EF Tours for Graduating Seniors: Service Learning in the Dominican Republic
This trip to the Dominican Republic is full of breathtaking views, a few doses of adrenaline, and a remarkable community service experience. The DR is paradise from every angle—white-sand beaches and rugged cliffs along the coast, mountains and jungles inland, and bustling cities sprinkled throughout. Get ready to spend 9 days exploring, eating, dancing, and engaging with the local community!
What are the top highlights?
- Hike to—and swim in—a picturesque waterfall in Jarabacoa
- Find out what a place nicknamed “The City of Eternal Spring” feels like
- Feel transported back in time, walking through the Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo
- Ride the rapids of the Yaque del Norte River
- Participate in a local community service learning project
- Watch kite surfers, windsurfers, and regular surfers do what they do best—surf!
- Visit the monument built to commemorate Christopher Columbus’s discovery of this island in 1492
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private motorcoach
- 8 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Daily breakfast & dinner included
- Entrances to select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for our travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Day 1: Fly to Santo Domingo
Board your flight to Santo Domingo, the capital city of the Dominican Republic. You’ve got over a week of adventure ahead of you.
- Meet an EF representative at the airport.
- Transfer to your accommodation and check in.
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
Day 2: Tour Santo Domingo
Join your Tour Director on a guided tour of Santo Domingo, then in the evening it’s time for your Welcome Dinner with your group!
- Join your Tour Director on a tour of Santo Domingo.
- Wander through the Colonial Zone—founded in 1498, it’s the oldest European settlement in the Western Hemisphere.
- Visit the Columbus Lighthouse, a tribute to the explorer’s life and home to his remains.
- Open your third eye at Los Tres Ojos, an expansive cave with three lakes and plenty of stalactites and stalagmites.
Day 3: Travel to Jarabacoa
Head inland to the small town of Jarabacoa, nicknamed “The City of Eternal Spring” for its warm but not hot temperatures.
- Trade in the hustle and bustle of Santo Domingo for the laid-back vibe of Jarabacoa.
- Arrive in Jarabacoa and settle in to your accommodation.
- Partake in a typical Dominican dance lesson, complete with a traditional Caribbean dinner.
Day 4: Explore Jarabacoa
Today you’ll go from whitewater rafting down a river, to hiking through the jungle, to swimming under a waterfall.
- Answer adventure’s call and head to the Yaque del Norte River, the longest in the DR.
- Learn the basics of whitewater rafting from a local guide, and take on several different classes of rapids.
- Feed the appetite you’ve surely worked up with an included lunch surrounded by postcard-worthy jungle views.
- Lace up your boots for a short hike to Salto de Baiguate waterfall, and then cool off with a dip in said waterfall.
Day 5: Travel to Cabarete + Cayo Arena Snorkeling
After the previous day’s non-stop action, slow things down a bit at the beach town of Cabarete.
- Leave the eternal spring behind, and make your way to Cayo Arena, an islet and snorkeler’s paradise off the coast.
- Snorkel and swim with your new friends—the fish, of course.
Days 6-7: Northern Coast Community Service Project + Surfing in Cabarete
Participate in a Service Learning project in the Northern Coast.
Start the morning with an included surf lesson on the Northern Coast with an instructor. Then focus your efforts on an education-themed service project in a northern coast community.
Day 8: Travel to Santiago
Take your suitcase—and your new tan lines—to Santiago, the second largest city in the Dominican Republic, with a population of just under 1 million people.
- Take a bus to Santiago, enjoying views of the Dominican countryside along the way.
- Explore the area around the hotel with your Tour Director.
Share some last laughs at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 9: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends! Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
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