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    Dominicana On Line - El Portal de la República Dominicana National Parks

    Scientific Preserves

    Ébano Verde

    Ébano Scientific Preserve, located in the eastern zone of the massif of the Central Range, is 29 square kilometers in size. Access is relatively easy from the highway from Bonao to Constanza, in the so-called Cross of the Fan.

    The scientific zone is meant to protect the green ebony tree (Magnolia pallescens), an endangered precious wood. The preserve is also the source of the Camú, Jimenoa and Jatubey rivers.

    Baño de Nubes Trail

    This is one of the few sites that can be visited within the preserve. From Baño de Nubes, at almost one thousand meters high, it is possible to see the whole Valley de la Vega Real. On clear days, the vista extends as far as Samaná Bay. From the top of the mountain a 360 degree turn will reveal the Valley de la Vega to the east and to the west, Constanza.

    The preserve is called Baño de Nubes (Cloud Pool) due to the humidity that rises from the Valley de la Vega and the foliage of the mountainside, forming cloud cover.

    The forest is humid. Even during long dry spells, a large amount of water condenses like dew on the leaves and the moss of the green ebony tree and moistens the ground.

    There are signs along trails of the preserve that describe the plant and animal species to be found.

    El Arroyazo

    El Arroyazo is several kilometers from the pathway though Las Nubes and can be easily reached by the highway that leads to Constanza. It is at the southeastern edge of the Preserve. The Progressio Foundation has installed a research station and school at the site.

    El Arroyazo is a spring whose source originates in the forest zone of the Preserve. Small cascades and rapids form a giant pool within the large rocks. This pool, with its pleasant temperature averaging 14 degrees Celsius, is used by visitors to the Preserve.

    For those who like to walk, El Arroyazo can be reached on foot via a specially designated path from the Baño de Nubes Trail.

    Valle Nuevo Scientific Preserve

    Valle Nuevo is a protected area of volcanic and glacier activity. During the winter months the temperature in this zone drops below zero Celsius.

    It is almost exclusively a coniferous forest with some species of Sabina as well. The wood is a very valuable precious wood that still has not been fully studied.

    Valle Nuevo is very important from a hydrologic perspective. The headwaters of two of the four biggest and most important rivers of the country, the Yuna and the Nizao, are located in the Preserve. It is also the water source for the Sabana Yegua dam, the Valdesia dam, and the irrigation of the Yuna Valley and the Jiguey and Aguacate dams.

    Aguas Blancas Falls

    This scientific natural preserve in Valle Nuevo is one of the highest in the Antilles at 2,200 meters above sea level. In the eastern part of the Central Range, it is the only place in the Antilles to find alpine and Andean vegetation as well as flora and fauna.

    The Falls have a drop of 60 meters which freezes in the winter due to low temperature.

    Los Tres Ojos

    This is an interesting place of subterranean caves. It is called Los Tres Ojos (Three Eyes) because of the three subterranean lakes within the cavern. With the natural decoration of the cave rock, it is definitely a dazzling sight.

    The formation of Los Tres Ojos is a rarely seen natural phenomenon. Thousands of years ago three rivers rose, forming the three lakes. The region’s native inhabitants have left historical evidence showing that they used the caves for different reasons, among them magical and religious activities.

    In addition to the crystalline waters of the three lakes, the area possesses a rich fauna with a great variety of fish and bats, among other species. The park offers visitors the use of small boats to navigate the lakes.

    The first lake, called the “Sulfur Waters,” was discovered in 1916 and is 20 meters deep. The second lake is known by the name “The Refrigerator” and the third is called “The Lake of Women.”

    Los Tres Ojos Natural Park is located in the eastern part of Santo Domingo at the city’s edge.

    The Juan B. Pérez Rancier National Park (Valle Nuevo)

    This area, including the knoll called the Bandera Heights in Constanza, La Vega province, was declared off-limits by the Law No. 5579 of July 1961.

    The Juan B. Pérez Rancier National Park (Valle Nuevo) has a great potential for ecotourism, with bird-watching, hiking, camping, and panoramic vistas. The necessary studies for public use are currently underway. The development of facilities and a management plan will encourage ecotourism.

    The Antonio Duvergé highway, which runs 90 kilometers, connects the population of San José de Ocoa and Constanza and offers an opportunity to appreciate the landscape, wooded ecosystems and wild species. In a place called the Valley of the Friars one can find The Pyramids (Pirámide Cicópea) monument, built in honor of the dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina.

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