Booking an excursion to Jarabacoa is bound to add a whole new dimension to your Dominican All-inclusive resort vacation. more...
Booking an excursion to Jarabacoa is bound to add a whole new dimension to your Dominican All-inclusive resort vacation.
The valley of Jarabacoa is located 500 meters above sea level in the Central Mountains of the Dominican Republic. The town’s altitude guarantees nice cool temperatures while the longest river of the Caribbean (Yaque del Norte), impressive waterfalls, awe-inspiring natural surroundings and the highest peak in the Antilles (Pico Duarte 3,087 meters) are just begging to be explored.
The best way to discover the Jarabacoa valley is by taking a tour or excursion, which are offered on the Internet, at the excursion desk of your resort, in the major tourist towns and of course in the town of Jarabacoa.
Multi-day treks to Pico Duarte, the highest peak in the Caribbean are offered in different packages with generally take between three to five days. You will hike from the tropical forest of the valley to the pine forest of the J. Armando Bermúdez National Park. The paths lead to the source of the Yaque del Norte River and the Tetero Valley, at an altitude of over 2,000 meters. You will cross rivers and streams and should be able to spot many exotic birds. A spectacular view of three mountains, Pico Duarte, La Pelona and La Rusilla is just one of the highlights.
Less intensive trekking tours ranging from a couple of hours to a full day are also available. Mountain bikers of all levels (including families with children) will find a suitable trail. Both walking and mountain bike excursions are a great way to take in the beauty of Jarabacoa’s surroundings and are light on your wallet too.
Excursions on foot, horseback or by mountain bike to one of the 3 waterfalls of Jarabacoa are all worth considering although some of these waterfalls are easier to get to than others. Salto Jimenoa I, located about 4.5 miles south of Jarabacoa, drops down more than 75 meters. This is the highest waterfall in the Jarabacoa region and so spectacular that it appeared in a scene of the movie Jurassic Park. Getting to it is not an easy task and arranging for a guide is highly recommended. While not as dazzling as Jimenoa I, Salto Jimenoa II (also called Lower Salto Jimenoa) is quite a bit easier to visit, and is therefore a bigger draw for visitors. Salto Baiguate is a 60 meter high waterfall that is hidden among a thick mix of pine and tropical foliage and has a natural pool at the base so blue and serene you may think you’ve stumbled onto a set for a Tarzan movie. I found the horse back ride to Salto Baiguate to be a top value excursion.
Jarabacoa Gold Company is offering gold panning trips to the creeks and streams around Jarabacoa. Gold has been found in Hispaniola since before Christopher Columbus discovered the island in 1492. The Taino Indians used the beautiful yellow metal for making Jewelry and religious ornaments. Among several sites where Jarabacoa Gold Company can take you is Manaboa, near the base of Pico Duarte. It is very likely that you will find some real gold flakes, a great souvenir to bring home.
The more adventurous excursions require that you to be in good physical health, over twelve years old and rather stress proof. Canyoning involves climbing up and then leaping off or sliding down waterfalls – or rappelling down canyon walls – into deep pools or rivers below. Canyoning is an exciting adventure excursions that is considered risk free if you go with a reputable excursion company that will provide you with the necessary training and equipment. Popular are the canyoning tours that descend through the canyons of the Jimenoa Falls.
My personal favorite up until know is the rafting excursion that leads through the rapids of the Rio Yaque del Norte. In the company of professional guides, you will maneuver through canyons and rapids to the feel of an adrenaline rush you will never forget and discover places that are close to impossible to get to on foot. The stunning tropical scenery on both sides of the Rio Yaque del Norte is breathtaking. The actual river trips last from four to five hours and… rest assured, you will be in for an experience you will never want to forget.
Three of the top excursion companies are the Cabarete-based Iguana Mama (www.iguanamama.com); the excellent Jarabacoa-based Rancho Baiguate (www.ranchobaiguate.com) and Jarabacoa-based Rancho2Rios (firstname.lastname@example.org).