Last night, adventurer Monty Halls joined Wanderlust’s Lyn Hughes, the Dominican Republic’s Sabrina Cambiaso and our travel-obsessed readers for a night of Dominican Republic inspiration...
You came out (well, Zoomed in) in full force for our Beyond the Beaches in the Dominican Republic: An Evening with Monty Halls event last night to listen about Monty’s experiences of this incredibly diverse destination.
Wanderlust’s co-founder and editor-in-chief Lyn Hughes hosted the event, while Monty Halls joined us as our guest speaker, delivering an inspirational presentation. He started with the culturally rich capital city of Santo Domingo, before telling us about water experiences such a watching humpback whales and exploring the many waterfalls, earth experiences such as birdwatching and exploring the thick jungles and air experiences including paragliding above the verdant, mountainous landscapes.
Here’s what you might have missed…
You had no end of questions for our speakers last night, so we ran out of time before we got a chance to answer them all! Luckily, our experts have taken the time to answer everything here...
Where in the Dominican Republic is a good place to go as a family, ideally where there are not loads of tourists during the school holidays?
You are spoiled for choice as even in the popular Punta Cana area there are many quiet, smaller accommodation options. There are also many suitable places in Samaná, Las Terrenas and around Cabarete in Puerto Plata. I would recommend to combine a stay by the sea and one in the mountains, similar to what Monty did.
Where can you see humpback whales?
The best place to see the whales is in the Dominican Republic's north-eastern Atlantic waters off the Samaná Bay – an area officially declared a Marine Mammal Sanctuary in 1986. Whale watching season runs from 15 January 15 to 30 March, with boat tours departing from Samaná Bay.
For those who prefer to stay dry and on land, the Whale Lookout Post at Punta Balandra is a great option. If you decide to watch the whales on land, take the main road to Samaná, after 14km you should see a 'Punta Balandra' sign which will lead you to a 'rocky' road into the town and directly to the spot.
Can you swim with the humpbacks?
Yes, as long as you are with a licensed provider. Aquatic Adventures are a good company that offers swims with humpback whales.
What are the names of the places Monty travelled to?
Monty started his journey in Santo Domingo (the capital of the Dominican Republic) before moving into the Los Haitises National Park. He then went to the Samaná Peninsula before continuing north to Cabarete, then Monte Cristi and finally he headed inland to Jarabacoa.
In the presentation, Monty mentioned two top 10 beaches. What were their names?
Playa Frontón, which can be reached by boat from Las Galeras and the Bahía de Las Águilas, which stretches for five miles and is protected by the Jaragua National Park in the south of the Dominican Republic.
Which other lesser-known beaches would you recommend?
What are the names of the hotels Monty stayed in?
Which restaurants would you recommend?
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