Glamping South America

Tubagua Ecolodge. The stop-and-stare views of Puerto Plata. Dominican Republic.

From its lofty perch on the panoramic highway between Puerto Plata and Santiago, Tubagua Ecolodge overlooks the undulating valleys of Puerto Plata and the vast ocean beyond. Here, relaxing guests can track the immense shadows of clouds drifting lazily across the rolling fields below while listening to the marvellous medley of the endemic birds in the trees.

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When Tim Hall founded Tubagua Ecolodge, he knew exactly what he was doing and understood the appeal of such a stop-and-stare location. Originally, the site was purposed as a retreat for students, a place to live an authentic Dominican countryside experience. However, after increasing interest came from travellers exploring the Dominican Republic, the lodge soon grew to accommodate a more demanding sort of guest.


Three lodging options are available, each with an individual stand-out design based on authentic local building methods and materials which date back to the indigenous indians. Accommodations are rustic and simple, each featuring huge windows and spectacular ocean views. The fresh mountain air is plentiful and free. You’re welcome.

Casitas: exclusive with definite Robinson Crusoe-lodge vibes. Sleeping four people, they combine a thatched roof, private balcony, private bathroom with a hot shower, a queen bed, and a mezzanine with two single futons.

Casitas. Image Source.

Palapas: more in line with a glamping vibe, the palapas offer more privacy with solid walls, a queen and two single beds.

Palapa. Image Source.

The Longhouse: perfect for families and groups. A standalone structure with an upper and lower room and each level has a queen and two single beds.

The Longhouse. Image Source.


There isn’t a set menu at Tubagua Ecolodge, but the local, farm-to-table meals deserve mentioning. Enjoying local dishes is a vital part of any travelling experience, and the neighbourhood ladies here in the kitchen prepare authentically Dominican homestyle meals, including vegetarian and vegan dishes.

Carmen in the kitchen. Image Source.


Tourism in the Dominican Republic began forty years ago and focussed on all-inclusive resort charter packages. However, since 2015 there has been a growing interest from people wanting to explore the lush and highly diverse Dominican Republic. This has produced an upswing in the available number of small, unique lodges such as Tubagua Ecolodge around the country.

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Dozens of beaches, down on the coast just 20 minutes from Tubagua, offer windsurfing, swimming, snorkelling, scuba, and fishing. Cultural and community expeditions such as a coffee village tour offers a unique opportunity for visitors to learn the age-old tradition of hand processing the organic coffee that grows in the mountains. Then follow this up with a visit to the nearby amber mines where some of the world’s most valuable transparent amber is sourced. Hiking, bird watching and cascading are among the most popular activities here at the lodge.

While simple structures and spectacular views provide a unique spatial environment, the fresh mountain breezes, comfortable beds, and excellent meals provide a soothing setting for body and soul. Tubagua Ecolodge has become an icon among the Dominican Republic’s lodge offerings, not to be missed when visiting the region of Puerto Plata.


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Images courtesy of Tubagua Ecolodge.