100 Shades of Blue: Los Patos, Barahona, Dominican Republic (a photo essay)

Los Patos, Dominican Republic

There’s a small town in the Dominican Republic’s southwest called Los Patos, where water from a river in the nearby Bahoruco Mountain Range flows in and forms a freshwater lagoon–and a lovely swimming hole–before meeting up with and joining forces with the Caribbean Sea.

Los Patos: Where the River Meets the Sea

Los Patos, DR

Los Patos, Barahona–Where the river meets the sea

It’s a magical sort of place, especially if you arrive early, because of the light and the colors. And the feeling of being in a mini paradise. Because of the Caribbean and the sky, there are perhaps as many as 100 shades of blue. There are also some lovely shades of green.

Los Patos and the Caribbean

Los Patos–pristine and lovely place to cool off in refreshing water

I’ve seen some gorgeous water before, but I must say there was something about this that really blew me away. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a bit off the beaten path–not too many tourists make it to this part of the country. Or maybe it was that my friend Ely and I had the beach to ourselves.

Caribbean (Los Patos)

Nice to have the beach to yourself

Eventually, on weekends, tourists do arrive and it gets a bit crowded (but it’s still lovely). They’re mostly Dominican families (I only saw one or two foreigners, whom I imagined were ex-pats). If you go during the week, however, you’ll have the place to yourself. This is what I recommend, of course.
Los Patos, DR
Los Patos, DR

Los Patos, DR

Los Patos, DR

100 Shades of Blue

I don’t know how many shades of blue I saw at Los Patos, but I know there were many. How many do you see?

The Caribbean at Los Patos

The sky and the sea almost merging

The Caribbean at Los Patos

The Caribbean and Los Patos

The Caribbean, Dominican Republic (Los Patos)
The Caribbean at Los Patos

Can You Swim There?

Yes and no. You can swim in the lagoon. It’s cool and clear and very refreshing. The beach facing the Caribbean, however, is pebbly and thus, the water is hard to enter (unless you have special shoes). You definitely don’t go barefoot there. I’m not sure you swim in the water, either (although I saw people doing it further up north on Rt. 44 where there was a sandy spot). Some say it’s “rough.”

Although I love to swim in the sea, I was happy (in this case) to simply look at it.

Los Patos, DR

Lots of places to sit in the shade

Your Thoughts

Worth the Effort? Would You Go?
Have you been to the DR? Did you make it over to Los Patos and the Southwest? Would you go if you had the chance? As I’ve mentioned, it’s a bit of work to get there. (See info below.)

Would You Prefer a Soft-Sand Beach?
Not everyone can deal with a pebbly beach. Most people want soft sand. And truthfully, I did crave that, too. Fortunately, I had it several days later–when I went further down Rt. 44 and even more off the beaten path. (Post coming soon.)

Would you avoid a lovely beach like this because you can’t walk on the sand barefoot?

How to Get There

By Car
Head south on Rt. 44 after you pass through Barahona. First, you’ll past through the town called Paraíso. Then, minutes later, you’ll be in Los Patos (you’ll see it on your left.) Barahona is about 3.5 hours or so from Santo Domingo.


View Larger Map

By Bus
Your best bet is a guagua–a mini van (I’m not sure if large buses pass by). You can catch one anywhere along Rt. 44, heading from Barahona to Perdernales or vice versa. Sometimes you’ll see a few in a row; other times, you won’t see any for 1/2 an hour.

Just flag one down and make sure you get a real seat. At one point, I had to sit like a hunchback. The price: about $1, I think (I can’t quite remember.) If you’re coming from Santo Domingo, you’ll need to take a bus (large size recommended) to Barahona first (3.5 hours). Then it can be another 40-60 minutes from there by guagua.

Cost

It’s free, believe it or not. If you have a car, you have to pay for parking. Otherwise, just show up and enjoy.

