Zone VIIIDefined by Decree #177-95, on August 3, 1995, the touristic zone of the Province of Peravia is a coastal area between the base levels of the rivers Nizao and Ocoa. These originate in the town named Baní, which is an indigenous word that means “abundant water”.
As of 1999, this zone is extended, by Decrees #s 196-99 and 197-99, on May 4, 1999, in order to include all demarcations and boundaries of the Palenque municipality of the Province of San Cristobal, and the marine coast, demarcations and boundaries of the Province of Azua de Compostela.
Located on the southwestern side of the country, and bathed by the waters of the Caribbean sea, this zone has dry climate and warm temperatures almost year around, cooling down a little during the months of December and January. The particular xerophile vegetation of arid soil, in contrast with the blue of the tropical sea water, composes a distinctive enchanting panorama. In addition, the place offers historical attractions and other natural resources that invite the adventurer, the researcher, the mystic, the sportsperson, simply the vacationer who is looking a place of interest and entertainment.
San Cristobal, Baní and Azua are towns dedicated to activities related to agriculture, commerce and mines. They produce coffee, cacao, bananas, plantains, mangoes, onions, rice, and maize, among other products. In addition, they also raise birds, and bovine and goat cattle.
The San Cristobal Province, founded at the beginning of the 19th century by Juan de Jesus Ayala y Garcia, is a green and humid land irrigated by the rivers Haina and Nizao. It is located approximately 20 minutes from the Capital, on an area of 1,265 km2 and has a population of 420,820.
It was the headquarters of the first Congress, where the first Dominican Constitution was signed, on November 6, 1844.
Among the most relevant attractions of this area, one finds the caves complex of Pomier, place of great wealth of rock art in the Antilles, which is composed of fifty one unique caves in the country with approximately six thousand Taino pictographs and petroglyphs. Of interest to the visitor are the murals of Spanish painter Vela Zanetti, found in the “Catedral Nuestra Señora de la Consolación” and in the “Castillo del Cerro”, as well as in the “Balneario La Toma”, and its fresh mountains.
Another important point of interest in the zone is the city of Baní, located in the center of the South Central region. It was founded in 1664 by Spanish captain Manuel de Azlor y Urries, Canary Islander immigrant, who purchased the lands that belonged to the Cacicazgo de Maguana. Its population is 201,851, and spans a territory of 1,648 km2. It is located 86 km from Santo Domingo, distance that can be easily driven on an excellent highway.
With suitable infrastructure and services for the tourists, the beautiful “Los Almendros” beach is found in its surroundings. Nearby, tourists would also find the beach of “Salinas de Puerto Hermoso”, where sports competitions are held every year. Salt mines generated by the evaporation of marine water are also found in this area.
Another attraction is the area of the “Corbanitos”, with an approximately 9 km long virgin beach of unique beauty and impressive white sand dunes. In the Southwestern end of the Province of Peravia is the “Bahía de Caldera” (Caldera Bay). This is another place of interest where the base of the Military Navy of the Dominican Republic is located, protected by nature itself due to the closed formation of the bay’s geography.
If we continue the journey around this zone, we would find one of the oldest cities of the new world, Azua de Compostela, founded in 1504 by Diego Velásquez, during the government of Nicolás de Ovando. It is located 120 km from the Dominican capital, with a population of 199,684 and an area of 2,532 km2. This city was the stage of several battles that marked the national history, such as the one on March 19, 1844, when the Haitian army was defeated.
In the municipality of Azua agro industry has developed considerably, blooming and stimulating other sectors of the economy. It is replete with a countless number of touristic attractions that range from the ruins of the first and only Azua to innumerable natural resources, such as gray sand beaches and deep waters, which are rich in marine fauna and well suited for trolling fishing in the Palmar de Ocoa Bay, where sunsets of colors of fire are spectacular. If you are lucky enough to see the sunset, from a boat in the middle of the bay, during an evening of full moon, you will enjoy the unusual sight of an astral conjunction, when the sun descends luminously on the west, and the moon ascends on the east, with diametrical exactitude.
In the community of “Las Yayas”, near the municipality of Azua, is the “Zurza” bath, whose sulfurous waters are considered medicinal by locals and visitors alike. Of remarkable tourist interest is the thermal water spring in the Martín Garcia mountain range, the baths of the rivers Grande and the Caves, the national parks José del Carmen Ramírez and Sierra Martín García, among others.