Bahía de las Águilas resembles a remote paradise that is hard to find elsewhere in the Caribbean and is known as one of the most spectacular beaches in the Dominican Republic. Forget Punta Cana, forget Samaná – Bahía de las Águilas is most likely the most gorgeous beach you will ever see in your life. Most Dominicans would also call this beach the most beautiful one in the country.
But what’s the fuzz all about? How can you get to Bahía de las Águilas from Punta Cana or Santo Domingo? And is it worth planning a trip to the very remote Southwest of the Dominican Republic? This and much more you will read in the following article about this fantastic beach where we’re also going to tell you which amazing news there is for 2023 for all those who wish to visit Bahía de las Águilas from Punta Cana and Santo Domingo.
- What makes Bahía de las Águilas so special?
- Bahía de las Águilas Location
- How to get to Bahía de las Águilas
- Accommodation Options at Bahía de las Águilas
- Things to do at Bahia de las Aguilas
What makes Bahía de las Águilas so special?
Bahía de las Águilas – think of the most picturesque beach you can imagine with infinite turquoise ocean and the finest and whitest sand. Sounds great? Add an absolutely unspoiled nature – so far there aren’t any buildings or infrastructure at Bahía de las Águilas – and amazing views and you have the recipe for one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic.
It is not without reason that Bahía de las Águilas is a dream for all Dominicans and most of the visitors to the Dominican Republic. Especially its remote location guarantees that every time you visit you’ll be nearly the only one there – on a white sandy beach with a length of 3.5 miles. The water is crystal clear, no music disturbs the peace and if you pick a good tour, they even provide you with a cooler with drinks and snacks for your day on the beach.
Bahía de las Águilas is definitely special. It is hard to say if it is really THE best beach in the Dominican Republic (particularly as the competition with Canto de la Playa, Playa Rincón, Cayo Arena or Playa Esmeralda (one of Punta Canas’ best beaches) is pretty hard), but it is absolutely worth visiting when you’re looking for a remote, pristine and virgin beach which you’re going to have mostly on your own.
Bahía de las Águilas means Eagles Bay in English and is also sometimes referred to as “La Bahía de las Águilas” or “Bahía Las Águilas”. It is part of Jaragua National Park.
Bahía de las Águilas Location
Bahía de las Águilas´is located in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic, very close to the border of Haiti. The next town is Pedernales approx. 30 minutes away, which underlines its remote location, as there is absolutely nothing around in between. There is just Cabo Rojo (with its tiny airport) and Cueva de las Águilas next to Bahía de las Águilas, which is not more than two or three glamping options. I explain those further below.
The next international airport is Santo Domingos Las Américas Airport, approx. a 6-hour drive away. Did I mention that Bahía de las Águilas features a remote location? 😉
Jaragua National Park extends all the way east and south of the beach.
How to get to Bahía de las Águilas
How to get to Bahía de las Águilas from Punta Cana
In the past, Bahía de las Águilas was off-limits for Punta Cana travelers, as it takes around 9 hours to get from Punta Cana to Bahía de las Águilas on the ground.
Luckily, since not such a long time, there are excursions by air from Punta Cana which allows you to get to know Bahía de las Águilas on a day trip. The airplane only needs around an hour to reach the small local airport of Cabo Rojo, from where it is a stone’s throw by land and boat to Bahía de las Águilas. The departure times are perfectly scheduled for the early morning and the late afternoon, allowing you to have around 6-7 hours on spot, giving you the fullest experience of Bahía de las Águilas you can imagine. You can check out the details of those Bahía de las Águilas excursions from Punta Cana here*.
Alternatively, if you’d like to head to Bahía de las Águilas from Punta Cana over land, you need at least a full week: two days to get there (driving this in one day would be insane), 3 days to stay and 2 days for the way back. For further instructions and information on this option (even though it is pretty hard due to the distance), check further below in the Santo Domingo section for some road trip ideas.
How to get to Bahía de las Águilas from Santo Domingo
Road-Trip to Bahía de las Águilas
Most people head to Bahía de las Águilas on a road trip from Santo Domingo. If you split the long journey of about 6-6.5 hours into two sections, you can have a great trip and see a lot of other places in the unspoiled Southwest as well.
Some of the unique attractions – besides Bahía de las Águilas – in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic include:
- Laguna Oviedo (lagoon with animal-watching opportunities)
- Los Patos (the shortest river in the Dominican Republic and a beautiful wild pebbly beach)
- Sierra de Bahoruco (cloud forest with hiking opportunities)
- Cueva de la Virgin (an open cave with a stunning river inside)
- Balneario La Plaza (one of the crystal-clearest rivers in the Dominican Republic)
- Ruta Panoramica (a panoramic route with lots of viewpoints between Barahona and Lago Enriquillo)
- Arroyo Salado (a typical Dominican “Balneario” (lagoon to swim and mingle), easy to reach)
- Los Pozos de Romeo (small and hidden lagoons, just half an hour away from Bahía de las Águilas, they are described further below in the section about the things to do at Bahía de las Águilas)
As you can see, a road trip to the Southwest of the Dominican Republic offers a lot of things to see and is an amazing way to get to know this authentic part of the country.