Food

There are some stands running along the lagoon, and I think that most are good. I, however, ate at just one of them–the one owned by Papo and Amantina, some locals I got to know. If you stop by, ask for Papo’s stand and then order some Dominican Moro De Habichuelas Negras (rice and beans) with coco (coconut). It’s rico–delicious!

28 Responses to 100 Shades of Blue: Los Patos, Barahona, Dominican Republic (a photo essay)
  1. Ray
    January 31, 2012 | 1:13 pm

    Beautiful photographs. Love the title too! It makes you want to visit there.

    • CB Driver
      February 2, 2012 | 7:41 am

      Thanks, Ray–glad you liked it! A truly lovely spot worth the visit–if one happens to be in the DR! :)

  2. Jarmo
    January 31, 2012 | 3:14 pm

    Those are some stunning shades of blue Lisa. Great photos! And I’d definitely go there if I was around. Sure, the sand would make it even nicer, but there probably would me more people there then. So maybe it’s better like that ;)
    Jarmo recently posted..I Thought I Knew Coffee – Lessons from KnockboxMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 2, 2012 | 7:41 am

      Thanks, Jarmo. Glad you enjoyed the photos! True re: people and sand….when it’s soft, there are always a lot more people. What made this special was the fact that you could have it to yourself–for a while anyway. The best time to visit, of course, is during the week. PS: The same was true in Panama.

  3. Gray
    February 1, 2012 | 12:34 pm

    Wow! Lisa, this places is beautiful! I’m not much of an ocean swimmer, but I do like being by the ocean, so yes, I’d go, especially if it’s that pretty.
    Gray recently posted..Things to Do in New OrleansMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 2, 2012 | 7:39 am

      Hi, Gray. It was gorgeous; I’d never seen that combo of colors. So glad I went! If you’re not into ocean swimming, then you’d really like it. There’s a lovely place to stay about 1/2 hour away (where I stayed for a few nights) that has lots of places to sit and admire the view. There’s also one tiny patch of sand, which I noticed some people using to get in the water. I was tempted, but ended up chickening out. The current looked rough.

  4. Branson timeshare packages
    February 1, 2012 | 9:25 pm

    The water is so clear. I feel like I’m gonna jump in there! Perfect place to relax, clear water, white sand etc.

    • CB Driver
      February 2, 2012 | 7:37 am

      Yes, lovely water. It made me want to jump in, too. But as I mentioned, the beach was pebbly and hurt my feet. So there in Los Patos, I could only admire the water (well, I went in a few times.) It was in Bahía de los Águilas that I was able to swim and walk on the soft stuff.

  5. Rachael Sena
    February 2, 2012 | 11:56 am

    Incredible photos! There really are 100 shades of blue! Los Patos looks like a great place to have a beach getaway.

    • CB Driver
      February 2, 2012 | 11:59 am

      Thanks, Rachael! It was a lovely spot–for sure. And further down Rt. 44–another 1.5 to 2 hours–is something rvery special, too. Bahía de los Águilas. There, you have a mini paradise with soft white sand and turquoise water (and similar shades of blue). Tricky to get to and has limited facilities, but worth the trek! I may post on that soon. Stay tuned!

  6. Jeremy Branham
    February 2, 2012 | 11:45 pm

    Love the colors on the beach! The second one is my favorite!
    Jeremy Branham recently posted..Slovenian culture, geography, food, and peopleMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 3, 2012 | 8:01 am

      Hi, Jeremy. Thanks for stopping by to appreciate the photos! I also love that one. I’m so glad that we got there early, too, because it made it all even better….

  7. Travel Blog
    February 3, 2012 | 2:22 am

    You must have had a great time there! It is so beautiful and the natural beauty is amazing. I wish I could go there too.
    Travel Blog recently posted..A great time in the Travelling BusMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 3, 2012 | 8:00 am

      Thanks. I really did enjoy it. Hope you can visit sometime, too!

