The province of El Seibo is one of the best places in the Dominican Republic for ecotourism. This area of the Caribbean country stands out for its commitment to the diversity of tourist offers, making it an excellent destination if you are looking to live new experiences in this Caribbean region.
Before 1992, El Seibo included the province of Hato Mayor, another of the most popular tourist spots in the interior of the Dominican Republic. Despite this, it is still a tourist gem to visit, so there are currently many activities to do in this magnificent province.
Why is El Seibo worth a visit during your vacation in the Dominican Republic?
In fact, since long before its founding in 1502, this area is home to numerous historical and cultural monuments, as well as natural wonders, so it represents a great opportunity to introduce yourself to the Dominican way of life and discover new treasures beyond the most famous among travelers.
Its full name is Santa Cruz del Seibo, and as we can see, it is one of the oldest cities in the country, occupied for years by the Taino Indians. And it is that, throughout this region, we will find numerous monuments and historical statues in honor of the events after the Spanish colonization.
In addition, as a tourist destination for practicing extreme sports, El Seibo is a paradise for lovers of activities such as mountaineering, hiking, and much more. On the other hand, this province offers a great variety of natural beauties, such as waterfalls, lagoons, spas, and more.
On the other hand, tourism in El Seibo has been expanding more rapidly in recent years, because, although the city is very old, visitors have been more attracted to this region recently.
Likewise, the city has very few hotels in Miches, but you will not stop seeing multiple lodging offers, which is also a great advantage if you are looking to connect with its people and their most authentic customs.
What is the best time to visit El Seibo?
The province of El Seibo has long, very hot summers, but also cloudy. As for the winters, these usually present a lot of winds and with mostly clear skies. Temperatures vary between a minimum of 19°C in winter and a maximum of 33°C in summer.
In this sense, the best time to visit Santa Cruz de El Seibo is between the end of November and the end of April. It is during these dates, when the summer is more refreshing, and water or sports activities will be much more pleasant for travelers.
Top 8: The best things to see and do in El Seibo
So, below, we have compiled a list with the best places and things to do in El Seibo so that you do not miss anything, and you can organize your trip well informed. Let’s see!
- Spend a pleasant and relaxing time at Bahía Esmeralda Beach
Bahía Esmeralda beach will make you fall in love with its crystal clear waters in a unique and natural environment. Currently, it is on the list of the best beaches to visit and enjoy in this fantastic Caribbean country.
This beach is on the way to the Montaña Redonda, which we will talk about later. In addition to money, you can spend a pleasant time in the local restaurant, enjoying a delicious dish with fresh fish, while you see the sea and the coast of Miches.
You will also love the friendliness of its inhabitants, who will do everything possible to make your stay as pleasant and pleasant as possible. Finally, horseback excursions are offered, making it an activity that will allow you to enjoy the natural environment of the area much more.
- Discover the Basilica of the Holy Cross in El Seibo
Visiting the Basilica of the Holy Cross is a great opportunity if you want to get a closer look at the early New World architectural style, since this religious complex was built in 1556 in El Seibo. In fact, it is one of the few specimens from this era.
In this sense, this Spanish-style basilica, with its red roof and white exterior walls, occupies an important place in the history of the Spanish colonization period. In addition, the Basilica was in effect the third building that the Spanish erected in the New World.
As a curious fact, a large part of the current construction is the result of a reconstruction at the end of the 19th century that became necessary because the construction materials used by the Spanish were not suitable to resist the surrounding climate.
Another fact that will motivate you much more to discover this church is that the main treasure of the basilica is a cross covered with jewels with a piece of wood taken from the cross on which Jesus was crucified.
By donating this piece of the cross, the Vatican has done a great honor to the basilica. On the other hand, the church exhibits paintings and paintings from the 15th and 16th centuries, as well as various gold and silver objects.
Some of the 15th century pieces are even set with diamonds and emeralds. As we can see, this complex houses a great historical and cultural heritage that you cannot miss.
- Enjoy a bottle of mabí at the mabí manufacturing plant
Mabí is a traditional drink from El Seibo, which is not made outside its borders or in other parts of the Caribbean. In fact, most of the mabí production is local, which is why it is considered the champagne of this region.
In this sense, if you are in the city, you can take advantage and stop by the Mabí manufacturing plant built in 1883, where you can learn about the production process and buy a bottle of mabí at a good price.
As a curious fact, the mabí is obtained from the fermentation of the bark or roots of the Indian behuco with sugar cane juice. In addition, it has been made since the time of the Taino Indians who previously occupied the island.
- Immerse yourself in the customs of the inhabitants of Miches
Visiting the town of Miches, in El Seibo is a very pleasant way to be part of the customs of its inhabitants. Head to the traditional seaside town and explore its surroundings, full of tropical trees and agricultural plantations.
The town is located north of the Eastern Cordillera and southeast of the Bay of Samaná. In addition, it is bordered by hills dotted with palm trees and other types of trees, which managed to attract the attention of the first inhabitants during their fishing activities.
