The city of Rio San Juan is considered the center of the municipality of the same name in the province of Maria Trinidad Sanchez. It is located in the northern part of the Dominican Republic, off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, in a picturesque hilly area, immersed in the greenery of exotic plants. It is a small town with a total population of about seventeen thousand people. Not so long ago (until the early eighties of the last century), the inhabitants of Rio San Juan were mainly engaged in agriculture: they grew local crops, raised livestock and fished. Today they have more relevant classes: travel services and trade. But the atmosphere of a quiet, cozy provincial town, living in unhurried rhythms, is perfectly preserved here. This is what attracts tourists looking for solitude, peace and relaxation here. In Rio San Juan good to come with children.
Sights and entertainment in Rio San Juan
The main feature, and at the same time the attraction of the city, is its rich exotic nature, which has not yet reached the merciless hands of civilization. Rio San Juan is chosen for recreation by people who dream of spending their vacation far from the hustle and bustle of megacities with all their attributes. Simple contemplation of nature, communication with children surrounded by stunning landscapes, sea bathing, tanning and complete relaxation – this is what its guests expect from this town. But here, in addition, the clear waters of the Atlantic and a pleasant breeze reign, prompting fans of active pastime to descend to the depths of the ocean and conquer its waves.
The Gri-Grí lagoon is named after the variety of palms that grow in large numbers in this area alongside mangroves and vines. All this exotic beauty fragrant with greenery surrounds the turquoise waters of the lagoon, along which tourists move in small boats. For a long time, the lagoon serves as a haven for many different birds, delighting with their voices tourists who have dropped in for a short time. Such an excursion can be very useful for people who want to relax surrounded by wildlife, instead of listening to digital recordings of its sounds.
Playa Caleton Beach
Playa Caleton Beach is a small cozy beach in a beautiful lagoon surrounded by coral reefs, where you can relax for a couple in love or a family with children. On weekends, locals come here – open and good-natured people. And on weekdays you can meet only a few people, so no one bothers to relax and gain strength. This beach is also loved by divers for its shelter from strong winds, clear water and beautiful underwater views.
Brianda Jeep Safari
Jeep safari is a popular form of entertainment in Rio San Juan. During the excursion, you can admire the magnificent landscapes of rivers and waterfalls, the sea coast, dense jungles, high mountains and mysterious caves, learn how a typical Dominican village lives, see how exotic fruits are grown and take many beautiful photos for memory. In addition, during the entire excursion, tourists are accompanied by a video operator, and the participants receive a disc with a professional video of this trip as a gift. Official website:
Playa Grande Golf Course
Playa Grande Golf Course is a golf club and a nature reserve at the same time, occupying a huge area near Rio San Juan. Here you can perfectly combine beach holidays, water sports, golf on a beautiful green field surrounded by breathtaking seascapes, as well as walks in the natural park and watching exotic birds. The official website of the golf club:
DR Eco Adventures
Eco-farm DR Eco Adventures is a great opportunity to relax away from the gray civilized everyday life. The organizers of the project offer hiking and horseback riding in nature, kayaking, cycling, beach recreation, and surfing training. Guests are fed exclusively with organic products. Eco-farm official website:
The Marlin Chaser
The Marlin Chaser is a sport fishing club where you can have a great time hunting coastal blue marlin. Sea fishing is a very popular entertainment in the north of the Dominican Republic. The club has everything you need to make the fisherman’s cherished dream come true – to catch a huge exotic fish. An adrenaline rush, a sea of unforgettable impressions and a first-class catch are guaranteed. Club phone: +1 849-264-5725.
Beach waves, reef waves, peak waves – which ones do you prefer? In Rio San Juan, you can contrive and catch any. The north coast of the Dominican Republic is renowned for its excellent surfing conditions throughout the year. The winter months are characterized by formidable waves of six meters high – this is the time for the pros. It is better for beginners to try their hand in the summer – at this time the sea is much calmer, but you can ride with great pleasure. And the best place for this activity, as well as for kiting or windsurfing, is Playa Grande beach.
The Grand Carnival of the Sea has been held in Rio San Juan every year since 1997. The holiday lasts four days, from February 14 to 17, and during this time fans of bright shows from all over the world come here. There really is something to see: passionate Dominican women in bright robes and masks depict various inhabitants of the depths of the sea. Their costumes are adorned with shells, shark teeth and other nautical décor. Their slender bodies move in an endless dance to the fiery musical rhythms. The action takes place on a huge stage, set right in the sea, in the middle of the picturesque Gri-Grí lagoon. During the carnival, you can taste traditional festive Creole cuisine. The culmination of the holiday is the exciting moment of choosing the Sea Queen, whose head will be adorned with a silver crown with larimars and corals of black and pink colors.
