For mountain lovers or for those who want to include some other activities during their holidays at the beach, the Dominican Republic also offers a myriad of ecotourism options to embark on a journey of adventure and discovery. In the province of La Vega, there are two mountain areas: Jarabacoa and Constanza. They stand out due to the fertility of their soil and the beauty of their elevations, in which the low temperatures allow for a very unique type of vegetation.
Jarabacoa is located some 500 meters above sea level and its population is about 55,000 inhabitants. It is called “the city of the eternal spring.” Its average temperature is 22º Celsius all year round, which favors the cultivation of strawberries, apples, flowers and vegetables. At night the temperature can drop to less than 10ºC.
In Jarabacoa you can lodge and venture into beautiful places that ensure an awe-inspiring connection with nature and a true experience of relaxations and adventure. The tour of Salto de Jimenoa and Salto Baiguate, as well as outings on horseback, bicycle rides, cycling, river rafting, canyoning and trekking, among others, complement what Jarabacoa has to offer.
Did you know? In Jarabacoa, children can enjoy summer camping on Rancho Baiguate, experiencing an adventure that connects them with this area’s natural surroundings. In addition, throughout the year, Baiguate offers a variety of options for the entire family, from ecotourism excursions to rafting on the Yaque del Norte River to butterfly farming, as well as ecological trails, among others.
Did you know? Jarabacoa serves as the headquarters to the “Los Corocito” International Motocross Track, hosting a number of international events related to this sport, thereby establishing this municipality as a city of extreme sports.
The Jarabacoa Flower Festival offers the perfect excuse for visiting this area. The Festival, which takes place every year in June, has been a contribution to the sustainable development of this municipality. The city not only gets itself ready with joy and pride for a show that is unique in the country, but also encourages the progress of micro-enterprises, strengthens local businesses, promotes culture and attracts national and international tourism. Flowers offer an awe-inspiring experience full of beauty, creativity, harmony and color.
A mandatory stop in Jarabacoa is the Parador Corazón de Jesús, where you can taste the best baked pork ribs in the area. It is located at kilometer 9 of the Federico Basilis highway, or just ask around…
Jarabacoa has a Tourism Cluster that offers a variety of information about the destination. Upon getting in touch with it, you may find information on the gastronomic, cultural, historical and hotel options in the area.
Links of Interest:
Jarabacoa Tourism Cluster: http://www.jarabacoard.com
Jarabacoa’s Flower Festival: http://www.godominicanrepublic.com/es/destinos/jarabacoa-es/categoria/sitios-interes/festival-de-las-flores-de-jarabacoa/
Rancho Baiguate: http://www.ranchobaiguate.com
The “Valle Nuevo” National Park in Constanza is also the highest plateau of the Antilles, at 2,200 meters above sea level. Its crops of potatoes and ornamental flowers for export are part of their abundant natural wealth.
Did you know? In the city of Constanza you can admire the “Agua Blanca” waterfall, the highest of the Antilles, named for the color that the waters takes when it falls through the rocky mountain that serves as its background.
Because of the beauty of its environment, as well as its natural setting, adventure tourism has great significance for the community. Extreme sports enthusiasts descend the powerful Yaque del Norte River by raft, climb mountains and then rappel down the Baiguate and Jimenoa falls or venture deep into the forests in jeep, motorcycle or bicycle safaris. Horseback riding, hiking through ecological trails, bird watching, bonfires, bicycle rides and mountain biking, as well as picking berries (in season), are other options available in the area.
Climbing to the top of Pico Duarte, the highest mountain of the Antilles —3,087 meters above sea level— is another possibility that is offered. Tours are organized by tourism companies and they take place with the help of guides. It is home to two of the most important rivers in the country, the Yaque del Norte and the Yaque del Sur. The lowest temperatures in the Caribbean have been recorded here during the months of December and January, reaching 8º Celsius below zero. The areas bordering the peak are the only ones in the Antilles where there were glaciers, according to scientific research.
In Constanza you can delight your eyes and palate with unrivaled panoramic views (flowers, rivers, waterfalls, beautiful greenery), and local flavors of a typical mountain cuisine. Be sure to visit:
Constanza is home to the Constanza Ecotourism Cluster, which offers a variety of information about the destination. You can get in touch with it to find information on the gastronomic, cultural, historical and hotel options in the area.
Links of Interest:
Constanza Ecoturism Cluster: http://www.constanza.com.do
Valle Nuevo National Park: http://www.ambiente.gob.do/ambienterd/eco-parque/parque-nacional-valle-nuevo-2/
Ébano Verde Scientific Reserve: http://www.fundacionprogressio.com/index-ebanoverde.html
Alto Cerro Hotel: www.altocerro.com
Villa Pajón Eco-Lodge (in the Valle Nuevo National Park): http://www.villapajon.do/esp/
Rancho Constanza: http://ranchoconstanza.tripod.com