On holidays to Bayahibe you can laze on a flawless tropical beach, go salsa dancing and snorkel round a coral reef. No wonder they filmed the Bounty Bar ads here.
Set on the Dominican Republic’s southeast coast, Bayahibe used to be a small fishing village. And it still is. The hotels may have moved in but at heart this place is all about a little piece of laid-back Caribbean living. And with its tropical charm and powder-soft sandy beaches, it’s one of the island’s biggest getaway spots.
Blue Flag beach
The beach at Bayahibe has clean, white, powdery sand and the sea’s nice and shallow. You’ve got restaurants and food stands overlooking the beach, and if you need ice-cream and chair rentals the small waterfront market has it covered. Snorkellers are in the right spot – head over to the waters by Dreams hotel and you’ll find colourful damselfish in the coral reef here.
Active days and nights
By day, divers can swim with hammerheads, dolphins and turtles just a speedboat ride away. And out of the resort to the north at Anamuya Lake, thrill-seekers can get up in the treetops with a 3-kilometre zip line course, the Caribbean’s longest. If you’ve got any energy left after that lot, you might want to show off your best salsa moves at Bayahibe’s open-air dance spots.
Explore the national park
Right on your doorstep you’ve got Parque del Este national park. What you get here is mangrove-studded lagoons, painted caves and over 100 types of birds. Also part of this huge place is Isla Saona, about a 45-minute boat ride away. This undeveloped island is a bit of a celebrity – its beaches starred in the Bounty ads. You can spend a whole day here just sunbathing, swimming and snorkelling.