How to get to Rio San Juan
The nearest airport to the city, Gregorio Luperon, is located 65 kilometers away, in Puerto Plata, from where you can take road number 5 by a rented car, taxi or bus. Offices of car rental companies are located right at the airport, there are no special problems with a taxi either. Good air-conditioned buses are provided by the transport companies Caribe Tours (phone +1 809 586 4544) and Autobuses Metro (phone +1 809 586-6063). Travel time will take an average of 1.5 hours.
Restaurants of the city
Of course, you will not be full of natural beauties, but after active sports entertainment you really want to eat, so we will show you several popular cafes and restaurants in Rio San Juan, where you can taste homemade cuisine, familiar European dishes, and exotic delights that are not prepared anywhere else.
La Table de Marianne is considered by many to be the best restaurant in town. This is a pub-restaurant that is open almost until the morning. The menu features French and international cuisine. There are outdoor and indoor seating. They can be booked in advance. The restaurant is visited by both fun companies and families with children. They offer delicious homemade ice cream.
Address: Calle Duarte 15, Rio SanJ uan.
Sun – Thu from 8:00 to 5:00.
The Gates Of Paradise
Las Puertas Del Paraiso – this restaurant is liked by everyone, without exception, regardless of whether the visitors are strict vegetarians or do not dine in well-done meat. Delicious cuisine, pleasant atmosphere and very friendly service are the main indicators that guests of Las Puertas Del Paraiso note in their reviews.
The address: La Novilla, Rio San Juan.
Coffee of Paris
Overlooking the Gri-Grí lagoon, Café de Paris offers a tasty and inexpensive lunch or dinner of French and international cuisine. A variety of drinks are offered to customers’ choice. And also great coffee is brewed here. The cafe is very popular, so it is better to book a table in advance. On weekends, Café de Paris is open until late at night and is more like a bar or nightclub where locals gather for a drink and some fun.
Average account: RD $ 180 ($ 4) – RD $ 720 ($ 16).
Address: Laguna Gri-Gri, Rio San Juan.
Sun – Thu from 8:00 to 00:00;
Fri – Sat from 8:00 to 2:00.
The big house
La Casona is a small family restaurant with a cozy homely atmosphere that will surely please those who like to eat in a calm, intimate atmosphere. In addition, local cuisine is excellently prepared here, and this gives guests an excellent excuse to get to know her better.
The address: Calle Duarte, Rio San Juan.
daily from 9:00 to 22:00.
Sand and sun
Arena Y Sol, located on one of the streets of the city, offers delicious dishes from fresh seafood delivered here daily. Guests dine surrounded by tropical plants, accompanied by live music. The restaurant is distinguished by excellent service, pleasant atmosphere and good value for money.
The address: Calle Felipon Bonilla, 97, Rio San Juan.
Rio San Juan Accommodation
Rio San Juan is a small city, but you can stay here both in a small budget hotel and in an elite hotel, while the service will be sincere and accurate, no matter which option you choose and whatever budget you have. Some of the city’s most popular hotels are listed below.
Grand Bahia Principe
Grand Bahia Principe ***** is a hotel with a private beach, four swimming pools, a conference room, several bars and restaurants for every taste. The hotel offers two types of accommodation: standard rooms for two people and suites, located in luxurious villas near the beach. All rooms are equipped with air conditioning and ceiling fans. The hotel offers services of a Spa-center, excursions, sports entertainment, animation services. The all-inclusive system operates.
Address: Ctra. Gaspar Hernández – Rio San Juan, Km 18.
The Palaceat Playa Grande
The Palaceat Playa Grande **** is a beautiful and cozy hotel, similar to a small fairytale palace, with 13 suites, which are often occupied by couples in love, who do not tolerate prying eyes and fuss. Here you can really retire and relax calmly, like in paradise. A swimming pool, free internet, parking and a restaurant complete the hotel’s comfortably furnished rooms.
The average cost of a room is RD $ 15,000 ($ 320) per night.
Address: Calle, Rio San Juan.
The Gates Of Paradise
Las Puertas Del Paraiso is a mini-hotel located at some distance from the city and not only by its name, but also by its whole essence, calling to stay in a cozy personal paradise. The hotel has a swimming pool. Free parking is provided, pets are allowed, and breakfast is included.
The average cost of a room is RD $ 6,800 ($ 150) per night.
The address: La Novilla, Rio San Juan.
Hotel Bahia Blanca
Hotel Bahia Blanca is a modest mini-hotel on the ocean shore, surrounded on three sides by water. A very romantic place for absolutely meager money. The hotel has a restaurant and cocktail bar, free internet and Wi-Fi, and laundry services. Bahia Blanca is located right on the beach, practically in the city center.
The average cost of a room is RD $ 1,600 ($ 35) per night.
The address: G F Deligne, Rio San Juan.