  8. Linda
    February 4, 2012 | 6:41 am

    Loved these pix – especially since blue/turquoise is my favorite color!!
    Linda recently posted..Of Mountain Tops and Sunrises: My Best Hike Ever: Part DeuxMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 4, 2012 | 11:48 am

      Thanks, Linda–glad you enjoyed them! PS: I picked up some larimar jewelry when I was there, which I now wear to remind myself of the sky and the sea.

  9. Linda
    February 5, 2012 | 6:57 am

    My son brought me back a pendant and earrings in a stunning shade of blue, but I lost the description which came with them, Maybe they are larimar? They certainly are the most amazing shade. I love them.
    Linda recently posted..Of Mountain Tops and Sunrises: My Best Hike Ever: Part DeuxMy Profile

    • CB Driver
      February 5, 2012 | 8:32 am

      That is so cool–and I would suspect that it is larimar! There is something unique about it, for sure. It’s sort of like the sky with some white from the clouds and a hint of the lighter part of the sea mixed in. I love mine, too, and now wish I’d bought some more! :)

  10. [...] wife did. He suggested that my friend Ely and I look for her and their mini restaurant over at the Los Patos swimming hole we planned to visit and see what was on the menu for the day. We could also store our things in the [...]

  11. Pamela
    March 20, 2012 | 4:34 pm

    You’re right there are definitely a lot of shades of blue. Looks like an amazing place.
    Pamela recently posted..2012 Week #11My Profile

    • CB Driver
      March 21, 2012 | 7:55 am

      Thanks, Pamela! It was amazing….a couple times I felt like I was looking at a painting!

  12. Jenna
    April 19, 2012 | 2:38 pm

    Beautiful place. I love the turquoise. I would definitely opt for the lagoon for a swim–rough water and I don’t go well together!

    • CB Driver
      April 24, 2012 | 7:39 am

      Hi, Jenna. It really was lovely there. And the lagoon was the better bet–for sure. PS: If you like those lighter shades of turquoise, then you’d probably love larimar, a lovely gem that comes from right there in Barahona. I picked up some jewelry made from it and am very happy with it. It resembles some of the lighter shades of the water and the sky!

  13. Carmen Sanchez
    February 11, 2013 | 2:01 pm

    I saw your article about Los Patos and I was really fascinated by it. I am from Lima, Peru, where there are many beautiful beaches. When I was living in Lima, I used to go to the beaches in the south. In my opinion those beaches are the most beautiful. The water there looks like it does in Los Patos. I do not know if there is a place that’s similar to Los Patos in Peru. Anyway, I think you had a great experience, which I hope to have someday.

    Best regards,

    Carmen

    • CB Driver
      February 11, 2013 | 7:30 pm

      Hi, Carmen. I didn’t know about the beaches that are located south of Lima. I would imagine they’re gorgeous. I visited Peru many years ago and unfortunately, did not get to check out the ocean.

      That’s interesting that the water there resembles the water in Los Patos. The shades of blue are incredible, aren’t they? I wonder why the colors are so unique. Maybe it has something to do with the way the river and the sea come together. Or maybe not. From what I recall, looking out at the sea, away from land, the view and the colors were just as amazing.

  14. Debbie
    July 4, 2013 | 1:26 am

    So many shades of blue -lovely! I do prefer soft sand to pebbles but the beach still looks beautiful :) Definitely looks like somewhere I would like to visit!

  15. Francois Berube
    November 25, 2013 | 7:12 am

    Everything is so well done in this site. It rfemembers me my two days IN Los Patos (07-11-2013) and your pictures are marvelous. I have done a video about it:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmrTnhYlUIM&feature=c4-overview&list=UUp-AY-ORb0Bgj6sD-qnSnzQhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cmrTnhYlUIM&feature=c4-overview&list=UUp-AY-ORb0Bgj6sD-qnSnzQ

    Thank you for your well documented presentation.

    • CB Driver
      November 30, 2013 | 5:49 pm

      Hi, Francois. Thanks for writing! Glad you enjoyed my photos of Los Patos. I watched your video of the town and thought it was great. It brought back a lot of memories. I also went to that small discotheque. Thank you! :)

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