NATURE IS QUEEN: the gorgeous ecosystems of the Dominican Republic
You are used to thinking of the Dominican Republic as EXPANSIVE stretches of beaches and palm trees, but perhaps you may not be aware you can encounter fascinating ecosystems, 3 of which are on the list of “top priority for conservation in Latin America and the Caribbean”.
These are pine forests (yes, believe it or not!), Semi-humid forests and humid vegetation present in the Lake Enriquillo basin. With an area of more than 350 square kilometers, Lake Enriquillo is the largest lake in the Caribbean and the only body of water located more than 43 meters below sea level. Its name honors the legendary leader of the ancient Taino civilization who led the rebellion against the Spanish colonizers.
The area is ideal for observing flora and fauna; while navigating the waters of this stretch of water towards Isla Cabritos, it is possible to admire up close American crocodiles, pink flamingos – in Boca de Cachón – and many other species of birds. Several species of iguanas can be observed on the banks of the lake and in the surroundings, which alternate between tropical and dry forests, as well as water sources such as La Azufrada and cultivated fields.
The Dominican Republic has truly diverse landscapes, with mountain ranges and greenhouses (would you have thought it?), The island’s interior offers breathtaking valleys and waterfalls, fields and plantations. The Ministry of the Environment protects national parks and nature reserves, limiting access and construction, but there are many green areas that you can visit for a completely rejuvenating experience.
Unexpected places, such as the Ocoa vineyards, the scenic mountains of Jarabacoa, salty lagoons and swamps, rivers for kayaking or rafting, sand dunes and islets.
A truly special island that, in addition to the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, has a rich natural heritage worthy of being discovered, explored and protected.