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Cruise Hub of the Caribbean: Port Cabo Rojo Promotes Tourism in Southwest Dominican Republic

by Mary Melnick

Sep 7, 2023

© John Hannebutt | Dreamstime.com

September 2023

Last year ground broke on a new cruise port at Cabo Rojo in Pedernales on the Dominican Republic’s southwest coast. The first phase of the port, scheduled to open in December 2023, will have the capacity to handle up to 1 million passengers annually when fully operational.

Before construction started, Port Cabo Rojo served as a cargo handling port, used mainly for the export of aggregates and limestone products.

The new Cabo Rojo Port will offer aquatic, cultural, artistic, commercial and gastronomic attractions as well as tourist services to promote activities available in the destination. The $98 million project is managed by Dominican Port Authority and Mexico’s ITM Group, whose other ports include Costa Maya in the Yucatán and Taino Bay at Puerto Plata.

Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader was on site for the start of the project, part of a master plan to develop the Pedernales border province near Haiti. Projections estimate the port will generate more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs as well as boost the economy of the country’s southern region. Funding for the project originated with private investment through a loan from Reserve Bank of the Dominican Republic, a commercial bank. President Abinader hopes Pedernales becomes the most important cruise destination in the region, helping to convert the Dominican Republic into the cruise hub of the Caribbean.

Addressing ecological concerns, the project carries out all mitigation and compensation measures in accordance with the law and criteria for the conservation and preservation of marine and terrestrial ecosystems, as outlined in the environmental license.

As the first tourist port in the region, Port Cabo Rojo will support productive activities; entrepreneurship; and the creation of new micro, small and medium-sized companies. The fully sustainable project being developed on the cape and surrounding beach areas will feature a jetty in the southern area with two berths; a water park with slides, restrooms, sunbathing areas, retail areas, swimming pools and an interactive space; and bars and restaurants for passengers.

The second stage of Port Cabo Rojo will include a pier dedicated to fishermen. The new port represents a huge step for the region, which remains committed to a large tourism development plan to improve infrastructure and facilitate travel to the area.

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