The Dominican Republic is a popular tourist destination, visited by thousands every year. It is known for beachside hotels and romantic Caribbean getaways, but this rich country has so much more to offer! Step off the tourist trail and explore the beauty of the Dominican Republic during a week- long adventure that will take you to some of the must-see sites and DR's hidden gems. Take a trip to Jarabacoa, a cool mountain town surrounded by three peaks over 3000 meters! Then head out to the white sand beaches and pristine turquoise waters of the Samana peninsula. After your time in nature head to Santo Domingo and experience city life. Walk through the cobblestone streets of this walled colonial city, learn about its rich history, and spend your last night dancing to the beats of merengue, bachata, and salsa.
Experience firsthand the different eco-systems present in the Dominican Republic, and the diversity of flaura and fauna. Learn about the efforts to make the Dominican Republic more sustainable as well as strides toward an eco-friendly style of tourism. Work alongside park rangers and volunteers at national parks, and contribute to efforts that will maintain these protected territories. Learn about farming techniques, while you lend a hand on a real farm. See firsthand where our food comes from, and how we can take better care of what we are putting into our bodies.
When not working hard on service projects, take part in some of the best adventure activities the country has to offer. Get your heart pumping as you take advantage of Jarabacoa, the adventure capital of the Dominican Republic. Go for a horseback ride through the jungle to hidden waterfalls and swimming holes. Take a rafting trip down the whitewaters of the Rio Yaque del Norte and feel the rush of class III & IV rapids or rappel down waterfalls, all while enjoying the clean mountain air. Take a boat ride across the Samana Bay, and through the mangroves and small islands of the Los Haitises National Park.
Join eager youth for a game of pick up baseball, learn some merengue dance moves and practice your Spanish with new friends. Discover this unique culture that finds its routes in a mix of Spanish, African, and indigenous influences. Feel the laid back Caribbean vibe and soon you will realize what makes the Dominican Republic one of the happiest countries in the world.
Students depart JFK international airport in New York City for Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic late Tuesday evening arriving at Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo just after midnight on Wednesday morning. Students will be met at the airport by Dominican Republic Country Director and escorted to hotel, which is located about 5 minutes from the airport about 20 minutes outside of Santo Domingo.
After a late arrival students will be given the chance to sleep in a bit late, and then begin their first day by heading towards Jarabacoa (2 1/2hrs). Jarabacoa is nestled in the mountains of the Cordillera Central, and surrounded by three peaks over 3000 meters. On the way the group will stop for lunch and enjoy a Dominican meal. From here students will head over to the hotel which is also an organic macadamia farm and settle in. Take a tour of the property and learn about the strides being made by local farmers to grow organically, and in a sustainable matter that has fewer effects on the land.
Students will spend the first half of the day working alongside local farmers and volunteers on projects geared toward the environment. Projects could include reforestation, working on an organic farm, or work with school gardens amongst other projects. We will also be working with local schools and community organizations on small scale construction and painting projects. After lunch students will go rafting on the Rio Yaque. Then spend the evening relaxing at the ranch.
Students will spend the day working alongside local farmers and volunteers on projects geared toward the environment. Projects could include reforestation, working on an organic farm, or work with school gardens amongst other projects. We will also be working with local schools and community organizations on small scale construction and painting projects. Spend the afternoon and evening visiting the onsite butterfly garden or relaxing at the ranch.
Have an early breakfast and on the bus by 7am. After a 4 ½ hour bus ride students will arrive in Las Galeras, a laid back beach town, and take in the sights of the Samana Peninsula. Students will arrive in time to have lunch by the beach and then spend this lazy Saturday afternoon as most Dominican in the area do; enjoying this Caribbean paradise. Take a horseback ride along the beach to a hidden cove, stopping on the way to check out a cave with historical Taino paintings.
Have an early breakfast, and enjoy the morning on the beach before heading toward Samana (30min). Check out this port town, and walk across a bridge that connects some of the cays. Then hop on a boat across the bay (45mins) to Sabana de La Mar, where you will stay at an eco-hotel nestled on the borders of the park. As you cross the bay take in the sights of Los Haitises National Park one of the jewels of the Dominican Republic and home to a high percentage of the biodiversity and fauna indigenous to the country.
Spend the day working on mangrove restoration and beach clean up at the national park, then take a boat through the canals of the Rio Cano Hondo, to different caves, and beaches. (4-5 hrs of service)
Have a late breakfast, and enjoy the natural pools at our hotel. Around mid morning hop on a bus back to Santo Domingo (2hrs). Have lunch in one of the squares and then take a tour of the colonial zone of Santo Domingo. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is the first colonial city in the Americas and home to the first cathedral, university, and hospital in the Americas. Then spend your last night enjoying city life and taking in the Latin beats. We will go out for a special dinner and possibly a typical dance show. Afterwards head back to the hotel to pick up your bags, and head straight to the airport.
If you are heading home, you must say your last goodbyes to your new friends and head off to the airport. Students headed off to another Rustic Pathways program in the Dominican Republic will stay at base hotel Tuesday night and join their new group on Wednesday morning. Students connecting to elsewhere in Latin America will catch a flight either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.
Rustic Pathways reserves the right to change, alter, or amend the daily itinerary for this trip at any time. Changes can be made for various reasons including changes in flight or program schedules, changes in the schedules of various external tours incorporated in our trips, the addition of new activities into a trip, or the substitution of an old activity for a new activity. The itinerary shown here provides a good outline of the anticipated daily schedule for this program. As with any travel program, some changes may occur.
