Dominican Republic's Central Region Attractions
The central region of the Dominican Republic, containing the communities of Santiago, Constanza, and Jarabacoa is a fertile agricultural zone with deposits of gold and other minerals and a terrain of rivers and waterfalls.This region is home to Pico Duarte, the highest peak of the Antilles.
Running northwest to southeast, the Cordillera Central is a powerful mountain range of over 250 km/155mi which extends from Haiti to the city of San Cristóbal. It contains Pico Duarte, the highest point in the West Indies.
Parques Nacionales Armando Bermúdez & José del Carmen Ramírez
Located in the Cordillera Central, home of the highest peaks in the Caribbean and the most spectacular scenery, the pine forests on the slopes of the Armando Bermúdez and José del Carmen Ramírez, are the only remaining areas of extensive forest in the Dominican Republic, as two-thirds of the virgin forest have been destroyed since the 16th C.Twelve of the Dominican Republic's major rivers flow from these mountains, including the country's only whitewater river, the Río Yaque del Norte.The parks attract hikers and rock climbers. Included are 14 campsites and dozens of hiking trails.In December and January, lows of -5°C/25°F are not unknown. Hispaniolan parrot,, woodpeckers, the "cigua palmera" (the national bird) and wild pigs have been found amid the foliage.
Useful tips: Main office of Parque Nacionales Armando Bermudez is in La Cienaga. The main office for Parque Nacionales Jose del Carmen Ramirez is in Sabaneta.
The highest mountain in the Dominican Republic and on the island of Hispaniola is the Pico Duarte with and altitude of 3,175 m/10,400ft.
Río Yaque del Norte
The Dominican Republic's only whitewater river, the Río Yaque del Norte has rapids that aren't too intense. Whitewater rafting trips are offered in the area.
Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic
Jarabacoa 's temperate climate makes it a pleasant destination for travelers and for affluent Dominican's who make it their second home.Jarabacoa is located in the mountains of the Cordillera Central, at an altitude of more than 500 m/1,640ft; residents of the town describe Jarabacoa as the "Switzerland of the Tropics".The downtown area features a central park and an elegant colonial-style church. Area attractions include waterfalls, swimming holes, and opportunities for hiking and horseback.
Jarabacoa Jimenoa Falls
The 30m/100ft Jimenoa Falls is one of the Dominican Republic's main waterfalls and is found in a park-like setting with natural pools, wooden foot bridges and a snack bar.
Constanza, Dominican Republic
The small valley town of Constanza, 1,200m/4,000ft in the Cordillera Central is surrounded by fruit orchards, commercial flower gardens and forests.Seventy percent of the Dominican Republic's cultivated flowers (roses, chrysanthemums, gladiola and birds of paradise) are grown there for export.Constanza has a small Japanese community brought there to found the area's commercial gardens.Constanza is not tourist-centered.
Aguas Blancas Waterfall
The highest waterfall in the Antilles, at 60m/197ft, Salto de Aguas Blancas forms a freshwater swimming pool at its base and is located 10km/6mi south of Constanza.
Reserva Cientifíca Valle Nuevo
Reserva Cientifíca Valle Nuevo contains old-growth forests and a river suitable for swimming.
The Vega Real or Royal Plain is often called the "Garden of the Antilles" and produces the Dominican Republic's fruits, vegetables and sugar cane.
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