The area is full of agricultural plantations, due to the fact that its lands are very fertile, which led to the consolidation of its inhabitants. Miches is a destination with a wide range of natural landscapes to walk around, both in its mountainous areas and its beaches on the coast.
If you are in the Dominican Republic during Carnival or Easter, then you cannot miss how its streets are filled with thousands of Dominicans wanting to enjoy the contests and costumes.
As you can see, Miches is a great place to mingle with the Dominicans and immerse yourself in their culture, away from the more tourist-heavy places on the eastern side of the region. In addition, 17km from here, you can take the opportunity to visit the Scientific Reserve of the Redonda and Limón lagoons.
- Appreciate numerous species of birds in the Scientific Reserve of the Redonda and Limón lagoons
If you are a lover of wildlife and you like ecological tourism, then you should continue your visit and go to the Scientific Reserve of the Redonda and Limón lagoons. Here, you will be able to observe a rich variety of endemic flora and fauna, which you will not be able to see anywhere else.
The Scientific Reserve has two lagoons, which cover an area of 101 km2, with an average depth of around 1.40 m and a maximum of 2 m. The bottom of the lagoons is muddy, since on its shore there is a mangrove area that provides them with raw materials.
In addition, this natural site is home to numerous birds such as the zaramagullón, the red-billed coot, the gray heron, the King Congo, the spoonbill and the duck. In addition to birds, other animals take refuge there, such as the abundant choughs, and fish such as sea bass and tilapia.
One fact that you might like to know is that the Redonda Lagoon has a channel-shaped mouth to the sea called Caño Celedonio and that is why its waters are salty, while those of the Limón Lagoon are sweet.
In addition, if you are one of those who likes to spend a day at the beach alone or with few people around, you can go to Playa Limón, located between the two lagoons, which is lined with coconut trees, and where many horsemen pass by. throughout the day
- Enjoy waterfalls and natural pools in Pedro Sánchez
Pedro Sánchez is a town in El Seibo well known for its natural parks, located just 16 km from Santa Cruz del Seibo. In fact, this town is bordered by a part of the mountain range that surrounds the eastern Dominican Republic.
The highlights of this natural park are two large waterfalls, several natural pools for bathing and about twenty caves. These caves have special significance in the history of the Dominican Republic because the Taino Indians lived in these caves before the arrival of the Spanish.
The city of Pedro Sánchez has turned completely towards the development of ecotourism and the preservation of the environment, which is why you will find many excursion offers that take you to the two waterfalls, Salto Grande and Salto Cucuyo.
In the part of the mountain range called “El Grumo”, the guides take visitors to see the stalactites and stalagmites inside the caves, many of the tours also offer a typical Dominican meal and cultural shows with local artists on stage. Don’t miss out on these enriching activities!
- Eat a delicious dessert at Dulcería Tula
Also known as the Tula confectionery, it is a very popular sweet shop throughout El Seibo for its traditional “dulce de leche”, a milk-based dessert. Its owner is Juana Chala, who started making sweets as a source of extra income, since her husband did not earn much money.
When her husband died, she began to increase her production and increase her clientele and her pastries became the most popular in the entire eastern Dominican Republic, attracting thousands and thousands of national and international clients.
Juana Chala continues to work from home, and people from other areas come to El Seibo to buy her rich delicacies and desserts. The confectionery now sells other varieties of dulce de leche mixed with cashews, guava or orange. Don’t forget to make a stop at your local to taste your palate with one of its delicious desserts! You will want to try them all!
- Take a tour of the cocoa plantations
It is a half-day tour, where you will discover the origin of chocolate, how it is grown, and the entire production process. Throughout the tour, you will visit a cacao plantation to see this whole process step by step first hand.
Also, you will learn to distinguish the flavors and aromas of cocoa beans and the different stages of production will be explained to you, from the collection of the grain to the export of the product. This is a highly interactive guided tour that we are 100% sure you will enjoy to the fullest.
Throughout the tour, visitors participate in different activities such as planting cocoa, controlling the humidity of the beans, roasting the beans, and tasting hot chocolate at the end of the tour as a reward.
As an additional curious fact, it is a totally organic family plantation. After taking the tour, we are sure that you will never look at a chocolate the same way again by being the protagonist in its production!
In addition to this, you will be able to enjoy a delicious lunch in which you will taste a typical Dominican meal prepared by women who are part of a rural association. During this meal, you will taste other local products such as wine, jam and, of course, chocolate.
Visitors who wish can extend their visit on horseback or on foot, along trails that meander through the surrounding mountains. You can also go to the river, and even spend the night at the “La casa familiar” hostel. A magical experience that you will enjoy!
El Seibo is one of the most important provinces of the Dominican Republic, and as we can see, it is a region with numerous hidden gems waiting to be discovered and lived to the fullest.
Its cocoa plantations, festive activities, natural parks, and more make El Seibo a place worthy of appearing on your list of ecological and cultural adventures to embark on in the Dominican Republic, you will not regret living these exciting adventures!