DR Eco Adventures
If you’re looking for a little more than daiquiris by the pool (not to say there’s anything wrong with poolside libations), and you want to explore the natural beauty that is the Dominican Republic, but you’re not quite ready to go completely native, we have just the half-day excursion for you.
DR Eco Adventures is a 700-acre, eco-friendly park with a mile and a half of private beach. It’s bordered to the north by the ocean, and by farmland and Caribbean forest to the south. The Rio San Juan River winds along the eastern perimeter, and the Picadosa Lagoon sits pristinely on its western edge. It’s perfect for families and large groups – “kids of all ages” would be an appropriate idiom here.
I brought my wife and two boys down to the DR for a week at the Villa; I’m all about investing in memories, and I figured some tropical Dominican adventures were just what the doctor ordered.
So we met up with Francis Mora, DR Eco Adventures’ owner/proprietor at the Villa, and we hit the road.
After a pleasant, 20-minute, drive through Cabrera, we pulled up to a scenic, 700-acre farm, complete with tea wood and fruit crops. We passed fields of organically fed, steroid and hormone-free, cattle. When the lush foliage opened up, we found ourselves at the door of a large thatch pavilion with the Eco Adventures logo above the door.
We were greeted by Merlin, an internationally ranked surfer, who was to be our guide that day. He was a consummate professional, knowledgeable and patient throughout our outing. After some refreshing coconut water served in an actual coconut, we made our way to the beach. And wow, what a beach it was.
It’s All Private!
Blocked off from the rest of the north coast with subtle natural barriers that I didn’t even see, this private stretch of paradise sits right above Rio San Juan, and boasts some of the calmest, bluest, waters in the DR. And it was all ours for four hours.
We decided to try kayaking first, even though Merlin and Francis recommended we start with paddle boarding, which would’ve been a good call in hind sight. The water chopped up a bit by midday.
Our boys, 4 and 7 years old, piled into a kayak with Merlin. My wife and I followed in our own. We set off across the near-still waters just off the beach toward a tributary just north of the pavilion.
As we left the ocean behind, the world around us transformed. We slipped into a surreal mangrove forest; the roots of these intricate aquatic trees moved with wildlife: beautiful crabs and cranes perused the river for lunch.
A new magical world awaited us at every turn. Merlin talked us through the habitat itself, offering insight into every tree and animal that we spotted. I loved it, and so did my family.
When we returned, it was paddle boarding time, and the water was a little choppier than it had been before. And for those of us who are balance challenged, it was bit of a workout, but again we loved every minute of it. Merlin was patient, and was there for guidance through every wipe out. And my son and I had our share of wipeouts. My wife, on the other hand, was a natural. She cruised along the coast with ease.
The typical DR Eco Adventures experience isn’t complete without a tour of the property on horseback. A family of crossbred (Dominican and American) horses are yours for an hour to cruise the park.
The guys at Eco Adventures also provide an amazing lunch, complete with traditional Dominican fare, and the comfort food little people seem to want/need while traveling abroad; there was no shortage of Pringles.
But we didn’t do everything DR Adventures has to offer. Here are some of the other activities I wish I’d had the time to try:
You can Explore the many trails encircling the property on a cruiser bike.
This horseback ride is like no other. Relax while being taken through a magical tropical paradise from the Mangrove trees in the lagoon to the beach. A family lunch will even be included with the trip.
For a fun and educational adventure, try a nature walk with a knowledgeable Adventure Guide. Learn about the wildlife, flora and fauna, and the unique Eco-systems that flourish on the island. Booklets that describe the wildlife and vegetation are provided as well. Lunch will be included with the trip.
Donkey Trail Ride
Take a friendly donkey for a relaxing ride amongst the Eco-friendly adventure park. Enjoy all of what this serene forest has to offer on a Dominican donkey, lunch included.
Crabbing and Fishing
Try the traditional Dominican way of fishing with a net and crabbing with a steel rod. Catch a tasty Snook fish or a sweet and tender Blue Crab.
Book a trip to DR Eco Adventures
Whatever you do here, you’re not going to be disappointed. This truly is a four star Dominican experience. If you’re interested in a day at Eco Adventures, it’s as easy asking your Villa concierge or contact us for more information about rates. He’ll make the call, and you’re good to go. No stress required.