Visiting the Manatees in the Dominican Republic’s North Coast

Nature lovers will rejoice when they visit the province of Montecristi, on the country’s northwest region.

The small seaside community of Estero Hondo is home to the country’s Marine Mammal Sanctuary, a natural refuge for the gentle manatee, the sea mammals that are currently on the endangered species list.

There are currently very few places in the Caribbean where one can see the manatee in its natural habitat. Although the manatee community is small in the Sanctuary, their numbers have remained stable.

A boat managed by the Ministry of the Environment will take the visitors out to the mangrove-lined channels in search of the manatees.

The area is rich in wildlife, especially in aquatic birds.

The area, protected by the Ministry, is also home to the archaeological remains of the native inhabitants of the island.

Right next to the Visitor’s Bureau is a beautiful pristine beach where visitors will be able to enjoy a refreshing swim.

In order to reach Estero Hondo visitors must take the road to Montecristi, pass the village of Villa Elisa, until you reach Punta Rucia. The protected area is in this vicinity.

Overnight stays are available in Punta Rucia. For more information, please write to areas.protegidas @ ambiente.gov.do or call 809-567-4300.

Adolfo Lopez
Environmental Consultant

This post is also available in: Spanish, French, German, Italian, Russian, Portuguese

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