Monte Cristi Beach

Why Spectacular:

This is not your usual Caribbean beach. While you can bath of course, it is mostly unique for being a photographer’s paradise, thanks to the unusual rock formations here.  Most notably is El Morro, a limestone mesa that protrudes out of the otherwise shallow coastline as the highest hill in the area, along with a smaller rock formation at its foot, fittingly named El Zapato — the shoe.

Worthwhile is a boat excursion around the area if you are a photography enthusiast. Various smaller island off the coast harbor unique wildlife and the blues and green of the sea are fantastically Instagram-able.

History:

Legends tell of Columbus sailing past the mountain on his first voyage and as the good Christian he was at once lay claim to it and giving it the name Mount of Christ. True or not, we know that the area was much frequented later on by merchants and particularly pirates. Evidence of that are the many wrecks that litter the ocean floor off the Monte Cristi Beach, often just a few feet below the surface. Most notably is the Pipe Wreck, the remains of a Dutch merchant that carried tens of thousands hand-crafted Dutch smoking pipes and German earthenware. Why the ship ended up in the Monte Cristi Bay or why it sank in shallow waters in a protected bay is unknown, but fowl play by pirates is suspected.

Getting There:

Simply drive towards Monte Cristi and follow the signs to El Morro. Alternately, look out for a high mesa in the distance — the only mesa or hill in the area — and follow it. The beach and the coastline are around this hill. Bring your camera, as the neighboring salt fields, rock formations and wildlife make for a day of photography.

Monte Cristi Beach

Impressions by various photographers on Flickr

(click here to see more of their work)

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