Camping in the Dominican Republic is interesting. You don’t have the same kind of predetermined camp sites you’d find in North America, but free camping, European style, is also not advised.
We don’t recommend just pitching your tent anywhere in this country, it isn’t illegal, but it isn’t so safe either. However, there are a few key and beautiful spots on the island that are ideal for doing so.
We’ve put together a list of tested and true camping areas around the island. Camping in these spots will allow you to visit the whole island on a budget with a gazillion star rating ;)
Camping in the Dominican Republic
It’s not the easiest camping spot to get to, but it’s definitely the most remote. It’s a 7 hour hike up to the camping area. You can choose to either camp 2 hours from the peak of the mountain or in the valley. Both are completely unique.
Suggested Tour company: Iguana Mama
Between Jarabacoa and La Vega is a small town called Bayacanes. Nestled in a natural setting near a river, this Eco hostel offers a bed and room, or space outside for your tent. On the land is their own little farm where they grow all sorts of fruits and veggies that can be purchased by giving a contribution to the house. Great people, peaceful place.
Facebook: Aldea Ecologica
In the South West of the island where tourist hasn’t hit as hard, there’s a small surf town called Bahoruco where it’s possible and popular to camp right on the beach under a tree next to the river. It’s not part of a hotel or anything, but here the locals do look out for their visitors and guests, and you’ll be welcomed and taken care of by the town.
Surf spot Facebook: Bahoruco Beach
Here you camp anywhere on the grounds of a BEAUTIFUL hotel. They’ve built a series of pools that follow the natural flow of the river and have all sorts of activities centered around eco tourism that you can do in the area. This hotel is located right in front of “Los Haitises” national park and gives you easy access to enjoy the jaw-dropping surrounding the area.
There are a number of places to camp in Jarabacoa. If you want to be close to the center of town there is a wonderful place called Rancho Ruissenior that offers a space for camping. The owners are extremely nice and all of the employees are very helpful. If you want to be away from civilization you can climb the local mountain, a 3 hour hike to the peak, and camp up there. If you call ahead of time, or are with a group, there are also some places to camp alongside of the many rivers that can be found in Jarabacoa.
Facebook: Rancho Ruissenior
Located just 10 minutes from the center of this water sports town, “Cabarete Camping” offers a nice-sized lot where you can place your tent wherever you’d like. Here you can find outdoor showers, private outdoor bathrooms, a grill, picnic table and many trees that are perfect for hanging up a hammock.
On the hillsides of Constanza there is another great place to camp. Here you won’t be as surrounded by nature as in the others listed above but it makes for a cheap stay in an otherwise pricy town.
Located in the deep deep south of the island this place is stunning. The water here is composed of a series of blues that will blow your mind. You can camp in several places right on the entrance to the national park. You can even go deeper in but at your own risk. If you camp right outside of the park there are a couple of guards that spend the night around the area. One suggestion I have is NOT to take the advice of the guards as per where to place your tent. They tried to get us to camp right on the beach but I noticed that when the tide was going to rise we would be underwater so I decided to place it further away. Low and behold a few hours later the tide had risen over top of where we were told to put our tents.
Website/facebook: Rancho Cueva de las Aguilas
Of course there are many many more, these are the ones we have personally tried and tested. If you know of another safe camping area in the Dominican Republic, feel free to drop us a line and we’ll update the post.
**Please be advised that camping, worldwide, still comes with risks. Never leave anything of value inside your tent if you aren’t close.**