- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
Divers can explore the colonial galleons offshore or go diving around Los Cayos de los Siete Hermanos. If you’re not planning on staying in the Monte Cristi area but are still interested in diving here, many of the dive companies along the north coast offer day trips to Monte Cristi, so you won’t miss out on the opportunity to see its coral reefs and sunken ships.
Other sporting options, like deep-sea fishing and excursions to Haiti, can be booked through the Restaurant El Bistrot (Calle San Fernando 26, tel. 809/579-2091, www.elbistrot.com), a hotel and restaurant that has rental equipment and excursion options like a trip through old Monte Cristi, to the salt mines, to the mangroves, or out to Los Siete Hermanos. Starting price for all excursions is US$45.
It is possible to ask any boat captain on the beach of Playa Juan de Bolaños if they are willing to take you out in their vessels, but at Club Nautico (road to El Morro, tel. 809/579-2530) you can talk to the men at the entrance and they will help you find a boat captain with a more seaworthy craft, complete with life vests and working radar, to arrange a deep-sea fishing excursion. The price will depend on the owner of the boat as these are all independent captains docked in the marina. You are sure to catch something in these waters since tourism hasn’t quite caught up with Monte Cristi.
Expect to pay about RD$1,200 for a deep-sea fishing excursion. These captains are also willing to take you out for diving, but as a ride only; you have to provide your own equipment. It is best to arrange with a captain one day in advance so that they have time to ready their boat for the trip. Club Nautico has a cafeteria where they serve simple meals. Always ask to see the life vests before getting into the boat, and agree on the price before commencing with the trip. Tipping guides is customary.
Hostal San Fernando (road to El Morro, tel. 809/579-2249, hostalsanfernando [at] hotmail [dot] com, ecomarinamontecristi.com, website in Spanish only) offers snorkeling, diving, and city tours. Their diving package is US$150 per day and includes equipment, transportation to Los Siete Hermanos, and room and board at their hotel. In the snorkeling trips you’ll be taken to all seven of the islands at Los Cayos de los Siete Hermanos, where you can snorkel at a couple of spots (US$320 per group of up to 12 people). Their city tour takes you to the cemetery, shows you the Victorian architecture and the salt mines, lets you sample some of the gastronomy that Monte Cristi is known for, and takes you to the La Casa de Máximo Gómez.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition