Caribbean Coastal Restoration

Caribbean Coastal Restoration

Caribbean Coastal Restoration

8 Days

Dominican Republic

Santo Domingo (1), Bayahibe (3), Sabana de la Mar (2), Santo Domingo (1)

Overview

Are you passionate about conservation and eager to make a tangible impact? This 8-day journey to the Dominican Republic offers you the chance to contribute to vital environmental preservation efforts while immersing yourself in the island’s rich culture and natural beauty. From hands-on work with marine scientists in Bayahibe to exploring the pristine ecosystems of Isla Saona and Los Haitises National Park, each day is designed to deepen your understanding of conservation practices and their importance. Join us in this unique experience where your efforts will help protect and preserve the stunning landscapes and vibrant marine life of this Caribbean paradise.

Highlights

  • Explore Santo Domingo’s vibrant colonial zone, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • Engage in meaningful environmental conservation projects with a local NGO
  • Enjoy a scenic catamaran ride to Isla Saona and explore local turtle conservation efforts
  • Visit Los Haitises National Park and discover ancient Taino caves and swim at remote beaches
  • Snorkel the clear waters of the Dominican coast and contribute to ongoing conservation efforts

Itinerary

Welcome to the Dominican Republic! Upon arrival in Santo Domingo, meet your tour director and then drop off your bags at the hotel and head out for your first night in the Colonial Zone, the historic walled quarter and UNESCO World Heritage site rich with food and music. Explore old colonial buildings converted into coffee shops, restaurants, and community arts spaces. This is a great introduction to Dominican culture and island weather.

Overnight: Santo Domingo

After a delicious Dominican breakfast, hop on your group’s private bus and travel east to the coastal town of Bayahibe, a hub for marine tourism and conservation activities. This town serves as the gateway to Isla Saona and is at the heart of efforts to protect the local marine environment. The increased boat traffic and unsustainable anchoring practices have caused significant damage to the nearby reef. Our local NGO partner, works with local operators on projects including beach cleanups, creation of coral farms, data collection, and other conservation efforts. After settling in, enjoy lunch at a local favorite, then receive an introduction to the conservation projects led by our local NGO organization dedicated to preserving marine ecosystems. Spend the afternoon familiarizing yourself with the area and its beachside charm.

Overnight: Bayahibe

Dedicate your day to volunteering with local marine scientists. Activities may include beach cleanups, coral farm maintenance, or data collection on local marine life. Break for lunch and continue your efforts in the afternoon. In the evening, explore Bayahibe’s local dining options and enjoy the relaxed coastal atmosphere.

Overnight: Bayahibe

Embark on a full-day trip to Isla Saona, traveling by catamaran. Enjoy lunch on the beach and visit the village of Mano Juan, where you will learn about community-led turtle conservation initiatives. Spend time on the island’s beautiful beaches and swim in natural pools teeming with sea stars before returning to Bayahibe.

Overnight: Bayahibe

Journey north through the provinces of La Altagracia, El Seibo, and Hato Mayor, stopping at significant landmarks along the way. Visit the historic city of Higüey and its renowned basilica before continuing to Montaña Redonda, known for its breathtaking panoramic views. End the day at Paraíso Caño Hondo, an eco-lodge set within a national park.
Overnight: Sabana de la Mar

Spend the day exploring Los Haitises National Park, starting with a boat tour of Samana Bay. Visit ancient caves adorned with Taino pictographs, swim at secluded beaches, and navigate through the mangroves. Return to Paraíso Caño Hondo to relax and enjoy the natural pools and tranquil setting.

Overnight: Sabana de la Mar

After a final swim, travel back to Santo Domingo. Visit the Tres Ojos National Park’s cenote caves or further explore the vibrant Colonial Zone. Enjoy a final group dinner and reflect on all your experiences and memories

Overnight: Santo Domingo

After breakfast, your tour director will escort your group to the airport to make your way home. We hope you enjoyed your stay in the Dominican Republic!

This Trip Includes

  • Round-trip airfare
  • All accommodations on program
  • All transportation in-country
  • All meals on the program
  • All activities as outlined in the itinerary
  • A Tour Director available 24 hours a day from when you arrive until you depart
  • Sightseeing tours and excursions led by local guides as specified
  • Airport transfers and transportation between destination cities
  • Travel insurance for all participants
  • 24-hour worldwide emergency assistance
  • Support from GEC representatives abroad