Barahona is a province of the Dominican Republic.
Barahona is a remote region of the Dominican Republic. It is sparsely populated and wildly beautiful. Very few travelers venture here, but the adventure of it all makes it rewarding.
Barahona is an attractive, adequate provincial city, the only one of any size in the Southwest region. It has little to offer besides a good beach, an interesting cathedral, and a good bar scene. It is the base for visiting the isolated, prehistoric-looking Lago de Enriquillo, as well as a visit to the ramshackle, 'duty free' border market in nearby Malpasse, Haiti.
Lago de Enriquillo is an astounding natural wonder, located far below sea level among striking, stony mountains. Enriquillo was a Taino chief, and a forlorn statue of this great 'cacique' stands along the long, deserted dirt road to the lake. A boat trip will reveal weird and wonderful plants and animals, the most amazing of which are the many 5-foot crocodiles, said to be harmless, but don't go wading. This end-of-the-world place is very much worth the day trip from Barahona (ask at your hotel), the price of which includes sandwiches, beer, and a visit to the ramshackle border market in nearby Malpasse, Haiti. Top-drawer Barbancourt Rum, Cuban cigars, and surprisingly good Comme Il Faut cigarettes are available at low prices, and you'll meet real Haitians who happen to speak 'market' Dominican Spanish.
Polo - a remote, mountain town about an hour drive from Barahona. It has a much cooler climate and is surrounded by mountains and coffee. Many people come to see Polo Magnetico, where you can set your car in neutral and it looks like the car moves uphill. Another good place to go is Mata de Maiz, a deep natural swimming pool with refreshing cold water.
This is a largely impoverished area, but people are mostly honest, dignified, and happy you've made such an effort to visit. Prices are low. Food is bland, but Barahona has a good, safe bar scene (signs warn customers to check their arms at the door). Motorcyclists will take you anywhere in town for 25 pesos (September 2017).
Spanish seems to be the only language spoken. Having knowledge of Spanish will greatly help you.
Safe, scenic, cheap daily bus service (3 hours) from Santo Domingo. Ask for "Barahona" lot. Some stops at clean service areas along the way, with good meals.
The CaribeTours bus terminal in Santo Domingo (27 de Febrero and Avenida Leopoldo Navarro) has 4 buses departing daily to Barahona and costs 300 pesos (September 2017). The buses are express service and have cold air conditioning and usually functioning wifi. Another cheaper bus service leaves down the street from Caribetours (27 de Febrero and Calle La Filantropica) and will pick up/ drop off passengers along the way to Barahona every hour from 7am - 7pm, 250 pesos (September 2017).
For 25 pesos (September 2017), a motoconcho will take you almost anywhere in the city. You can walk anywhere you need to go, but the heat will be intense.
Visit the town beach. It's not Ipanema, but it's relaxing with spectacular views. However, it is full of trash.
The Malecon - follows the sea, but not much along it.
You didn't come to remote Barahona for the cuisine, did you? Satisfactory (at best) cafe and hotel food is available.
There's a cafe around the corner from the bus station to Santo Domingo with decent prices and decent food.
Venezuelan Restaurant - delicious food for really good prices. A block away from the central park.
El Tunel - next to the central park.
Good, cheap bars in the town center. People-watching is the main entertainment.
Some bars are located down the Malecon about a .5 miles away.
No real problems in this quiet, rather dull city. Danger exists in the wild countryside due to isolation, and by Lago de Enriquillo, the crocodiles.