The “Parque Nacional del Este” is the country’s most visited protected area.
Although most visitors tend to simply enjoy the excellent clear-water beaches of Saona Island, off the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, there are many other impressive sites to visit in the park.
These places are impressively beautiful and can certainly contribute to unforgettable moments. The curious traveler will truly enjoy a visit to “Catalinita Island,” the Bay of “Las Calderas” and the “Cotubanamá” caves.
“Catalinita Island” is a small islet located at the very end of the “Catuano” channel, off the easternmost coast of the Dominican Republic.
“Catalinita” offers a cozy and very beautiful white-sand beach and an impressive hiking trail surrounded by shrubbery, green meadows and colourful wild flowers.
Off the small island is a sand bank, known for its tranquil and crystal clear waters. It is almost like a private swimming pool right in the midst of the Caribbean Sea.
The Bay of “Las Calderas” can be easily described as an authentic circus of mangrove trees. The bay is situated on the coastal region of the “Parque Nacional del Este.”
In addition to its salt-water waterfalls, clumps of mangrove trees have formed what appear to be small and very unusual green islands.
It is here, in these mangrove-made islands that dozens of birds, some reaching a two-meter wing span, come to nest and care for their young.
Near the entrance to the “Catuano” channel visitors will find a beach that goes by the same name. Right off the beach is a small Dominican navy post.
Behind that post, and some nearby dwellings, visitors will only have to walk several hundred meters in order to reach the “Cotubanamá” caves.
According to tradition it was here where “Cotubanamá,” a Taino chieftain, hid from the Spanish conquistadors who sought to capture him.
(For information on excursion tours to the “Parque Nacional del Este” from Viva Dominicus, please call 809 686-5658, ext. 8068 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org).
Text and photos: Adolfo Lopez, Environmental Consultant