Monte Cristi, Dajabon, Stgo. Rodríguez and Valverde
These provinces make up one of the wealthiest regions in the country in terms of eco-tourism and natural minerals.
Of the provinces that comprise this tourist area, Monte Cristi is the largest with a surface area of 1,924 square kilometers followed by Santiago Rodriquez with 1,111 square kilometers and Valverde with 823 square kilometers.
Monte Cristi, discovered by Christopher Columbus on his first trip to the new world, is the site of the region’s glittering salt mines, breathtaking sea views and the National Park of Monte Cristi, a dry, subtropical forest with an abundant variety of flora and fauna. Eleven species of reptiles, including the American crocodile and numerous birds, such as flamencos, doves, swallows and scissor-tailed fly catchers abound here. Groups of birds arrive every year from Florida to nest in the Seven Brothers Keys. The impressive majesty of “El Morro,” as the park is known, dominates the entire bay with its fish-laden keys and its natural system of coastal lakes.
One of the largest tourist attractions in the park are the navigable channels thick with mangroves and reefs, a perfect refugee for the manatee, an endangered marine mammal. In the Estero Hondo waterway, there are more than 20 species of manatees.
The area also has the Villa Elisa scientific reserve, the famous century-old wind-up clock and the Museum of the Dominican General Máximo Gómez and the Cuban liberator, José Martí. The museum’s design was based on the Victorian architecture that characterizes Monte Cristi’s main city, San Fernando.
Dajabón, founded in the 18th century, is the only city in the northeast region of the country that shares a border with Haiti. As a result, one can expect to enjoy a fascinating cross-cultural mix of food, language and customs. Dajabón’s tourist attractions are numerous but the most popular center around the area’s growing eco-tourism. The region’s diverse and stunning ecosystem, whose marvels include the Nalga National Park of Macao and the Waterfalls of Loma de Cabrera, are not to be missed. The Ceremonial and Pre-Hispanic Cave Art Center of Chacuey, the Restoration Monument in Capotillo, the Rio Limpio Valley Restoration and the border with the Dajabon Bridge all form part of the region’s natural wonders.
The main attractions in Santiago Rodriguez include the Nalga of Macao and Armando Rodriguez and José del Carmen Ramírez National Parks; the Guayubín and Mao River spas and the casaba and handicraft workshops. All of these sites all nestled beneath the majestic surrounding mountains.
“The City of Beautiful Sunsets,” is the way locals and visitors alike refer to the province of Valverde, founded at the beginning of the 17th century. Because of it’s flat fertile ground, two excellent irrigation systems have been installed.
The area’s main attractions include the famous Route of Columbus, Hidalgos Pass and, again, breathtaking views from the surrounding mountains. Skillfully made handicrafts, swimming areas in the Mao and Amina rivers, Indian cemeteries and Victorian architecture add to the experience of this fascinating area.
Source: Central Bank, Secretary of Tourism, Inter-American Development Bank