Bahía de las Águilas: The Most Pristine Dominican Beach

A strip of pristing white sand with calm turquoise water stretching into the distance.

The beautiful stretch of beach at Bahía de las Águilas. Photo © Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism.

Map of The Southwest, Dominican Republic

The Southwest

This is the most pristine beach in the entire Dominican Republic. It is also one of the hardest to get to, in the middle of nowhere. Getting there is half the adventure, but the payoff is out of this world.

To get to it, first you must travel along the road to Pedernales, but turn off about 12 kilometers before Pedernales at Cabo Rojo (Red Cape), where the land is literally red and surreal against the larimar-blue water of its shallow beach. From the highway, take the marked turnoff for Cabo Rojo, which curves around near where a large American bauxite mining facility has trucks speeding over the road (be very careful). Follow the sign directing you to veer left to Bahía de las Águilas. You’ll end up in a tiny fishing community called Las Cuevas (The Caves). Up until a couple of years ago, the people of Las Cuevas had their homes inside the caves of the cliffs in an effort to stay cool in the oppressive heat of the area. They are very friendly, and at a small Ministry of Environment shack you can arrange for a fisherman to take you and your party to the remote beach. Standard cost to enter the park is US$1.50 per person. The beach is completely unspoiled with absolutely no facilities, so make sure to take plenty of water and munchies and return to Las Cuevas with your garbage to help maintain its pristine state for the next visitor.

Rancho Tipico (tel. 809/753-8058), in Las Cuevas, is a restaurant/bar serving fresh seafood and beverages as well as a place to hire a boat captain to take you to Bahía de las Águilas. Typical price is US$45 to take up to six people on the boat ride. The price goes down per person the more you have in your party. They will arrange with you how long you would like to stay and come back to pick you up.

EcoTour Barahona (tel. 809/243-1190, US$70) arranges excursions complete with transportation from your hotel if making the drive seems a bit daunting. They provide lunch and will take you snorkeling as well.

You can camp on Bahía de las Águilas, but keep in mind, your tent will be your only shelter. Abide by the rules of responsible ecotravel: leave no footprint. The threat of commercial development looms constantly, but preservationists thankfully fight against it. Visit it before the big hotels succeed in their encroachment.

Excerpted from the Fourth Edition of Moon Dominican Republic.

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