Best Places for Bird Watching in the Dominican Republic: A Birder’s Paradise

The Dominican Republic is a premier destination for bird watching enthusiasts, offering a rich diversity of avian species, including many endemics. With over 300 species recorded, the country’s varied habitats—from tropical rainforests and coastal mangroves to montane forests and arid regions—provide ample opportunities for observing birds in their natural environments. Here are some of the best places for bird watching in the Dominican Republic.

1. Los Haitises National Park

Located on the northeastern coast, Los Haitises National Park is a haven for birds, featuring extensive mangrove forests, limestone karsts, and a network of waterways.

Highlights of Los Haitises National Park

  • Bird Species: Home to species such as the brown pelican, magnificent frigatebird, Hispaniolan parrot, and the rare Ridgway’s hawk.
  • Mangroves and Caves: Explore the mangrove forests and limestone caves adorned with ancient Taino petroglyphs while spotting various bird species.
  • Boat Tours: Guided boat tours offer an excellent way to navigate the park’s waterways and observe birdlife up close.

2. Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve

Situated in the Central Mountain Range, the Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve is a protected area known for its lush cloud forests and rich biodiversity.

Highlights of Ebano Verde Scientific Reserve

  • Endemic Birds: Look for endemic species like the Hispaniolan trogon, green-tailed warbler, and the eastern chat-tanager.
  • Scenic Trails: Hike through well-maintained trails that wind through the forest, offering plenty of bird-watching opportunities.
  • Research and Conservation: The reserve focuses on scientific research and conservation, making it an important site for studying local avifauna.

3. Jaragua National Park

Jaragua National Park, located in the southwestern part of the Dominican Republic, is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve known for its diverse ecosystems, including dry forests, coastal lagoons, and mangroves.

Highlights of Jaragua National Park

  • Laguna de Oviedo: This saltwater lagoon is a key bird-watching spot, home to flamingos, roseate spoonbills, and a variety of wading birds.
  • Coastal Habitats: Explore the park’s coastal areas, where you can spot shorebirds, seabirds, and the endemic Hispaniolan lizard-cuckoo.
  • Biodiversity Hotspot: The park’s mix of habitats supports a wide range of bird species, making it a must-visit for bird watchers.

4. Sierra de Bahoruco National Park

Sierra de Bahoruco National Park, part of the larger Biosphere Reserve, encompasses diverse habitats ranging from dry forests to high-altitude cloud forests, providing a sanctuary for many bird species.

Highlights of Sierra de Bahoruco National Park

  • Endemic Birds: Spot endemic species such as the Hispaniolan spindalis, white-necked crow, and La Selle thrush.
  • High-Altitude Birding: The park’s higher elevations are ideal for observing montane species and enjoying cooler temperatures.
  • Guided Tours: Knowledgeable guides can help you navigate the park’s trails and identify bird species.

5. Laguna de Cabarete y Goleta

Located near the popular beach town of Cabarete, Laguna de Cabarete y Goleta is a protected wetland area that attracts a variety of bird species.

Highlights of Laguna de Cabarete y Goleta

  • Wetland Birds: Look for herons, egrets, and ducks in the shallow waters and surrounding reeds.
  • Mangrove Forests: The mangrove areas provide habitat for species such as the mangrove cuckoo and the common black-hawk.
  • Accessibility: The lagoon is easily accessible and offers tranquil bird-watching experiences close to the amenities of Cabarete.

6. Valle Nuevo National Park

Valle Nuevo National Park, located in the central part of the country, is known for its high-altitude pine forests and unique flora and fauna.

Highlights of Valle Nuevo National Park

  • Pine Forests: The Hispaniolan pine forests are home to species like the Hispaniolan crossbill and the Hispaniolan pine warbler.
  • Endemics and Migrants: In addition to endemics, the park also sees migratory birds during certain seasons.
  • Stunning Landscapes: Enjoy the breathtaking landscapes and cooler climate while exploring the park’s bird-rich environments.

7. Punta Cana Ecological Foundation (Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park)

The Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park in Punta Cana is a private protected area managed by the Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, featuring freshwater lagoons, subtropical forests, and a wide variety of birds.

Highlights of Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park

  • Lagoons and Trails: The park’s network of trails and freshwater lagoons provides excellent bird-watching opportunities.
  • Diverse Species: Spot species such as the Antillean nighthawk, the great egret, and the white-necked crow.
  • Educational Programs: The park offers educational programs and guided tours focused on conservation and sustainable tourism.

8. El Choco National Park

El Choco National Park, located near Cabarete, features a mix of tropical forests, caves, and freshwater lagoons, making it a diverse bird-watching destination.

Highlights of El Choco National Park

  • Cave Systems: Explore the park’s caves, which are home to bats and provide habitat for various bird species.
  • Forest Birds: Look for species such as the palmchat, Hispaniolan parrot, and the black-crowned tanager.
  • Eco-Tours: Join eco-tours that combine bird watching with other activities like hiking and exploring the park’s natural attractions.

Tips for Bird Watching in the Dominican Republic

  • Bring Binoculars: A good pair of binoculars will enhance your bird-watching experience by allowing you to see distant birds clearly.
  • Field Guide: Carry a field guide specific to Caribbean or Dominican Republic birds to help with identification.
  • Be Patient and Quiet: Birds can be elusive, so patience and quiet observation are key to successful bird watching.
  • Join Guided Tours: Local guides have expert knowledge of bird species and their habitats, enhancing your bird-watching experience.
  • Visit Early or Late: Early morning and late afternoon are the best times for bird watching, as birds are most active during these periods.


The Dominican Republic’s rich biodiversity and varied habitats make it a top destination for bird watchers. From the mangrove forests of Los Haitises National Park to the high-altitude pine forests of Valle Nuevo National Park, there are countless opportunities to observe and appreciate the country’s avian wonders. Whether you’re a seasoned birder or a novice, these bird-watching hotspots offer unforgettable experiences and the chance to connect with nature. Plan your bird-watching adventure in the Dominican Republic and discover the incredible variety of birdlife that this Caribbean paradise has to offer.

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