To get a feeling for the right organization of a road trip in the Dominican Republic, a trip to Bahía de las Águilas could be done as follows:
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Heading back from Cabo Rojo/Bahía de las Águilas to Barahona, visiting Laguna Oviedo and Balneario Arroyo Salado, staying at Loro Tuerto in Barahona ($$) or Ecolodge Vistamar in Los Patos ($$$)($$$)
Heading back from Barahona to Punta Cana or Santo Domingo
Excursion from Santo Domingo to Bahía de las Águilas
If you don’t want to drive or if a road trip to the Southwest of the Dominican Republic is not what you’re looking for, you can also book a guided excursion from Santo Domingo to Bahía de las Águilas*. They are usually operated on a day trip basis and include round-trip flights, hence you don’t have to go all the way overland. Due to the convenient flight hours, you have the whole day at Bahía de las Águilas and can enjoy around 4-6 hours at the beach. This day trip is the best way to get to know Bahía de las Águilas if you’re in a hurry. The excursions are operated in a similar way to the ones from Punta Cana.
Regular scheduled flights to Bahía de las Águilas
A completely new way of visiting Bahía de las Águilas in 2023 is the option of scheduled flights. Those were just inaugurated at the end of 2022 and are therefore brand-new – let’s hope that demand is high so that they will persist.
Those scheduled flights to Bahía de las Águilas start from Santo Domingo’s second airport, La Isabela Airport, and are heading to Cabo Rojo Airport, just 4.5 miles away from the very few accommodation options at Bahía de las Águilas. Flights are operated by Air Century and are currently 50 USD per person per way, operating on Monday and Friday mornings (9 am from Santo Domingo, 10:15 am from Cabo Rojo). Flights can be booked via e-mail ([email protected]) or by calling +1 809 826 4354.
Accommodation Options at Bahía de las Águilas
Right at Bahía de las Águilas, there are no accommodation options. As mentioned, there is no infrastructure right at this pristine beach.
However, there are two different options close by, depending on what exactly you’re looking for.
Bahía de las Águilas: Glamping in Cabo Rojo
If you’re looking for a hotel as close as possible to Bahía de las Águilas, you can stay at the next bay, which is part of Cabo Rojo and usually referred to as Cueva de las Águilas. The beach there is not as gorgeous (but still beautiful, see photo), but the ocean is as turquoise as right at Bahía de las Águilas, hence it is a great place to stay as well. From here at Cueva de las Águilas, the boat trips to Bahía de las Águilas* are usually starting.
Both options available can be considered as a Bahía de las Águilas glamping experience, as they both have luxurious tents right on the beach. The beach is not as picture-perfect as Eagles Bay itself, but the water is as clear and picturesque as at its more famous neighbor.
The following Bahía de las Águilas hotels are available in Cabo Rojo:
Glamping EcoLodge Cueva De Las Aguilas
Glamping EcoLodge Cueva De Las Aguilas* is usually the more affordable option of both glamping accommodations next to Bahía de las Águilas. Big advantages are their cheaper boat trips and the better organization/management. The budget tents here at this particular Bahía de las Águilas hotel are also better than at next door Eco del Mar. On the other side, the beach here is not as cool and a bit grey, but you still can enjoy the marvelous ocean.
Eco del Mar
Eco del Mar* is the fancier option of both Bahía de las Águilas glamping accommodation, but it is also the slightly more unstructured one. Management and service here are sometimes a bit chaotic, and budget tents are rarely worth the money. On the other hand, if you spend the money for one of their casitas, deluxe suites or junior suites, you will have an amazing glamping experience here at Cabo Rojo. Furthermore, the beach and the bar here at Eco del Mar are much more picturesque than at Glamping EcoLodge Cueva De Las Aguilas.
Casa Grande Bahia Ecolodge
Casa Grande Bahia Ecolodge* is a no-frills accommodation at Cueva de las Águilas and the only one available so far besides both glamping experiences. There is nothing fancy here, it is just a simple place to sleep. It is perfect if you’re coming just for one night and are organizing your Dominican Republic road trip on a very low budget.
Bahía de las Águilas: Hotels in Pedernales
If the glamping hotels at Bahía de las Águilas are not your cup of tea, you can also stay in Pedernales, which offers plenty of local accommodation. It is a small bustling Dominican city right at the border with Haiti with plenty of local shops and low-key restaurants. Don’t expect anything fancy here, but Pedernales offers its advantages in terms of infrastructure. It is particularly perfect if you are looking for an affordable Bahía de las Águilas hotel and don’t mind the 45-minute extra drive from Pedernales to Cueva de las Águilas, as accommodation options in Pedernales are much cheaper than right next to Eagles Bay.
Vista de Aguilas Ecolodge
Vista de Águilas Eco-Lodge* is as comfortable as it can get in Pedernales. An accommodation option with slightly international standards offers everything you need as an intrepid traveler in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic. Rooms are comfortable and spacious with a natural design and the on-site restaurant offers locals favorites on a good culinary level. There is even a large pool, which is a big plus in hot Pedernales.
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El Aplatanao Hotel
Currently, El Aplatanao Hotel* is the best budget hotel option in Pedernales. Spotless rooms, good management, centric location, cheap price, great reviews – everything you need for an affordable hotel in Pedernales to visit Bahía de las Águilas the next day.
Things to do at Bahia de las Aguilas
The main thing to do in Bahía de las Águilas is the beach itself. It is simply stunning and gorgeous and will guarantee extraordinary photos. However, there are a few other things to do in Bahía de las Águilas, Cabo Rojo and the surrounding area you shouldn’t miss.
Bahía de las Águilas tour by boat
Ok, this is the main thing to do at Bahía de las Águilas. Get a boat from your accommodation or pre-book one here* and head to one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic. Enjoy the spectacular setting for the day, dip as often as you want into the crystal-clear water and have a walk along the 3.5-mile-long beach. Make sure to take sun protection for your skin and your head, there is hardly any shade at the beach.
Check for starfish while snorkeling
Bahía de las Águilas is not the most famous snorkeling destination in the Dominican Republic (better head to Cayo Arena in the northwest for some outstanding snorkeling), particularly because it is lacking a reef. Still, you can try to snorkel a bit as there are usually some decent starfish populations around here. Just don’t touch them and particularly don’t take them out of the water for photos – they will die if you do so.
Have a sunset drink at your glamping accommodation
Both Bahía de las Águilas glamping hotels presented above, EcoLodge Cueva De Las Aguilas and Eco del Mar, are fantastic spots for sunset drinks. While in most places in the Dominican Republic you only see the sunrise, both accommodations are perfect to watch the sunrise – ideally with a cold Presidente beer or a Cuba Libre in your hand.
Have dinner with your feet in the sand
Once staying at one of the two glamping options, you can also take advantage of their restaurants. They offer freshly prepared dishes and you can enjoy them right at the beach – a truly authentic beach dinner (or lunch) with your feet in the sand. Compared to the busy all-inclusive resorts in Punta Cana, this will feel like a dinner with VIP treatment.
Walk to the Bahía de las Águilas viewpoint
This is an insider tip on the list of things to do at Bahía de las Águilas. If you continue walking the road from Cueva de las Águilas for about 1.3 miles (you might be required to pay an entrance fee), you can reach a viewpoint that offers a spectacular view of the Eagles Bay beach. If you go for the walk, take sufficient water and sun protection, the heat here in the Southwest of the Dominican Republic is relentless.
Pozos de Romeo
If you stay longer than 2 nights at Bahía de las Águilas or would like some different activities while there, you can visit the Pozos de Romeo and the Pozos Las Jicoteas. Both are sinkholes similar to Mexican cenotes and ideal for a quick dip into some refreshing sweetwater. They are located close to the Cabo Rojo junction with the main road to Pedernales (check their locations on Google Maps). They are a 40-minute drive away from Cueva de las Águilas and 20 minutes from Pedernales.
Hoyo de Pelempito
This is a low-key thing to do near Bahía de las Águilas and requires a 4-wheel drive. Hoyo de Pelempito is a massive geological dislocation and can be reached by simply following the road from Cabo Rojo northbound, crossing the main Pedernales – Oviedo road. It is a 75-minute off-road drive approx.
Visit the border with Haiti
Many people traveling to the Dominican Republic also want to set foot on Haitis grounds, not knowing that this is more complicated than it seems at a first sight. From Bahía de las Águilas, you’re just a bit more than 45 minutes away from the Pedernales border crossing (only for pedestrians). On Mondays and Fridays, there is an international market where borders are semi-open. However, due to recent tensions and turmoils in Haiti, this often gets canceled.
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CHRISAuthor, Travel Coach & Punta Cana based digital nomad
Hey, I am Chris, a born and raised German, travel-addictive and Caribbean Soul. Since 2011 I have been living in the Caribbean, among them 5 years in the Dominican Republic. Punta Cana is my home-base here in the country and I’d love to tell you more about how to experience Punta Cana off-the-beaten-track and give you all the advice you want to know for your vacation in Punta Cana.
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