Let yourself be surprised by Azua! A province located in the south of the Dominican Republic, which you will love for its beauty and monuments. It is also one of the most complete provinces of the Caribbean country, as it offers travelers a wide range of tourist attractions, historical monuments and natural parks.
Azua is surrounded by the Cordillera Central and extends to the Bahía de Ocoa, which has the particular shape of a horseshoe. It’s close to Pedernales, a natural sanctuary with exclusive beaches and lakes.
Although this province often goes unnoticed by travelers, you will be surprised to discover its unique rivers and paradisiacal beaches, which deserve to be on the travel itinerary of every traveler who wants to visit the Dominican Republic.Let’s see, below, the best things to do in Azua , as well as its most emblematic places so that you do not miss out on this beautiful city if you have the opportunity to delve into its natural beauties and historical places.
Why visit Azua?
Azua de Compostela is the capital of the province of Azua. Before getting this name, it was known as “Pueblo Viejo”. It was built by Diego de Velázquez in 1504, and was later inhabited by Hernán Cortés, the conqueror of Mexico, in 1517.
However, before the arrival of the Spanish, this region was occupied by the Taino Indians. In fact, hence its name “Azua”. It is for these and other reasons why this city has great historical and cultural value, in addition to its impressive natural landscapes.
When it was barely a settlement, the city was devastated by an earthquake in 1751. By 1882, the city was almost completely rebuilt. Many of the buildings still stand to this day.
In fact, the Americans also inhabited the region for several years, in order to exploit the oil deposits in the area, leaving behind many iconic buildings, such as the bridge over the Vía River.
As we can see, Azua is a province with great tourist potential, thanks to its incalculable historical, cultural and landscape value. The city is usually surrounded by a very welcoming atmosphere, perfect for relaxing and marveling at its treasures.
As additional information, the first great battle for Freedom of the Dominican Republic was fought in this region. Upon reaching it, you will not be able to avoid falling in love with its nature, discovering that it is a spectacularly surprising place for those who wish to travel 100 kilometers away from the country’s capital.
When is it better to visit this municipality?
Azua has a tropical savannah climate with rainy seasons. The best time to get to know this municipality is between the months of January and April . The disadvantage is that we find a large influx of tourists, however, it has a climate with at least 10 hours of sunshine, and a minimum percentage of rain.
Even in the months of June, November and December the weather becomes favorable and cool, with temperatures of 27°C and little chance of precipitation, so it is also a season that you can consider before making your trip.
The rainiest months are May with 42% precipitation, July and August with 35%, and September and October with 37% cloudy weather.
Top 12: The best things to do in Azua and that you cannot miss
Next, we will tell you in detail what to do in Azua so that you finish motivating yourself and packing your bags to visit the Dominican Republic. Let’s see.
- Practice water sports in Ocoa Bay and delight yourself with its crystal clear waters
It is one of the most important and bewitching natural treasures of this province. Ocoa Bay is a beautiful crystalline beach, which is in an almost virgin state due to the high clarity of its waters.
In fact, its water currents are perfect for practicing all kinds of water sports, such as: kayaking, snorkeling, diving, parasailing, wakeboarding and kitesurfing, and even deep-sea fishing or volleyball.
It should be noted that one of the aspects that makes it more attractive is its wonderful ecosystem, because you can find a great diversity of marine species. Also, you should not stop diving in some of its most famous beaches, which are Playa Blanca, Playa Monte Río and Playa Caracoles.
- José del Carmen Ramírez National Park
This park is one of the oldest on the Hispaniola Island, and is also considered one of the largest and most spectacular in the world. It is located at the highest point of the Antilles on Pico Duarte, becoming one of the main attractions of national and international ecological tourism.
In addition, it houses the Duarte peak, which is the highest in the Caribbean with 3,175 meters above sea level. Likewise, it is home to other impressive peaks such as La Rusilla, Yagüe and La Pelone peaks that are distributed between the two parks.
On the other hand, the José del Carmen Ramírez National Park has a mountainous climate, perfect for activities such as hiking and camping. And, if you want to see a wide variety of wildlife, here you will have the opportunity to see the Jutia and the wild pig or jibaro pig. The latter is in danger of extinction.
In turn, you will be able to observe a great variety of birds such as: parrots, nightingales, swifts, goldfinches, among others, which inhabit the park as their natural sanctuary. Likewise, we find numerous reptiles and mammals, such as the jutía, and the wild boar (wild boar).
Although the park is inhabited by wildlife in the wild, it has an ecotourism excursion service most of the year, which allows hikers to enjoy the enormous beauty of nature, but also the pre-Columbian engravings on its rocks. Bird watching activities are also organized.
- Go diving in the reef of Caobita Beach
It is a very crowded beach, as one of its greatest attractions is the presence of a coral reef that blocks the passage of the waves. This small marine paradise also attracts the attention of environmentalists.
You can do various activities such as: Snorkeling, diving, wakeboarding and kitesurfing. Even for the most daring people, the mangrove that surrounds Caobita Beach is a perfect place to meet the wildest species in the Dominican Republic.
