Juan Dolio is a small resort area of the Dominican Republic, on the south coast and based around an old fishing village. It lies along a 7km stretch of the old coast road, which is now bypassed by a new highway.
Juan Dolio is about 50kms east of Santo Domingo, the Republic’s capital and 12 kms west of the provincial capital, San Pedro de Macorís, and 30 kms from Las Américas International Airport. Historically the area was the site of an Arawak settlement known as El Corral, and wide sheltered bay, protected by a coral reef was used as a harbor. Archeological finds are still being made in this area.
Although Juan Dolio was set up as a tourist resort in the mid seventies, the damage inflicted by Hurricane George was a great set-+back, and some hotel developers moved their centre of activities further east to the Bávaro region of Punta Cana. Since then developers have concentrated on the eastern end of the resort, building high rise hotels and condos in the Villas del Mar area, and tourist accommodation here is on a smaller scale.
The central area of the beach at Juan Dolio is open to the public, and is unspoiled, with palm trees growing in the sand, and clear turquoise waters. The hotel developments are out of sight. However the beaches in the Villas del Mar area are often closed to visitors. Juan Dolio beach is shelving, and ideal for swimming and snorkeling as you reach swimming depths relatively quickly. The waters are protected and kept calm by the coral reef.
Beware of peddlars on the beach – there are a lot of them! However a polite refusal to buy usually keeps them at bay.
(By Angela Webster)