Please Note – Rustic Pathways will not be responsible for ANY lost or stolen items. During travel it is common for items to be lost or stolen so please bring only items you are prepared to part with.
Please Do Not Over Pack
-A small backpack is the best carry-on bag
-A medium sized duffel bag or large backpack work best. Wheeled bags are OK as long as they are medium sized and can easily be carried like a duffle over rough terrain.
- Please bring at least a few outfits that can get dirty or destroyed for service work or adventure activities.
-(Please pack all items that could leak in a PLASTIC or ZIPLOCK bag)
-(our guides will have comprehensive first aid kits on hand, but having a small personal kit is always helpful)
Direct flight from New York to Santo Domingo takes approximately 3-4 hours.
Yes. All flights between the Dominican Republic and the USA will have a flight leader starting in New York. Return flights to the USA will also have a flight leader as far as New York. Flights from the Dominican Republic to Costa Rica, Panama, and Peru will not be escorted.
Students from the United States and Canada will be automatically issued a 30-day tourist visa upon entry into the Dominican Republic, for the cost of $10. STUDENTS MUST HAVE $10 UPON ENTRY TO PAY FOR THE TOURIST CARD.
During this trip, students will visit the areas of Santo Domingo, Jarabacoa, Puerto Plata, and Samaná.
Rustic Pathways does not make recommendations regarding immunizations.† We strongly suggest that you consult with a travel doctor or your family physician for medical recommendations based on the area where the student will be traveling (as listed above). You can also check the Center for Disease Control website at http://www.cdc.gov for more information.
On Tuesday afternoon students will return to Santo Domingo. They will have a special night out in Santo Domingo and then head to the airport for a morning flight home on Wednesday. On Tuesday evening students transferring to other programs in Latin America can catch a flight to Costa Rica, Panama, or Peru. Students connecting to other programs in the Dominican Republic will stay at a hotel Tuesday evening and join their new trip on Wednesday morning.
This program will be based Jarabacoa about 2 hours from Santo Domingo and in Samaná, about a 4 hour drive from Jarabacoa. On average students will take a 2.5-hour bus ride about every 3 days.
Students should be prepared for hot, humid weather in the 80s and 90s during the day with occasional rain showers. Since the base is located in the mountains in the evenings the temperature will go down into the 60s.
This program does not include formal Spanish language instruction; however students will have multiple opportunities to practice Spanish with their guides and with the local community.
Students will work on small-scale construction projects that will help improve community and school infrastructure. Students will also facilitate educational and cultural projects with local youth and be involved in agricultural projects with local farmers and environmental projects at National Parks.
This program is appropriate for most physical activity levels. Students should be prepared for medium physical activity including short hikes and some manual labor during the service projects.
The majority of costs associated with the program are included on this trip. Students should have extra allowance money if they wish to buy souvenirs. Students should also bring extra money if they wish to purchase additional snacks or soda from the local grocery store. Students may also have the opportunity to participate in optional activities such as a high ropes course for an additional cost.
All activities are included in the cost of the program. Optional activities may be added at a later date.
Occasionally Rustic Pathways staff identify new opportunities throughout the summer that we feel will enhance the students overall experience and we will offer students the opportunity to participate at an additional cost. Optional or included activities may also be canceled at the staff’s discretion.
Students will be eating traditional Dominican food prepared by local cooks and restaurants. Breakfast may include plantains or toast with eggs, fruits and cereal. Lunch and dinner will be typical dishes which consist of rice, beans, salad and a meat/seafood dish or veggie dishes.
Tap water in the Dominican Republic is not recommended, we will provide bottled water for our students throughout the course of the program.
During their time in the Dominican Republic students will stay in a few different places. In Santo Domingo we will stay at a hotel near the airport. In Jarabacoa we will be staying at a summer camp style ranch. In Samaná students will stay at a small cozy hotel.
The bathrooms are located at the facilities and will either be right in the room shared with another student, or be communal bathrooms shared with other Rustic Pathways students of the same gender. They will all have running water and American style toilets. Showers may or may not be hot.
There are typically more girls than boys however the exact numbers vary from week to week.
Rustic Pathways generally strives to maintain a ratio of approximately 1 guide for every 5 students. On the program, there will be three guides. Our guides go through a rigorous selection process including interviews with our Country Director and a full background check.
All of our programs have guides that are certified with First Aid and CPR training. Many of our guides are also qualified Wilderness First Responders, EMTs, Wilderness EMTs, or Life Guards.
Students should pack enough clothes and personal items to last through the program. Laundry may be available at some of the hotels, at an extra cost.
Students will have limited to no access to internet during the program. They will be able to purchase international phone cards in the Dominican Republic, which can be used to call home. We will facilitate at least one call a week to parents.
Contact Us: For more information about Island Living and Eco Service you can email email@example.com.
Island Living and Eco Service combines well with the following programs.
Ages: 15 to 18 years old
Length: 9 days from the USA
Hours: Up to 15 hours awarded
International airfare is not included in the above cost. Please check our Travel Desk for airfare pricing and specifics.
|Departs Tue||Returns Wed||Availability|
|18 Jun||26 Jun||Available|
|25 Jun||3 Jul||Available|
|2 Jul||10 Jul||Available|
|9 Jul||17 Jul||Available|
|16 Jul||24 Jul||Available|
|23 Jul||31 Jul||Available|
|30 Jul||7 Aug||Available|
Dates shown are inclusive of travel time from the United States. Most Rustic Pathways trips interconnect, allowing you to design your own perfect summer program.Apply Now