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a group of people on a beach

A dreamy weekend away, or a few days of nature devotion: the Dominican Republic has space for it all. Where we talked about cenotes, mountains and paradises before, this week we’re focusing on another natural spectacle: desert grounds. Las dunas de Bani are beautiful sandy dunes in the south of the island, and you definitely need to visit them.

Dominican climate

The Dominican Republic has a tropical rainforest climate, which means that the air is hot, moist and there is lots of heavy rainfall. However, this is one of those unique islands in the Caribbean that consists of a huge variety of climates and weather types. Due to its difference in lowlands and mountainous areas, the Dominican Republic’s climate is the most varied in all the Antilles. This means that you get temperature averages from 18 degrees Celsius to 40 degrees Celsius! For example, where Punta Cana has a monsoon climate, areas as little as an hour to the west have savanna climates!

Las Dunas de Bani

Because of the huge variation in climate and topography, many different landscapes exist within the Dominican Republic. One of these is Las Dunas de Bani, a desert or dune field located in Las Calderas Peninsula, about an hour west from Santo Domingo. Las Dunas de Bani is a special area, seen as very dreamy and calming. The dune field goes through a straight line of 15 kilometres of very smooth sand, formed by a natural phenomenon that started in the Pleistocene. You’re walking on history.

The (free) park opens at 8 in the morning and closes at 6 in the afternoon, during which you can enjoy the waving dunegrass and swim at the local beach. Try to spot a cute local lizard or even a flamingo! This is a great place for a good beach hike or climbing to the top of the highest dune (35m) and watching the ocean. Be prepared and take food, enough drink water and sunscreen! It’s not a very touristy place, so there won’t be many stands or venders.

In the area of Las Dunas de Bani

As the area of the dunes can be very hot – there’s no shade – it’s better to not stay in the sun too long. Combine your trip with a walk, wearing a protective hat and shoes or slippers (bare feet won’t do in the hot sand) or a trip to capital Santo Domingo! Or, if you’re on your way even close to the 31st of March, combine your trip with a fun Reggaetón concert in La Romana, where Wisin Y Yandel are performing. Visit La Toma, where they created a cute waterpark from a river – much cooler water than the ocean, perfect after a day in the heat! From Punta Cana, it’s about a 3 hour and 45 min drive to las dunas de Bani, so better make a few good days out of it and explore the surroundings. Have fun!

We can’t wait to see your magical dune pics. Tag us using #bopplaces or @bestofpuntacanaofficial!