The municipality of Neiba located in the province of Bahoruco in the Dominican Republic enjoys a popularity that transcends borders. Every year, hundreds of tourists visit this town to be part of the famous Grape Fair and the wine route.
In addition, Neiba offers tourists some of the most refreshing and attractive natural spas, so you can take a dip in its crystalline waters while enjoying a delicious traditional dish with Dominican flavor and an exquisite drink.
So, if you plan to take a well-deserved vacation in the Dominican Republic, and want to take the full experience of getting to know this Caribbean paradise, then take note, because below, we will tell you in detail about all the things to do in Neiba and the most important places . unmissable.
Why can’t you stop knowing Neiba? Discover its natural and cultural treasures!
First of all, it is important to highlight that Neiba belongs to the province of Bahoruco, which was founded in 1943. However, before its creation, this area was part of the province of Barahona. Subsequently, the province of Independencia was created, and although Bahoruco was isolated from the Sierra de Bahoruco, it kept its name until today.
Thus, Neiba is the capital of Bahoruco, and it is several centuries old. In fact, since the year 1546, the town was inhabited by breeders and people who were engaged in agricultural activities.
Currently, Neiba is an unmissable tourist place, especially for those who love the history and culture of the Caribbean, as well as ecotourism. In fact, this region has a high potential for sustainable tourism, thanks to impressive natural settings, such as pools, lakes, waterfalls, dry and humid forests, among others.
It should be noted that the word Neiba translates into Spanish as “White Earth”, according to the French writer Moreau Saint-Méry. Very convenient name, if we take into account its beautiful natural landscapes and clear waters.
In addition, before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers, these lands were governed by the chief Jaragua. Time after the colonization process, Neiba became one of the strategic places for the fight for Independence. That is why it also has a high historical and cultural value.
It is also the main wine region of the country, but it also produces other foods such as bananas and coffee. So, if you are near the city or want to expand your experience of the Caribbean country, then be sure to attend the Grape Fair.
Did you know that more than 20 varieties of this rich fruit are harvested? We invite you to discover everything in this article. Do not miss it and keep reading!
When is the best time to visit this attractive town?
Neiba and the province of Bahoruco in general, is an area of the Caribbean country worthy of adventures at any time of the year. Here, the climate is characterized as tropical hot and dry, which means that we do not notice a great variation in temperatures.
However, our recommendation on when it is best to travel to Neiba are the months of December to April or early May, when there is less rainfall. In the southern zone is when the temperatures are much more stable, without exceeding 30°C.
In addition, at night the temperature is not usually below 20°C. On the other hand, you can take a dip in the sea or the natural spas of Neiba in complete relaxation, since the perfect conditions prevail so that the water maintains a stable temperature of no more than 27°C.
Top 7: Best places and things to do in Neiba in the Dominican Republic.
Now yes, let’s now see what are the most exciting activities to do in Neiba and Bahoruco in general, as well as the perfect places for you to live these new adventures. let’s see.
- Take a refreshing bath in Las Marías and other natural pools in Neiba
The Las Marías Natural Monument is the most famous natural spa and visited by travelers who enter the town of Neiba. Both national and international tourists take advantage of this site to enjoy its crystal clear waters, which spring up at the foot of the mountain.
In the surroundings of this little paradise on earth, we find beautiful landscapes. Likewise, the waters of the spa shine with a turquoise but crystalline tone in which you will love to immerse yourself.
Also, as a perfect complement to your experience, be sure to enjoy a bistro with authentic local food with a Dominican flavor. Here you can also find the famous tilapia, typical delicacies of the local gastronomy.
The name “Las Marías” is due to the fact that it was previously part of a large lagoon that flowed into the Panzo River. Currently, this river flows underground, but its waters gush right at the foot of the mountain, forming this natural pool like an oasis in the middle of a landscape with a dry climate.
In addition to Las Marías, you can visit and enjoy other smaller natural lakes such as Cachón de Villa Jaragua; Hoyo de Felipe, in Los Ríos, which is included in the Valley route, among others.
- Take a tour of Isla Cabritos and immerse yourself in its history
Believe it or not, Isla Cabritos was the place where the cacique Enriquillo took refuge, who had a strong participation against Spanish domination. This famous island is located in Lake Enriquillo, and is also one of the main tourist destinations in the Lago Enriquillo National Park (which we will talk about later).
It should be noted that, previously, Isla Cabritos was called by the natives as Guarizacca. But its value lies more than anything in its abundant endemic subtropical forest vegetation, also home to a wide variety of fauna, from aquatic and terrestrial birds, such as flamingos, Florida ducks, white herons, Creole ducks, among others.
You will also be able to see up close a large number of reptiles such as crocodiles and American rhinos and Ricord iguanas. An unforgettable tour that will change the way you see these beautiful animals in their natural habitat!
- Witness the footprints left by the Taíno Indians in the area
Another of the places worth visiting in Neiba, specifically on the north side of Lake Enriquillo are the rock formations where we find engravings left by the ancient Taino Indians, who inhabited the area.
From the north side of the lake, travelers can go up to the Cultural Monument, which was used as a sanctuary or place for rituals by the Indians. The rock formations simply function as a point of contact with their pre-agricultural cultural expression.
