A dynamic island overflowing with untamed natural beauty—it’s no wonder the Dominican Republic is one of the most visited countries in the Caribbean. New experiences hide behind every corner of the DR’s rich cultural heritage and lush tropical landscapes.
While the spectacular ocean views, bustling beaches and all-inclusive beachfront resorts are enough a reason for visiting, these extreme sports will make anyone view the DR from a new perspective.
Travelers in the Dominican Republic will find hiking opportunities for all skill levels, with many large parks offering guided or solo tours of the rainforests. The Isabel de Torres Trail in Puerto Plata is an excellent place to start but those looking for a challenge should head north to the small town of Magua for a hike to the tallest waterfall in the Caribbean. After a 4.5-hour hike (or a 2.5-hour horseback ride), visitors will be greeted by the impressive El Salto de La Jalda waterfall.
When visiting the island’s northern coast, make a stop in Cabarete—known as the Dominican Republic’s kitesurfing capital. With mild winds, waves and practically no hazards in the water, the conditions here are ideal for the sport, no matter what level of experience you have.
Due to kitesurfing’s popularity in the area, it’s easy to find rental equipment and additional help as a beginner. Start with Laurel Eastman Kiteboarding and the self described “Caribbean Eco Sustainable Sports Adventure Resort,”Extreme Hotel Cabarete for lessons and guidance.
As a one-stop resource for all your eco-tourism needs, Extreme Hotel Cabarete also offers surf lessons and the same conditions that make kitesurfing such a blast in Cabarete also apply to this more classical iteration of the sport.
Visitors in Cabarete who are new to surfing can hop on their boards and get a feel for the waves when they take lessons at the Extreme Hotel or the famed Cabarete Surf Club. Meanwhile, experienced surfers should check out the challenging waves at La Preciosa in Río San Juan.
Head to Jarabacoa for a less demanding, but no less exciting extreme sport—whitewater rafting. The comfy hotel, Rancho Baiguate, offers adventure tours that are the go-to for many for navigating the wild rapids of the Yaque del Norte River.
If you want to take in the Yaque del Norte from another angle, consider canyoning.Rancho Baiguate offers canyoning expeditions in Jarabacoa, where professional guides train visitors on the proper technique for rappelling down a waterfall. Once that training gets put into practice, canyoners have the chance to see the DR in a whole new light.