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Top Hikes in the Dominican Republic

While Cabarete, Puerto Plata (Dominican Republic) is known as a kitesurfing and beach destination, there are several truly incredible hikes within driving distance that are A MUST before you leave our slice of paradise.

Best way to see the parks:

With tour operators like Iguana Mama offering guided hikes ranging from 3 hours to 3 days (with 2 nights of camping included), it’s easy to find a hike and expert guide that will meet the needs of solo, family and group travelers.


3-hour hikes start at $35 USD/adult: $28 USD/12yrs-17yrs: $18 USD/child under 12 (must be accompanied by an adult)

1-day hikes normally run around $70 USD/person

3 day/2-night hikes are around $450 USD/person + tax

Before setting out on a hike there are a few essentials you should never leave home without:

  • Hiking Boots
  • Hat or visor
  • Backpack
  • Sunscreen (even with the lush forests of Dominican Republic, this is essential. Trust us!)
  • Sunglasses
  • Camera or smartphone (just don’t expect cell service once you enter the forest)
  • Bathing suit
  • Insect repellent

What to leave at home:

  • Jewlery
  • Money
  • Laptops/PCs
  • Nice clothes

Most tour operators will include the following in their pricing. Depending on the length of your hike, some services may not be available. Always call or email the operator before leaving your home country to ensure you aren’t over or under packing:

  • Expert tour guides
  • Park permits (you’ll need this when staying overnight)
  • Entry Fees to the parks (this is needed for short hikes and overnight camping)
  • Snacks, refreshments, meals and purified drinking water
  • Tent and sleeping bags (feel free to bring your own, but make sure to tell your guide)
  • Mule support (this may seem funny until you aren’t looking to carry your partners backpack come day 3… then Mr. mule will be your best friend)
  • Cable car tickets
  • Transportation from and to Embocca Cabarete

Here are a few of our favorite hikes:

El Choco National Park – 3-hour hike

Difficulty level: All levels

Why we love this hike:

  • Dominican Republic’s newest national park
  • 77 sq kms of jungle, lagoons, forest and natural caves for swimming
  • Open backcountry for exploration

Mount Isabel de Torres – Approx. 8-hour hike (lunch included)

Difficulty level: Intermediate/advance hikers

Why we love this hike:

  • The hike starts at sea level and ends at 823 m
  • Breathtaking views of Puerto Plata Bay
  • The highest manicured gardens in the Caribbean
  • Cable car descent from the top of Mount Isabel

Pico Duarte (3 days/2 nights) – 4.5 hour drive from Cabarete

Difficulty level: Athletic beginners, intermediate and advanced hikers

Why we love this hike:

  • Pico Duarte is the highest mountain in the Caribbean (3,087 m)
  • Hiking to the summit of Pico Duarte for sunrise
  • The ascent to La Cienaga de Manabao
  • Mule support (just in case you need a little help)

There are loads of hikes you can take without a guide. When you go for a hike on your own or with a group of friends, we highly suggest checking the weather forecast before departing Embocca. Additionally, having someone in your group that speaks Spanish is a major advantage – Dominican Republic is an international travel destination with many visitors coming from other Spanish speaking countries. A 2-way satellite communicator is extremely important if you’re hiking on your own. Most importantly, always make sure to bring more purified water than you think you’ll need – Once you enter the forest there will be no access to clean water. Lastly, don’t forget to ask our chef the night before your hike to pack snacks and sandwiches to keep you fueled and energized.

Best Restaurants in Cabarete

The Dominican Republic was formerly a Spanish colony. Similar to Spain, the most important meal of the day is lunch. Dominican Republic’s local cuisine is influenced by indigenous Taino, Spanish, French and African gastronomy. Some of the most popular dishes can be found in cities across the world as many Dominicans brought family recipes for Arepitas, Chimichurris, Soups, Chicharróns (and much much more) out of their home country and into the stomachs of hungry consumers. With that in mind, when you dine at a local restaurant COME HUNGRY. You can spend as much or as little time as you want at various restaurants – which make sense since Cabarete is one of the most laid back beachside towns on the island of Domincan Republic.


You will find different dishes feature at local restaurants depending on where your villa or hotel is located. Seaside towns tend to offer a great variety of seafood, with the most common being shrimp, mahi-mahi and lobster (available from July 1st until February 28th). The interior mountains tend to have dishes involving pork, stews and rice. The nice part about Dominican cuisine is that it uses milder spices than other countries in the West Indies without compromising taste.


When dining at Embocca, expect to be fed like a king. Embocca’s chef’s cater to a variety of dietary restrictions and preferences. Whether you follow a gluten-free diet, have seafood allergies or maybe you have a picky eater in the group, we have you covered. With that said, our chefs are obsessed with using fresh local produce and proteins.


If you decide to depart Embocca for lunch or dinner, a few of our favorite restaurants are:

  • La Casita De Papi – Just steps from the water with tables set on the beach, the food and ambiance are top notch. Start with the bruschetta or ceviche and don’t forget to order one (or two) of their delicious mojitos
  • Bliss – Mediterranean menu with a strong Italian influence. From homemade pasta to fresh local fish and US angus steaks, there are is something for everyone at this restaurant and lounge
  • Wilson’s La Boca Restaurant – Known as a “hidden paradise” since you have to cross a river by boat to get there. La Boca’s menus featuring authentic Dominican dishes and fresh seafood cooked over an open fire.
  • Kahuna’s – From poutine to burgers and pizza, the menu at Kahuna’s is designed to make the entire family happy.

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