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a beach with a mountain in the background

Just like a famous child by this name, the North West Dominican Republic region has lots to offer the world (although we can’t be sure about the baby’s part in this sentence). The North West of the Dominican Republic is all stunning coast and lush mountain ranges – be sure to pay a visit. We’ve listed them all together, so when you’re in the area, you know where to go!

Far North West Dominican Republic: Monte Cristi

Monte Cristi is about as far as you can get from Punta Cana, located in the far north west of the Dominican Republic, while Punta Cana is down in the South East. While it’s on the other side of the country, the drive takes about 6 hours total. This island is not too crazy big to explore! Monte Cristi lies next to the border with Haiti and consists of a beautiful national park, containing many beaches, lagoons, mangroves and limestone mesa. Next to this, it’s a beautiful place to dive and snorkel, as there are many, many shipwrecks lying on the ocean floor between Monte Cristi and Puerto Plata. Yikes. A good warning to stay away from boats, here!

Punta Rucia

From Monte Cristi, it’s about an hour and a half to Punta Rucia, a coastal dream! On the border of two regions, Puerto Plata and Monte Cristi, lies this cape and stunning beach. A small fishing village, you can walk around here, eat a well prepared lunch of that day’s fresh catches, and simply relax. Don’t forget to hire a local guide and visit Cayo Arena, the paradisiacal island 20 minutes off the coast of Punta Rucia! Think: light turquoise waters and an uninhibited island.

Check our full article on Punta Rucia for insiders tips on where to sleep!

Puerto Plata

Another two hours of driving and you find yourself in Puerto Plata City, the oldest city in the north! This cute city has that colonial look, to a background of great mount Isabel de Torres. Visit the fort and soak up Dominican history, go by the ancient glass-stained church and visit the interesting museums Puerto Plata has to offer. Oh, and don’t forget to take the cable car up the mountain! North West Dominican Republic isn’t holding back on its panoramic views.

Santiago de los Caballeros

Big city time! An hour and a half away from colonial Puerto Plata lies Santiago de Los Caballeros, or, the Heart City. Stock up on your rum & cigars – or just learn about them. This city is incredibly fertile and provides everything that made the Dominican Republic famous! Visit the city’s museums, parks and historical buildings and sip from some good coffee (or iced coffee) along the way – this is the Dominican city life. Enjoy!

Parque Nacional Armando Bermudez

From city life to wild living, we in the DR bring you everything from beaches, lagoons, mangroves, colonial towns and big city rum, to a glorious and wild park that’s mainly mountains. Parque Nacional Armando Bermudez is hard to reach and we recommend a guide and a fourwheeldrive. From Jarabocao, about an hour and fifteen minutes away from Santiago de Los Caballeros, you can travel into the park with your local guide. Since the park includes the highest peak in the Caribbean, don’t expect summery weather! There are many camping areas and treks available throughout this beautiful park, so we recommend staying a few nights. For adventurers, this one!

Have you visited North West Dominican Republic yet? Let us know at @bestofpuntacanaofficial!

Photo: Monte Cristi Playa El Morro made by Jeremy Dills