours (do not forget water, a hat and closed shoes because the sand is very hot).

The desert landscape of sand, cactus and other shrubs contrasts with the rest of the country. Baní Dunes are a protected area since 1996, there is an official entry but you can also park along the road and walk through the dunes.

Baní Dunes and Las Calderas Bay possess a unique biodiversity in the Caribbean.