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Wildlife and sea life of the Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic has a spectacular landscape that's home to a huge range of natural wildlife, including a species of mammal that's unique to the island. The sea surrounding the country is also rich in life making it a prime spot for snorkelling, diving and taking boat trips out to get a closer look.

A truly beautiful destination, in the Dominican Republic you'll see new and interesting creatures and plants at almost every turn. If you enjoy exploring lush greenery and exotic sea life this could be your perfect holiday destination.

A superb place to spot numerous species of birds

With the highest mountains in the Caribbean region and edged with miles of tropical coastline, the Dominican Republic is home to around 300 species of birds.

You'll see exotic Hispaniolan parrots and purple Gallinutes as well as doves, swifts and woodpeckers. There are also endangered species here, including the Sisserou parrot and the Jaco parrot.

This makes it an ideal destination for avid bird-watchers – but even if you can't identify the species, the beauty and variety is a real delight for visitors.

Some species don't live here permanently as they're just making a stopover along their epic migration journeys. This means there is an ever-changing mix of colours, shapes and plumage for visitors to see at various times throughout the year.

A cornucopia of plant and animal life

The island is a real nature lover's feast with 5,600 plant species – many with bright flowers – more than 50 species of colourful butterflies, and 13 species of bats.

It also has dwarf gekos – which are the smallest lizards in the world – iguanas, four types of non-venomous snake and tiny, cute red-coloured tree frogs. Oh! And they have crocodiles as well.

The Dominican Republic also has an animal which is unique to the island – the Hispaniolan Solenodon. This small furry little beast has a longish snout and looks a bit like a shrew. With so much to see and marvel at here you're sure to take lots of photos and videos – there's simply too much to remember otherwise.

A haven for humpback whales and their calves

The calm, warm sea around the Silver Bank, Navidad Banks and Samana Bay regions is hugely popular with humpback whales who gather to mate and deliver their calves.

Each year up to 3,000 humpbacks gather here, which is one of the largest whale gatherings recorded. This is one of only a handful of places where you can easily spot these magnificent creatures.

Visitors flock here to observe the spectacle of the whales and their enormous mass of dark topside and white belly. Imagine watching them rise up from the sea in a powerful arc and crash back down with a huge splash.

To protect the area and ensure the whales are undisturbed, less than 60 visitors a week are permitted nearby. For many, viewing the whales and their calves in their natural environment proves to be an unforgettable holiday experience.

Ideal location to get closer to exotic fish and coral reefs

The Caribbean Sea is thousands of metres deep in places and has submerged limestone plateaus that provide a home to a wide range of fish and other sea creatures, in among the coral reefs.

The Dominican Republic is protective of this environment, with a large area – The Marine Mammal Sanctuary – out of bounds to the public. This ensures that vulnerable sea life, humpback whale breeding grounds, and the beautiful and delicate coral reefs are safe from interference and damage.

Nonetheless, there is still plenty of sea life available to see and explore, whether you're snorkelling close to the shoreline, or taking boat trips and scuba diving excursions further out to sea.

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