Jaragua National Park
The park is located in the southwestern region of the country in the Barahona long peninsula. Its topography is characterized by coastal plains and marine terraces that look like a giant’s staircase.
It has a steppe dry climate with endemic xerophilous forests in which the canelilla (plant with medicinal properties) and the guanito stand out. Impressive cactuses with epiphyte bromelias also grow in some of the park’s keys.
Among the avifauna of Jaragua National Park there are 130 known species, 76 of which are resident, 10 are endemic and 46 are migratory.
Jaragua National Park has plenty of archeological sites from the pre-hispanic period. The most ancient site dates from 2,590 B.C and corresponds to advanced indigenous settlements. The highest expression of this indigenous culture is the Tainos, inhabitants with forest agriculture trends who prevailed at the time of the arrival of Christopher Columbus.
The Tainos established a special type of territorial distribution which divided the land in cacicazgos, such as the cacicazgo of Xaragua in the southwestern region. From this protected area originates the name Jaragua. There are a great number of caverns within the park. Some of them are the Guanal, the Cueva La Poza and the Cueva Mongó. They contain inside pictographs, petroglyphs and artifacts from the time.