Santa Cruz de Barahona or ‘Barahona’ as it is shortened to by locals and tourist alike was founded by the French-Haitian general Toussaint L’Ouverture in the year 1802. Prior to its founding, the land was occupied by a few people and fishermen and eventually blossomed into a port city which became home to a massive agricultural and fishing economy.
Of the over 2000 residents of Barahona, a majority identify as Hispanic with minority identifying as white or black. As such, Spanish is predominantly used, although many locals are fluent in English and can communicate in other languages such as Italian, French, and German. The Hispanic background of the people directly influences the diet as beans, stews, and plantains are consumed daily. Catholicism is also widespread, along with merengue and bachata dominating music and dance.
It should come as no surprise that there are several jaw-dropping beaches located in and around Barahona. It is a part of the Dominican Republic, after all, home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Here are a few:
Playa San Rafael – One of the most visited beaches in and around Barahona, Playa San Rafael is surely a sight to behold. The San Rafael river emptying into the sea, the
natural swimming pool and lush mountains in the background all make for the picturesque scene tourists flock to year after year.
Playa Los Platos – If the river emptying into the Caribbean Sea at this point isn’t enough to enchant you, the crystal-clear water and pebbled shore are sure to leave you in awe of this exquisite scene.
Playa Bahoruco- located south of Barahona, this white pebble beach is not only beautiful but perfect for surfing and other watersports.
Playa El Quemaíto- Though not your typical white sand beach, this wave less, pebble beach is very calm and perfect for toddler and adult swimmers alike.
Laguna De Oviedo – Although not a beach, this saltwater lake is a worthy mention. The Laguna De Oviedo is the largest of its kind in the entire Caribbean and is the second largest water body in the Dominican Republic. It is its own ecosystem and serves as an ecological reserve which is home to many species of flora and fauna.
Laguna Cabral/ Rincón – Another non-beach, yet worthy mention is the Laguna Cabral/Rincón. It is also home to a wide variety of animal and plant life and is the largest freshwater lake in the Dominican Republic.
The Barahona region is truly a sight to behold. Unspoiled beaches coupled with scenic land features such as its forest, mountains and saltwater lake affords the perfect combination of luxury and eco/adventure tourism that will make you never want to leave.