Top 8 Spots to Photograph in the Dominican Republic

Cave Water Cenote Dark Photo Dominican Republic

Planning a trip to the Dominican Republic? After traveling around Santo Domingo, Sosúa and Puerto Plata, here are 8 recommended photo and instagram spots for photography across the island. I’ve also included a few tips, the gear I used, and each location on Google Maps.

1. Los Tres Ojos (Three Eyes Cave) – Outer Santo Domingo

The three eyes cave is a 50-yard open air limestone cave found in the Outer Santo Domingo area in the Dominican Republic. It’s inside the Mirador del Este park and features lush beautiful palm trees and other flora as well as crystal blue waters. It has three lakes as part of the system, therefore it has received the name Three Eyes Cave (Los Tres Ojos). To visit all of the lagoons you will need to climb 692 stairs for a round trip walk into and back out of the cave system.

Cave Water Cenote Dark Photo Dominican Republic

Cave Water Cenote Dark Photo Dominican Republic

2. Monkey Jungle DR Animal Park – Outer Sosúa

The Monkey Jungle DR is an active Squirrel Monkey Sanctuary is only a 30 minute drive away from Sosúa. While Squirrel monkeys are not native to the Dominican Republic, this free roaming sanctuary allows the squirrel monkeys to come and go as they please, as they are not caged in. In fact, since the conditions are favorable the population returns to hang out with the tourists that come to feed them fruit and coo at their cuteness. Monkey Jungle DR uses its tourism dollars to actively provide free dental, veterinary, and pharmaceutical services to the impoverished islanders, making this destination one of the most socially conscious tourism attractions on the entire island. While the founders, returning from a medical-charity mission from Haiti, were lost at sea following a seaplane crash during a storm, their legacy lives on in the kindness of their facility and charitable efforts.

They do not accept credit cards on site so make sure to bring enough local currency or USD to pay for your adventures!

Dominican Republic Monkey Sanctuary Tree Grip Forest

Dominican Republic Monkey Sanctuary Tree Grip Forest

3. Monkey Jungle DR Zip Line Adventure – Outer Sosúa

Offering the additional option to ride this epic zipline, the Monkey Jungle in the Dominican Republic is an excellent way to spend your morning before grabbing lunch and hitting the beach. Our group did opted out of the zipline adventure, but this unbeatable view is available for free from the parking lot. During the drive out there you will pass lush / dense tropical rainforests filled with coastal flora and tall palm trees. Feel free to hop out of the car and admire the greenery while you can!

They do not accept credit cards on site so make sure to bring enough local currency or USD to pay for your adventures!

Dominican Republic Forest Palm Trees

Palm Trees Dominican Republic Tree Forest Black and White Lookup

4. Kite Beach – Cabarete

Cabarete is a town located within the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. This town is well known for it’s tourism and beach culture. In fact, Cabarete’s Kite Beach is one of the best Kite-Surfing beaches in the world with a mostly constant airstream passing the north coast of the island creating the perfect amount of wind for Kite Surfers. Kite Beach has hosted many international professional Kitesurfing competitions such as the WorldCup/Copa Mundial, Master of the Ocean, PKRA, and WKL. Many professionals from around the world travel here to practice in the off-season and the local population are natural kitesurfing athletes. Hang out at the beach with a drink to photograph the surfers, local vendors sell their home brew of Mama Juana, or rent gear / book a lesson to learn how to kite-surf amongst the local legends.

Kite Surfing Clouds Sunset Human Surfer Dominican Republic

Kite Surfing Clouds Sunset Human Surfer Dominican Republic

5. Playa Alicia (Alicia Beach) – Sosúa

A local hideaway beach along the north shore of the Dominican Republic, there’s a slight inlet and bend in the coastline that allows this beach to face west– perfect positioning for a beautiful sunset! Tucked away in this hidden residential neighborhood, you’ll enjoy a quiet beach with a nice coastal view of the Dominican Republic and on clear days you may be able to spot a few of the neighboring islands.

6. Calle 9 (9th Street) – Beach Front Sosúa

I’ll admit, you’ll likely be able to find a similar environment anywhere along the coast of the Dominican Republic, wandering through some lush tropical palm trees. This spot in particular was close to where we were staying and if you’re in the neighborhood, it’s an easy / acessible location with a very short foot path.

Head east on 9th Street marked with the pin on google maps until you notice a path on your left that leads you through this lush tropical palm tree forest. Check this place out around blue hour for dramatic lighting and bring a few light-painting tricks with you if you enjoy that kind of photography!

The first photo features a light painting using steel wool, while the second image features a light painting using an LED brush on a rope-swing.

Steel Wool Palm Trees Blue Hour Forest Tropical
Aamir Husain in Frame

LED Light Painting Palm Trees Blue Hour Forest Tropical

7. Teleferico Cable Car – Puerto Plata

You can easily watch the Cable Cars climb to the top of the Isabel de Torres mountain from the parking lot (1st image). The cable cars climbs to 800m above sea level in about 10 minutes. On the ride up and down you’ll notice sweeping views of Puerto Plata and the lush tropical rainforest below. Once at the top you’ll be able to walk through the trees above Puerto Plata. At the top there is a large statue of Christ the Redeemer which is similar to the one in Rio de Janeiro, it was too cloudy/foggy when we were up there so we couldn’t see too much of it. From the top of Pico Isabel de Torres mountain you can catch breathtaking views of the mountain, Puerto Plata, the coastline and the ocean.

Teleferico Puerto Plata Transportation Tropical Rainforest Mountain Gondola

Teleferico Puerto Plata Tropical Rainforest Mountain Palm Trees

Isabel de Torres Mountain 800m Elevation Sky Clouds Observation Deck

8. Downtown Puerto Plata Street Photography

Puerto Plata is a cool city, booming with local entrepreneurs, tourist shops, stray dogs, and, in parts, a crumbling infrastructure. Wander around the downtown area to see the cities attractions and explore the outskirts of the city for more interesting urban photography angles.

Street Photography in Downtown Puerto Plata

Street Photography in Downtown Puerto Plata


Bonus: 27 Charcos (27 Waterfalls) – Outer Puerto Plata

One excursion that I highly recommend is hiking, swimming and conquering the 27 Waterfalls of Rio Damajagua. It costs $15, is the most fun I had on the island, takes all afternoon, and includes a free all you can eat authentic Dominican BBQ lunch (which was delicious). Only waterproof cameras are feasible here since you will be fully submerged in water and jumping from the tops of 10-15 foot waterfalls into the pools below.

Since I did not have a waterproof camera check out our friend Justin Walter‘s excursion through this hidden gem of an action-packed tourist destination here:

27 WATERFALLS IN 27 PHOTOS


If you enjoyed this, check out Focal Collective’s other travel guides in the adventure section of our blog Focal Points. Feel free to look through our Artist Interview Series as well!

Author Mike Lindle (@MikeLindle) is a founder of Focal Collective. His goal is to offer advice and tips to those who crave adventure. He lives in Denver, CO but spends most of his working hours exploring California and beyond.