When you get to know this magnificent cultural treasure, you will witness the footprints left by the Indians on these huge rocks, located in front of the lake between Postrer Río and La Descubierta. The stone formations are on top of the coral mountains, making it one of the most important rock art sites in the Caribbean.
In addition, since it functions as a center of religious worship, it has been widely studied by historians and speleologists, as it was also one of the most outstanding ceremonial centers of the popular Taino culture.
Although this aboriginal town was extinct mainly as a product of European colonization, they have left an indelible mark through these petroglyphs, which further their history, attracting more and more travelers from all over the world.
- Follow the exquisite Wine and Grape route
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, Neiba is a fertile region where the grape is one of its main fruit treasures. These juicy treasured fruits have been cultivated since the second voyage of Christopher Columbus, so they have gone through many years of history.
That is why the Cooperativa de Vitivinicultores del Valle de Neiba (Coopevine), with the support of the Directorate for National Tourism Promotion of the Ministry of Tourism (Mitur), offer an interesting tour so that you get to know the vineyards first-hand while enjoying the rich Dominican grape flavor.
The tour begins with a vintage, where you can taste the flavor of the grape. Later, you will be guided to the vineyards on a walk, to then participate in the first steps of the winemaking process at the Plaza Cacique Experimental Winery in Coopevine.
As we also told you before, more than 20 types of grapes are harvested in Neiba, some of which are used in the production of wines, such as Sugar On and Red Globe. On the other hand, during the tour, you will be able to interact and consult any information you wish to know with the winemakers in their own farms or vineyards.
At the end of the tour, you will feel like an expert or initiated taster of wines in different brands, assessing the quality of their wines, or, rather, of this nectar of the gods.
It should be noted that the Grape Fair was created in 2009 in Neiba, with the purpose of promoting the production of the vine, which is why it has become a highly sought after attraction by travelers interested in its production in the Dominican Republic.
In addition to the tour, the fair offers other shows such as presentations by folkloric groups, popular dance exhibitions and theatrical performances. Without a doubt, it is an excellent opportunity to learn more about one of the most representative traditions of the Dominican people, especially when it comes to trying its best wines and vintages.
- Take a cool and calm bath in Los Guineos
After finishing the Wine and Grape Route, we recommend that you go to the community of Los Guineos and delve into the depth of vegetation to enjoy its rivers, pools and waterfalls, which deserve a full day tour to immerse yourself in these fresh and clean waters.
For the locals, this area is known as “the Pijote or Guineo river”. In addition, when accessing its waters, you will notice the difference between the climate of the Neiba Valley, warm but fertile, and dry, but with large underground water stores.
In addition, the forest is humid and you will see huge torrents of water to experience new emotions and a lot of fun, especially if you travel with your family, children, friends or loved ones. And be sure to complete your day of excursion to Guinea with a delicious traditional local lunch.
- Villa Jaragua and Los Ríos
Another thing to do in Neiba, especially if you want to tour the province of Bahoruco, is to visit Villa Jaragua and Los Ríos. It is an ecological park where you can take a dip in its water jets, while having your favorite drink in one of its small bars and restaurants with typical dishes from the area.
In this town, you will love to take a photo session next to the Jaraguence Identity Monument, which is located right at the entrance of the town on the way to Jimaní. Another of the main tourist attractions in this area is the first rural museum in the country, created with the help of the famous painter and sculptor Silvano Lora.
Although this museum barely stays afloat in a small typical house in the municipality, it offers a golden opportunity to come into contact with ancient pieces of the Taíno culture of the Cacicazgo de Jaragua, and its first inhabitants.
If you decide to visit the museum, you have the possibility of offering a show of support, which is very valuable for its maintenance. Just by seeing its cultural treasures, such as tools, utensils, and other archaeological pieces, you will have no doubt that it does not deserve to disappear.
In addition, you will be able to see a stuffed crocodile, and also many impressive old photographs that tell many stories.
- Visit Lago Enriquillo National Park and see its huge crocodiles in the wild
Finally, do not forget to live another of the best experiences that Neiba offers us, which is to visit the Lago Enriquillo National Park. It is a park with about 300 km2, which is more than 43 meters below sea level. In addition, it is part of the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve.
If you are a great lover of nature, you will have plenty of reasons to discover this natural setting, with a warm forest, but with an amazing fauna that inhabits it. Here, we find an abundance of guayacán, the bayahonda or cambrón, and the Saona tree, whose fruit is the staple food of the Rhinoceros and Ricord iguanas that roam the entire land.
This wonderful lake is also the sanctuary of the only existing population of American crocodiles in the Dominican Republic. In fact, this species is in danger of extinction, so you will not only see these animals up close as a unique experience, but also live in a wild state like few others in the world.
Bahoruco, and especially the municipality of Neiba, is a territory little explored by travelers, but with a high capacity to become one of the favorite ecological destinations for anyone who dares to live the wonderful experience of participating in its wine tastings. or coffee.
As well as diving into its magical freshwater pools created by the surrounding nature, while you enjoy a beautiful sunset on Lake Enriquillo, or in the famous “Las Marías”, with an exquisite drink with a unique flavor in the world. Just relaxing and unforgettable!