The South-Central Coast
- 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
East of Santo Domingo lie the city-dweller’s quick-getaway towns—Boca Chica, Guayacanes, Juan Dolio, and San Pedro de Macorís—a slow-paced region complete with comfortable accommodation choices, local charm, beautiful beaches, and splendid golf courses.
Here, Old World pastoral meets present-day tourism where the verdant, waving fields of sugarcane stand beside new golf courses and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean beaches are enjoyed without the super-heavy tourist traffic of other regions. This precarious balance between country life and international tourism makes this region an increasingly popular destination.
Historically devoted to the production of sugar and cattle raising, the South-Central Coast’s popularity had not been on a consistent upswing until recently. While plantations and ranches still exist, the ever-expanding tourism industry is stretching its long arms to grapple plantation owners for their fertile inland acreage and the seaside locals for their white-sand properties along the Caribbean beachfront. Easy accessibility has aided in the growth of tourism in this region as well. For the most part, people arriving here fly into the Las Américas airport, but both Las Américas international airport and the airport at La Romana serve the resorts here. The proximity to Santo Domingo makes these towns easy day-trip options for those using the capital as home base.
Whether you are fleeing the heat of the city or arriving directly by airplane, you are sure to find a leisurely escape from your regular routine here. Spend your days in the shallow, warm waters of Boca Chica, the all-inclusive resorts of Juan Dolio, or the picture-postcard beaches of Guayacanes. At night cheer on the baseball players in the world-famous Tetelo Vargas Stadium in San Pedro de Macorís or enjoy one of the many casinos in the all-inclusive resorts.
Sea lovers will find diving and snorkeling options along this stretch of coastline, in some of its coral reefs just offshore and shipwrecks where the clear, calm waters provide a perfect stage for viewing various creatures in their natural habitats. Land lovers can explore the limestone caves that litter the coastline and feature Taíno drawings.
If you’re looking for the best of this stretch to spend a few days, head to Juan Dolio for a truly relaxing vacation. Boca Chica, even with its shallow and enticing bath-warm water, has become clogged with sex-tourism. Turning a blind eye to it for a few hours is one thing, but trying to spend your entire vacation in a vacuum of denial is impossible. To feel the buzz of a bustling Dominican city outside of the capital, head to a baseball game in San Pedro de Macorís.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition