Eagle Bay in the Dominican Republic is a cool landmark of the country. But when planning a visit to this place, travelers make the most mistakes. There is not only a lot of beauty and heavenly pictures, but also a lot of nuances. Read on and I will tell you all the details and subtle points about Bay of Eagles and how we traveled here.
Table of contents:
- Eagle Bay – General Facts
- Bay of Eagles Map
- How to get there
- Transport options in the national park
- What to do on the beach?
- Where to stay overnight: the glamping
- General tips and recommendations for visiting
Eagle Bay: general facts
Let’s start in order and by the end of the article you will have a complete picture of this place. Eagle Bay is in all guidebooks and TOP lists of the country’s attractions. And here’s what you need to know about it:
- In the southwest of the country, near the border with Haiti, there is the Jaragua National Park.
- Bay of Eagles or Eagle Bay or Bahia de Las Aguilas in Spanish is part of this national park.
- The national park is under strict state protection. No construction is allowed here. Therefore, there are no hotels, roads and other infrastructure. But where to stay here, I will write below, the options are very cool.
- There are no eagles in this place and the name has nothing to do with them.
- This is the Caribbean Sea, and here it is very calm and clear. The photos will speak for themselves.
Bay of Eagles: prices, opening hours
- The ticket office is open from 9 am until sunset. The gates are closed at night. There is a free large parking lot in front of the entrance to the park.
- Ticket price: 150 pesos per person (about $3)
It is important to know:This is one of the few places in the country where dollars were not accepted. And there are no exchangers. They don’t accept cards either. Be sure to have pesos with you, and small banknotes are better. And they don’t like to give change here either 🙂
- Recommended time to visit: all year round. By the way, this region is one of the driest in the Dominican Republic. You will understand this from the flora. There are no palm trees at all, only cacti and shrubs. But in the rainy season, when it rains in the north, the weather is great here.
Read about the rainy season, weather and water temperature in the article: Dominican weather.
Eagle Bay Map
Below is a map that will answer many questions and for each mark on this map there will be comments further in the text of the article.
Advice:Install the free Maps.me app on your phone. It works without the Internet and it is a very detailed map, all the necessary points are marked there. And the tickets office and the entrance and everything else.
Bay of Eagles: how to get
And now the most interesting. You can’t just get to the Bay of Eagles. The map above shows where this place is located. The logistics here are extremely difficult.
You can’t get here by public transport. No way. There is one option, by bus from Santo Domingo to get to the town of Pedernales, which is on the border with Haiti. The bus runs once a day and costs about $10. From Pedernales to the entrance to the national park just over 20 km, the last 7 of which are on a terrible road. There is only one option – a taxi. All about public transport in the Dominican Republic.
It is important to know:There is a large article about taxis in the country in detail. But in short: a taxi will cost you about $50 for this section of the journey.
And one more thing: you will spend almost the whole day on the bus from Santo Domingo to the Bay of Eagles. Well, 8 hours exactly. The bus goes 6-6.5 hours. Taxi ride will take 1 hour. Yes, yes 20 km – 1 hour.
The second and last option on how to get to the Bay of Eagles is car rental. It’s definitely more faster and more comfortable.
Read everything about car rental in the country, traffic rules, driving culture of local drivers and safety in the article: car rental in the Dominican Republic.
From Santo Domingo you will reach the entrance to the park (this point is on the map above) in approximately 4 hours. Do not think that there are only 300 km and you will pass them faster. Just plan 4 hours for the road.
If you drive from distant corners of the country, such as Punta Cana and Puerto Plato, then the road by car in one direction will take about 6.5 hours. And do not forget, if you are without an overnight stay, then the same amount of time ago.
Bay of Eagles: options for moving around the park
We believe that you have decided how you will get to the entrance to the park and have already reached. You bought entrance tickets and now decide how to get to the beach itself. There are three options:
- on foot
- rent a big jeep 4×4 that will take you
- by boat
Let’s consider all three options.
Eagle Bay by boat
The most expensive and probably the most pleasant and beautiful option. There are many boats at the entrance to the park, you won’t miss them, and the boatmen themselves won’t let you through either.
Boat package includes:
- Delivery in 10-15 minutes to the Bay of Eagles beach
- They leave you there, specify in advance when to pick up
- At the agreed time, + – hour, you are picked up and driven back. This is the Dominican Republic, an hour late is not late.
- The price depends on many factors, but the most important: how many people will be in the boat. More people – less price
- The standard price is about $40 per person for a drop off and pick up. There is always a bargain here. With a successful combination of circumstances, you can negotiate for $ 20-25. But lower I did not meet.
- Be aware that the price for the locals for the whole boat round trip is about 3000 pesos (~$65). If there are few tourists and you are 3-4 people, you can try to negotiate this price with one of the boaters, only for your company. Of course, they like to overcharge white tourists, but everyone wants to earn money.
- As an argument: tell them that then you will drive a jeep or go on foot, and they will not earn a dollar. This will help bring down the price.
Advice:If you do not have time, and you came here for a couple of hours. Whatever is within an hour or two, the boatman can wait, which means not making the second round to pick you up, and save gasoline, which means a discount! Mark this moment and it will help in the bargain.
At the entrance to the park there will be several land cruisers that you can rent with a driver to take you to the beach.
The package “4ч4” is similar to the boat. Everything is the same and the travel time is the same 10-15 minutes, only on the ground. The price for a seat in a jeep round trip is usually up to $20. In a good scenario, you can go for $ 10, but this is rare. You can also ask for a discount here.
Bay of Eagles on foot
The most interesting option that my wife and I chose. After reading many reports, where everyone writes that it will take forever to walk in the heat, at least 15 km, or even all 25. Of course, we were upset. But look what’s really happening:
- Walk in the sun, yes. There is no shadow. Only cacti. By the way, hummingbirds fly here, if you look closely. And you definitely won’t see them on a jeep or boat.
- On the way there is an observation desk, even three in one place. Neither the jeep nor the boat stops here.
- Of the tourists who walk, we were the only ones 🙂
- But from the entrance to the park to the center of the beach (marked on the map), not to the beginning, but to the center to go only 4 km.
- We walked in flip flops, with stops at the observation decks in 45 minutes.
- The road is normal. There is one steep hill and the same descent.
On foot you pay only for entrance tickets for $3.
What to do at Eagle Bay Beach?
There isn’t much to do here. Sunbathe, swim, watch pelicans, watch fish and look for starfish. And, of course, taking pictures.
From the general points:
- The fish here are not like in the Red Sea in Egypt, much less. But compared to the rest of the Dominican Republic, this is a snorkeling paradise.
- Pelicans that live here. It is the only species in the world that fishes by diving into the water like a bird of prey. Every other species in the world is just diving for fish. We saw Pelicans, it is very interesting to watch them.
- In the Bay of Eagles, you can also meet the world’s largest starfish. But we swam for half a day, there were no stars that day
It is important to know:From the infrastructure there are bushes, cacti, beautiful sand and insanely beautiful sea. There is nothing else. Water, other drinks, snacks, everything you need to take with you!
Where to live and sleep?
As you have already read. There are no hotels or other capital buildings either at the entrance to the park or in the national park itself. But right within a radius of three hundred meters from the entrance to the national park there are 3 campsites. 2 of them are located on the beach and are tents that can be rented. The third campsite is located 100 meters from the sea and consists of small prefabricated panel houses.
Interesting to know:During the pandemic, 2 campsites out of 3 were closed. And nobody knows when they will start working. But as of January 2023, two of the three campsites are open.
2 campsites are classic campsites in our understanding. The third one I recommend is glamping! And if you have never lived in such a place, then now there is a unique chance. You should stay here at least for 1 night.
A more detailed report about this glamping, where to live, where to eat, how to book, as well as many tips, read in a separate article. All you need to know at this stage: it’s cool here and living in such a place for 1-2 days is just fine.
General tips and recommendations for visiting Bay of Eagles
This chapter will help you avoid mistakes in planning. And you can spend a heavenly couple of days here.
- Whatever the navigator says, it takes 4 hours by car to get here from Santo Domingo. The biggest mistake: trying to get here in 1 day, relax in the bay and go back.
- Plan at least one night here. Then say thank you. And 2 is better.
- There are no shops, banks with exchange offices and so on. The restaurant in the glamping is very expensive. Prices are at the link above in the article about glamping. All food, water, alcohol must be bought in advance and brought with you.
- Also, do not hope for a normal store in Pedernales. And in general, there is nothing to do on the border with Haiti. There are more checkpoints and inspections here than anywhere else.
- Please bring Dominican pesos with you. There is no place to exchange dollars either.
- Also bring repellents with you. In windless weather there may be mosquitoes. How we solve this issue, in the article: what you must take with you to the Dominican Republic.
- There are problems with palm trees and shade: be sure to have sun cream and everything your skin needs.
- Take your snorkel and mask with you, here you can and should snorkel.
- Well, the last advice: the last 7 km before the bay and glamping (there is only one road), it is better to follow the signs. Navigator is not correct.
- If you have already decided to go here, then plan to visit the Magnetic Anomaly of the Earth and Laguna Oviedo, where pink flamingos live, on the way. About these two attractions, and the 20 best places in the Dominican Republic, read the article: what to see in the Dominican Republic TOP-20.
- And if you decide to visit these places, then here is the road from Santo Domingo, instead of 4 hours it will take all 7-8 🙂
In conclusion: Eagle Bay in the Dominican Republic is a cool place. The only huge minus is the location in a very far part of the country. My advice: if you have time, go here for 2-3 days. There is no time, it is better to visit the cool places of the Samana Peninsula. There you will see 5 times more in two days.
And one more thing: Bay of Eagles, one of the few places in the Dominican Republic where the beach faces west. This means that there are amazing sunsets overlooking the ocean, which is a rarity for this country.
Have an easy road, unforgettable sunsets, and fantastic memories from Bahia de Las Aguilas!
Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Dominican Republic
- Flights at the best prices with discounts
- Car rental in Dominican (cheaper – only by bus):
- Discovery Cars – a largest international resource
- Hotels and apartments all over the country: Booking
- Vacation packages:
- Tours, excursions and activities (including extreme ones):
- GYG – more than 150 tours (whales tours)
- Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
- eSIM virtual sim card with internet in Dominican
- Taxi and transfers from Dominican airports: Intui.Travel