ANI Dominican Republic - Dominican Republic Life - Rio San Juan Beach

Lesser-known treasure:
DISCOVER the Dominican Republic’s north coast

Forget everything you think you know about the Dominican Republic and discover its real treasure: the lesser-known north coast, a world away from the tourist magnets of the south. With its cinematic topography – white-sand beaches, lush jungles, hurtling waterfalls, emerald hills, arid grasslands and dense forests – and adventurous nature, holidays here come with natural thrills guaranteed.  Read more to discover why we think it is such a special place, with added quotes from our team, highlighting the things they love to do on their days off.

On my days off, my favorite hobby is spearfishing at night. I jump in from the cliffs, swim and dive down and fish for about five or six hours. I catch red snapper, grouper, crayfish and conch. The best months for spearfishing are when the ocean is flat and clearest, in June, July and early August. Sometimes I walk from the beach and go from Orchid Bay in Cabrera, where I live. It is a reefy beach so there is lots of lobster. I also love surfing in La Preciosa, a little beach by Playa Grande with fabulous waves. Encuentro, near Cabarete, is another great beach where you will find surfers from all over the country; it has the most beautiful waves.” Edison, Activities Manager

Highlights include Cabarete, the famous birthplace of kitesurfing, offering unlimited watersports; back on dry land, vibrant towns, sleepy villages, the gracious architecture of Puerto Plata, cultural heavyweights and wildlife-rich nature reserves await. As an added boon, the warm and friendly locals along the north coast are genuinely delighted to see visitors.


Five minutes by car from our resort, peaceful Rio San Juan beckons. This sleepy coastal town has plenty of charm and is starting to attract a buzz among discerning explorers. Beach lovers are amply rewarded with a dozen different beaches, diving spots, a lagoon, a bird sanctuary and more. Enjoy watersports at palm-fringed Grande Beach, relax and unwind at Corpses Beach, or discover an abundance of local dining options close to Minos Beach. The almond and sea grape trees that flourish by the shore make for delicious sweet treats: try sea-grape jam and almond flan in local restaurants. Honoring its ancestral roots, the town also hosts an annual Carnavarengue festival, in which locals dress up and dance on floating platforms as Sea Creatures, paying artful, heartfelt tribute to the ocean that sustains them.

I love going to Playa Grande.  It is a beautiful, long swimming beach and also perfect for surfing.  There is a great bar that serves mojitos; I usually walk along the beach at sunset with a drink in my hand. Playa Los Mino is a great place to go for a barbeque with the locals; our team often goes together on days off with our families, as it is a great place for kids to swim.” Jazmín Rojas, Operations Manager, ÀNI Dominican Republic

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Parque Nacional el Choco
If you like the sound of hiking through tropical forests where cacao and coffee trees thrive alongside medicinal plants and ancient, watery caves, this national park has your name on it. The 78 square kilometer (30 square mile) expanse is located just over one-hour from ANI, promising unforgettable hikes, mountain biking, freshwater swimming and cave exploring.

This charming, off-the-beaten path coastal town is one of the Dominican Republic’s best-kept secrets (for now). Embark on a glass-bottomed boat tour through bays and mangroves to Playa Caleton, a small, secluded beach where you can get just-caught fish cooked while you wait. For hiking adventures, venture into Monumento Natural El Saltadero, where a natural waterfall offers refreshing dips amid the verdant rainforest. Golfers will love teeing off at the Robert Trent Jones-designed Playa Grande Golf Course. Cabrera is also home to Playa Grande (known as the Pebble Beach of the Caribbean); see below. 

Playa Grande
Despite its astonishing beauty, this pale stretch of sand has somehow managed to elude tourists, meaning you can unfurl your beach towel without a clutch of neighbors. Take a dip in the refreshing Atlantic Ocean, hire a surfboard or set a slower pace with stand-up paddle boarding. When you’re thirsty, sip a fresh piña colada, served in a scooped-out pineapple.
ANI Domincan Republic Parque Nacional el Choco
ANI Dominican Republic - Guest Privileges - Sunset Cruise with local fisherman
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Sosúa Bay
A paradise for snorkelers and divers, Sosúa Bay rewards underwater explorers with gem-bright fish and coral, mysterious shipwrecks, labyrinthine tunnels and occasional pods of dolphins.

Nicknamed the adventure capital of the Caribbean, Cabarete is one of the best places in the world for kitesurfing and windsurfing. It’s a 45-minute drive from ÀNI Dominican Republic, which is offering a special kitesurfing experience in June. For landlovers Cabarete also offers beachy boutiques, oceanfront restaurants and mellow bars; soak up the local vibes.
Mount Isabel de Torres
Hop on the only cable car in the Caribbean or hike your way up to Mount Isabel de Torres, overlooked by a giant statue of Christ the Redeemer. From a height of 793 meters (2,600 feet), survey Puerto Plata’s rolling green hills and drink in the azure views of the Atlantic Ocean.

“Matançita is a seven-kilometer beach that has lots of little boats. I love going fishing here using  a fishing rod with a special hook for calamari. I leave at 7am and spend the whole day (more than eight hours) on the water. This is my favorite hobby when I have a day off. I love being on the sea, listening to the sound of the waves against the boat and spending time with my brother, who I go with every time.” José Luis, Housekeeping Manager
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Diamante Beach
Join the local fishermen at Playa Diamante, renowned for its diamond-clear waters. At this sheltered bay,  an underground river meets the Atlantic – to refreshing effect.

Dudú Lagoon
Speaking of refreshing, the waters of the Dudú Cenote are goosebump-inducingly cold: the perfect complement to the Dominican Republic’s warm weather. Admire locals jumping from the vertiginous zip-line; join them if you’re brave enough. You can also go snorkeling or scuba diving in the underground tunnels and caverns. ÀNI tip: come early in the morning to beat the afternoon tour buses.

Damajagua Waterfalls
Plunge into crystal-clear pools at this astonishing series of 27 cascading waterfalls, set amid sugarcane fields in the Northern Corridor mountain range.

ÀNI Dominican Republic
Saving the best until last, ÀNI Dominican Republic is the dream base for luxurious group adventures. Claiming its own private peninsula on the Dominican Republic’s north coast, ÀNI offers an all-inclusive, 4.2-acre (1.70-hectare) private resort. Set in manicured gardens with breathtaking, 270-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean and direct access to the sand-fringed bay known as La Piscina Natural, our captivating escape can accommodate six to 28 guests.
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Reserve Your Stay at ÀNI Dominican Republic

Inspired to explore the wonders of the North coast in Dominican Republic? Just drop our reservations team a line at [email protected] and we’ll take care of the rest.
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