The first time I went to Constanza, I had a hard time to believe I was vacationing in the Dominican Republic! The weather was rather chilly and I even needed to wear a sweater. At the time, I did not realize that Constanza is located 1,150 meters (almost 3800 feet) above sea level and that the average daily temperature in Constanza is only 16 degrees Celsius.
Constanza is certainly worth a visit for its unique climate, outstanding mountainous landscapes and agricultural miracles. Renting a good 4x4 and leaving the main road is in my opinion the best way to discover all these virtues. I was amazed by the variety of agricultural products I came upon. A visit to Constanza makes most sense when you also include the nearby town Jarabacoa on your itinerary. more...
For me, the unique characteristics of Constanza, which valley has been created by an enormous meteor, are so amazing that I do not have a problem adopting the theory that Constanza was named after a mystical indigenous princess.
The special climate in the Constanza region allows vegetation, that requires a cooler climate, to grow in abundance and the hard working Constanza farmers take full advantage of this opportunity, thereby providing products to a large part of the population that are hard to come by in other Caribbean countries. I still can recollect the smell of the wonderful flowers and strawberries I bought on my way towards the Colonia Japonesa where I met Yoko Nishio Fukushima a Japanese immigrant who told me how she, as a young Japanese girl, ended up in Constanza. You can read Yoko Nishio’s story in my Debbie meets section.
Las Pirámides, marking the exact center of Hispaniola can be found 18 kilometers south of Constanza. To many, Constanza’s main attraction is its proximity to the tallest mountain in de Caribbean, Pico Duarte with a height of 3,175 meters (10,414 feet).
There are various routes that allow you to reach the top, making this peak a great first choice for aspiring mountaineers. One day I will go on the 1.5 - 5 day trek (depending on route) because I heard from various people that the views along the way are incredible. I did drive my 4x4 over a winding, often unpaved road to the Aquas Blancas waterfall, the attraction closest to town. Constanza is without a doubt a Dominican Republic destination that is associated with eco–tourism and a great place to take a break from the occasionally blistering tropical heat.
How to get there
By air: Constanza located in the Central Cordillera Mountain area of the Dominican Republic can be reached by flying into either Santo Domingo or Santiago International Airports.
- Dominican Republic International & Domestic Flights
By public transportation: Caribe Tours offers luxury bus services that run between Santo Domingo and Santiago. Both cities have connections to La Vega from where you can continue to Jarabacoa. This city can also be reached directly from Santo Domingo. From Jarabacoa you take a taxi to Constanza. Alternatively you can travel to Constanza from Bonao, easily reached from Santo Domingo, Santiago, or the north coast along Highway 1. In Bonao you look for a guagua (local bus) for Constanza (ask the Caribe Tours driver to drop you at the “parada para Constanza”).
For bus information see: Caribe Tours
By car: Renting a good (4x4) vehicle is a fine option when you want to be independent. Reaching Constanza can be very challenging depending which direction you come from.
Tours and excursions.
Constanza is a great starting point to explore the nearby mountain areas. Pico Duarte (3,175 m) is the highlight of Parque Nacional Jose del Carmen Ramirez, located south of the Cordillera Central. Jarabacoa is the best place to go when you want to partake in an exciting outdoor adventure like rafting, mountain biking or canyoning. I loved the excursions offered by Rancho Baiguate. Piedras Letreadas, is one of the most important natural and cultural monuments of the country. These remains of Taíno culture consist of a place of worship featuring Indian rock carvings that recreate the life and habits of a civilization that has become extinct more than 500 years ago.