The Province of Monte Cristi , located in the northwest of the Dominican Republic, is not a common tourist destination nor is it very frequented by travelers. However, it has captivating landscapes and a wide variety of activities perfect for getting out of the routine.
Also, although it is not an internationally famous destination, in Monte Cristi you will find rice and banana plantations, goats, giant cacti, salt ponds and limestone cliffs that kiss the waves of the sea. Picture perfect for doing a bit of ecotourism!
In addition, there are many things to do in Monte Cristi and impressive places to see, such as deserts, mangroves, migratory birds and white sand beaches. The best thing is that you can travel to this place on a budget.
Its accommodations and activities are also very cheaply priced, there are even many free things to have an adventure. So, get ready that this time we will tell you everything you need to know before getting to know this little-known province up to now.
Why can’t you stop visiting Monte Cristi?
Monte Cristi is a city founded in 1506 by Nicolás de Ovando and named after King Ferdinand of Spain. In addition, it was in this city in 1895, where the Montecristi Manifesto was signed by the military Máximo Gómez and the politician José Martí, before making their trip to Cuba for the independence struggle.
On the other hand, in this province is the Montecristi National Park, a tourist attraction populated with exuberant nature and many landscapes to enjoy. In addition, it always has a warm temperature and beautiful desert beaches, ideal for getting a good tan.
And it is that, everyone who visits Monte Cristi will be able to find in its magnificent spaces a few days of disconnection from the large crowds of people and noise of the city, giving them relaxing, quiet and peace-filled moments. We’ll check it out below!
When is the best time to visit this attractive Province?
The climate of this province is semi-arid, with a temperature of 26.9 °C and very low rainfall throughout the year. Its geographic location makes summers a bit difficult to define, and average evaporation is 1800mm, which results in trade winds blowing from the northeast.
Here, it is hot every month, both in the wet and dry seasons. Therefore, the best time to visit this attractive province is in any month of the year. However, between the months of July and August there is not very favorable weather for some of the most popular activities.
However, you can enjoy its beaches and tourist places at any time of the year, as it has warm spaces, but with freshness thanks to the winds that come from the northwest.
Top 12: Best places and things to do in the Monte Cristi Province
The Dominican Republic is a country that has great wealth in all its spaces, as it offers different places for all tastes, from the most adventurous people to those seeking an atmosphere of tranquility and relaxation.
An important tourist destination is the Monte Cristi Province, since it has beautiful little-explored attractions. Next, we will present you the best places and things that you cannot stop doing on your trip through this area. Let’s see.
- Live moments of adventure in the Monte Cristi Underwater National Park
This space is perfect for the most adventurous, as it has a wide variety of places for activities such as diving and snorkeling. It doesn’t matter if you are a beginner or an expert, the National Underwater Park has something new to do.
Within this place you will find the Bay of Monte Cristi, known as “the cemetery of ships of the Caribbean” since there are more than 460 sunken galleons and other shipwrecks from the colonial era here.
Also, you will see the Monte Cristi barrier reef, which is the largest formation in the country, covering more than 248 km². In addition, in this space we find almost 90% of all living coral reefs in the Dominican Republic, and with more than 700 species of corals.
Likewise, there is no better place for diving or snorkeling in this province than the Monte Cristi Underwater National Park, so it is truly a paradise to enjoy in the sea with all its beauty.
- Learn about the economy of this province in the Salinas de Montecristi
Las Salinas is the main activity in the economy of this province, because here we find many reserves and salt ponds. If you decide to take the tour, your guides can give you important information about the riches of Monte Cristi from times past to the present day.
As a curious fact, you can take a tour of the Salinas de Montecristi and witness how sea salt is made. It is an exclusive experience, so do not miss it on your next trip to Monte Cristi.
In addition, in the Salt Interpretation Center there is a museum that offers us more information on the preparation of salt in a natural way, and if you like photographs you can capture beautiful moments with postcard landscapes.
- Get to know the great Montecristi Clock monument
In the Dominican Republic there are many of these monuments, so Monte Cristi has not been an exception. In fact, this Montecristi Clock has become a very popular stop for tourists who visit the place. When you arrive in this province, the first thing you should do is go to the Central Park and get to know this emblematic structure.
The Montecristi Clock was built on March 11, 1895 in France, and inaugurated in this province on June 29 of the same year. Everyone who visits it can enjoy an environment full of shade thanks to its large trees that beautify the place, and have a pleasant time with the family. Don’t forget to take lots of photos to show your friends! They will love it!
- A place full of history and great natural landscapes is Cabra Island
Cabra Island is a paradisiacal natural environment that stands out for its impressive natural landscape, history and culture. Here, you will find white sand beaches and crystal clear waters. In the same way, a great variety of endemic plant and animal species.
Likewise, we find old ruins such as a lighthouse built by the tyrant Trujillo, cult structures, precious shells and many corals, so it will be a paradise for anyone who is passionate about ancient and cultural traces.