- Take a warm bath in the waters of the Salto Río Grande
It is a waterfall 35 meters high. It is hidden between “Las Charcas” and “Estebanía” on the slopes of the Cordillera Central, Azua province. It is a place much visited by foreigners and locals.
Its name is due to the fact that it is the largest waterfall in the province, since its size can leave you speechless. Like other natural settings in the region, the Salto Río Grande is of great ecotourism interest in the province of Azua.
In addition, the vegetation is scarce and the sun enters without any obstacle, so you can enjoy its ponds and great nature. To get to the Rio Grande you must walk approximately 4,700 meters. In this place, you can do hiking activities.
- Take an excursion to the Sierra Martín García National Park
This park is located between the provinces of Azua and Barahona. It is a place that can be visited by tourists to learn about the beautiful fauna that surrounds it within its four zones (tropical dry forest, subtropical dry forest, subtropical humid forest, montane humid forest).
In turn, it has an area where important mangroves of the Dominican Republic are found, such as: red mangrove, black mangrove and white mangrove. Having a wide biodiversity, it is a protected area.
However, due to its location it is possible to carry out various activities and sports such as: climbing, sighting, hiking, trekking, excursions, among others. And if you want to complete your getaway with a swim on the beach, you can enter the park’s spa, which is quite crowded.
- Relax and enjoy the sound of the waves at Monte Río Beach
It is one of the most popular and perfect beaches for bathing and taking a break. It is characterized by its dark sand and great gastronomic variety, as it has beautiful restaurants with a menu of different and popular very fresh and delicious fried fish.
It is a very quiet place, where enjoying the sound of the waves is part of the relaxation. In addition, it is a place full of stories like that of the Spanish Hernán Cortes, who used to write on this beach thanks to the peace that reigns in the environment.
- Visit and enjoy the Playa del Palmar de Ocoa
This list of things to do in Azua would not be complete if we did not tell you about Playa del Palmar de Ocoa. This beach is quite popular due to its excellent climate, where, in addition, tourists can go fishing.
It is usually full of tourists all year round and the inhabitants of the town, who dedicate themselves to agriculture, highlighting the cultivation of onions, chili peppers, bananas and bananas.
It is a very charming and quiet area. Its waters are crystal clear and its location is perfect. On the other hand, it offers its visitors a great view from the fascinating pier. And if you need a place to stay, don’t worry, in the surroundings you will find many accommodation services for you and the whole family at good prices.
- Discover the Nuestra Señora de los Remedios church
It is a colonial-style building, which preserves the structure of its beginnings. It is characterized by its large and imposing doors made of pine, and a huge bell tower. In addition, it has a capacity of 500 people and the image of the Immaculate Conception can be seen on its left side.
A curious fact is that the temple was run by Catholic friars, who served the sick and needy. They even venerated the Virgin of Las Mercedes, who is the patron saint of Azua de Compostela.
- Take a dip in the Rio Jura Spa
It is a spectacular site, which is usually attended by foreigners and locals. It is an exuberant and cozy spa with crystalline waters. You can visit it at any time of the year to take a dip and relax. You can also do activities like kayaking.
- Caobite Heights
If you are looking for one of the best hotels to stay in the city, be sure to give Altos de la Caobita the opportunity. This complex has a beautiful pool and comfortable rooms. In addition, from here you will get an excellent view of La Caobita beaches, Los Negros, the pier, the mountain range and more.
In addition, their prices are very cheap. And if you want to do other activities, the hotel offers outdoor walking services, bicycle rental, and a terrace for rest and recreation.
- Visit Boca Chía beach
Like many representative beaches in the Dominican Republic, Boca Chía stands out for its crystal clear waters. Here you will get a complete experience, renting one of its cabins, umbrellas, and enjoying its restaurant and great service.
Also, you can do water activities such as a boat ride, jet skis, catamarans, beach bowling and other activities such as: diving, snorkeling, wakeboarding and kitesurfing.
- Embark on an adventure in the Salto Rio Vía
Salto Río Vía is located away from the noise of the city, making it excellent for connecting with nature. It is simply an earthly paradise with crystalline waters, attractive for lovers of ecotourism and nature.
However, it is also a difficult natural setting to find, so we recommend hiring an excursion package or a tour guide. In fact, along the trail you will not have a connection to your phone, so it is advisable to go with a guide.
You should even go equipped with comfortable clothing, suitable shoes and hydration. The Salto Rio Viva is a striking place, very touristy and natural, but also little crowded. Few visitors have the pleasure of enjoying its fresh and virgin waters.
Even if you are in Santo Domingo, you can visit Azua, especially Azua de Compostela, since it has a privileged location, that is, it is very close to the capital. As we have seen, it is home to many places worth visiting, such as the Sierra Martín García National Park or the Ocoa Bay.
In addition, its wide range of spas and beaches make it the perfect destination for adventure lovers with an ecotourism style that is friendly to the protection of the environment and the biodiversity that reigns in the region.
On the other hand, this city witnessed important battles such as the Battle of March 19, the Battle of El Numero and the Battle of El Memiso, which were essential to win the independence of the island of Hispaniola, so you will walk through a town of great historical value for the Caribbean country, of which you can be a part during a weekend.