Dominican Republic's Southwestern Region Attractions
The southwest region of the Dominican Republic contains the lush green Bahoruco mountain chain, sulfur and sweet water ponds and several national parks and wildlife reserves containing crocodiles and flamingoes.Found near the Haitian border is Lago Enriquillo, the largest salt water lake in the Caribbean.The area is a major agricultural region
Lago Enriquillo is the largest salt water lake in the Antilles and home to flamingos and iguanas and contains the largest wild reserve of American crocodiles.Lago Enriquillo is 40m/131ft below sea level and the lowest point in the West Indies and is about 30 km/18.6mi long and 10 km/6.2mi wide.
National Park of Cabritos Island
An island in the center of Lago Enriquillo, Parque Nacional Isla Cabritos has a one of the largest communities of the American Crocodile.The park is home to over 106 species of flora and 62 species of bird ranging from the Flamingo to White Crown Pigeon and Hispaniolan Parrot.
Barahona, Dominican Republic
Barahona is a large urban center overlooking Bahiá de Neiba.Barahona exists mainly on mining and sugarcane farming but also offers hotels and an airport.Diving is interesting on the marine terraces off Barahona's cliffs where shallow seas breed fish and crustaceans.The treasure of the 18th C pirate, Cofresi is said to be buried here.During the city's patron saint festivities in the first week on October there a performances of the regional dance, the carabiné.In Columbus' time the area was ruled by the female chief Anacaona.
Jaragua National Park
Parque Nacional Jaragua, is the largest protected area in the country stretching for 1,374 sq km/522sq mi across the southern tip of the Pedernales Peninsula and contains the Beata and Alto Vela islands off the southwest coast.130 bird species are found here including the Dominican Republic's largest population of flamingos at the Oviedo Lagoon.Relatively arid, much of the park is covered by a thorn forest of cactus.
Sierra de Bahoruco
Sierra del Bahoruco is an uninhabited and practically inaccessible mountain range. The highest mountain in the Dominican side of the range is the 2,367m/7,764ft Loma del Toro.A wide variety of plants are found here including 52 percent of the Dominican Republic's orchids. 49 species of birds have been sited on these hillsides.
San Cristobal, Dominican Republic
San Cristóbal is the birthplace of the infamous dictator Rafael Trujillo who ruled the Dominican ruthlessly for years and was assassinated in 1961.La Casa de Caoba (The Mahogany House), his country house, exhibits some personal belongings.Nearby is a popular water park built on a river called La Toma.
Nigua Beach's clear waters are good for deep-sea fishing.The Boca de Nigua Mill restored in the 1970's is one of the most complete structures dedicated to sugar production.
Najayo Beach has clear water suitable for deep-sea fishing. Off the coast divers explore old French galleons that sank in the first half of the 19th C.
Palenque is good beach for diving and surfing. In its waters are the remains of the French galleon "Diómedes Imperial", which sank in 1806.
Sierra de Bahoruco National Park
The lush and mountainous Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco is an area of great diversity of ecosystems which range from dry forest at sea level to the humid forest in the mountains.The area is home to the greatest density of the country's orchids. Lizards, snakes and small mammals are found within its woods.
Bani, Dominican Republic
The pleasant and prosperous town of Bani features brightly-painted houses, mango trees and tiled city park.Sugarcane fields, farms and sand dunes surround the town of approximately 100,000 residents.
Azua de Compostela
Founded in 1504, Azua is a large town and features an impressive church, an Archeological Museum and a city hall and market.Many poets and writers have made the Azua area home.The feasts of the city's patron saints are celebrated on the 8th of September with popular games.Many good beaches are located nearby.
Taino Settlements, San Juan de la Maguana
San Juan de la Maguana is largely an agricultural based community. In the surrounding area are a number of well preserved remains of Taíno settlements.
Bahiá de Ocoa
Bahiá de Ocoa is ideal for fishing the local "curricán" and is the venue of an annual international game fishing competition.Bahiá de Ocoa is the site of some of the Dominican Republic's most impressive, and photographable, sunsets.
Corner Lagoon Scientific Reserve
Reserva Científica Laguna Rincón protects and studies the largest freshwater lagoon in the Dominican Republic. Found here are Hispaniolan freshwater slider turtles, Louisiana herons, and Florida flamingos.
Las Caritas is an archeological zone with pre-Hispanic cave art and a cliff adorned with smiling-faced petroglyphs.