You can also do various activities such as swimming, bird watching, diving, fishing, picnicking, camping, beach games, and boating.
- San Fernando Parish It will make you travel back in time!
This parish is located at one end of the town square, it is a large structure that stands out for its tinted windows, its bell tower and its mahogany altar. It usually attracts the attention of all its visitors due to its great architectural design inspired by the 19th century.
Visiting the Parish of San Fernando will be a different experience that will take you to another century. You can also take some photos and enjoy its quiet streets and chat with the local people.
- Enjoy a great view at the top of El Morro de Montecristi National Park
This is one of the main parks in Monte Cristi, which has an elevation of 242 meters above sea level and its camel shape draws everyone’s attention.
It is a great place with beautiful views on the heights, and it is composed of dry forest vegetation with various species of plants and animals that you will not see in other places in the world. In El Morro de Montecristi National Park, you can enjoy a boat ride, kayak, fish, or explore its mangroves.
If you come to this park, don’t forget to bring hydration and sunscreen, as its temperatures are high and if you don’t take the proper precautions, you could be affected. We recommend going to El Morro after 4 in the afternoon, when the sun has gone down a bit.
- Discover colorful wildlife in Los Cayos Siete Hermanos
Los Cayos Siete Hermanos is an ecotourism zone that has a refuge for migratory birds, hawksbill turtles and endemic birds. In addition, it has a height of 1.5 to 4.5 meters above sea level.
This place is really perfect for those who love to watch birds, because during the months of May to August, the islets become nesting and mating centers for many seabirds, such as terns, weevils, sooty terns, pelicans, earwigs, warblers. yellow, among other species.
It is important to mention that it is not only a space to meet wildlife, but also home to shipwrecks and coral reefs. In fact, the crystalline waters that surround the seven brothers keys are perfect for many activities such as snorkeling, diving, and kayaking.
- Find out about the Stations of the Cross at Sendero Costero de las Cruces
The Sendero de las Cruces is located within the Montecristi National Park. It is a path that leads its visitors to climb “El Morrito”, in addition, while you are making the tour there are various stops of the Via Crucis that describe all the falls of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.
When you reach the end of the trail you can take a look at the two viewpoints that have a great view of the sea: El Morro and Isla Cabra. To add some fun, it also has two swings to swing on. The walk lasts approximately 15 minutes. Also, remember to take hydration, sunscreen and a hat to protect yourself from the sun.
- Visit the Laguna Saladilla wildlife refuge
The Saladilla Lagoon is the most important freshwater reserve in the Monte Cristi National Park. In addition, this space is protected to preserve its wild fauna and flora, as it has enormous biodiversity. Likewise, many migratory birds come to it to get food.
In Saladilla you can also do activities such as rowing along the coast, bird watching, as well as capturing beautiful moments to remember and show your friends if you bring your camera.
- Take a good dip in Playa El Morro
This is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Province of Monte Cristi, known for its crystal clear waters and brown sand, perfect for taking a dip after an intense day or simply to cool off if the day is very hot.
It is important to know that you should be careful when swimming on this beach, as its waves are strong. One of the things that attracts the attention of tourists in El Morro is the famous rock called “Zapato” named after its shape.
At El Morro beach, you can Kitesurf, Snorkel and take many pictures in this Caribbean landscape.
- Observe the mangroves of Manzanillo and live great experiences in its natural landscapes
Manzanillo is a little-known tourist place, but after knowing it you will not regret going. One of the main attractions is the Estero Balsa Mangrove National Park, which contains 4 types of mangrove trees, such as red, black, white and button mangroves.
In addition, there are many cacti that border the park, along with the great diversity of plants that make this site unique and full of life. Thanks to its biodiversity, this natural environment attracts different birds from other corners of the world, making it perfect for bird watching.
Also, Manzanillo has a beach that stretches along the entire coastline of Monte Cristi, it is perfect for swimming, taking a bath and working on your tan. And it is attractive for activities such as windsurfing, diving, boating, picnicking, and fishing.
- Visit the Máximo Gómez Museum and learn more about Independence
If history is something that fascinates you during your vacation trips, at the Máximo Gómez Museum, you will find key historical documents related to the process of Independence, artifacts and personal objects that belonged to the politician Máximo Gómez.
A curious fact is that in this residence Martí and Máximo Gómez signed the Montecristi Manifesto in 1895, a document that decrees the independence of Cuba and Spain.
Giving the less-crowded provinces of the Dominican Republic a chance is a great adventure, especially if they hide natural and cultural wonders that you will love. As we have seen, Monte Cristi has many wonders and a great list of things to do to have a vacation in style.
In addition, it can become a tourist destination of international fame, thanks to its natural landscapes, mangroves and great ecotourism diversity. In addition, its dry but cool temperature is perfect to enjoy the beaches and lagoons with crystal clear waters that will make your trip exceed your expectations.