History and nature in “Boca de Yuma” and Yuma

A few kilometers from the eastern beachfront community of Bayahibe, and some 30 minutes from Punta Cana, are the communities of “San Rafael del Yuma” and Boca de Yuma, a beautiful coastal region offering plenty of natural and cultural attractions.

The communities, situated far from more popular tourism destinations, are home to colonial residences and forts built long ago by the Spanish conquistadors.

Other important attractions: caves with drawings made by the island’s original inhabitants, beautiful tropical forests and truly impressive off-the-beaten-track beaches.

Outside the town of Yuma visitors may visit the home-museum of the Spanish conquistador Ponce de Leon.

The fort-like structure currently exhibits the 16th century furnishings, and the home environment of the Spanish explorer.

Ponce de Leon first arrived on the island of Santo Domingo in 1494.

He later resided in what is now the city of Higuey, on the country’s easternmost region. In 1505 he built the home, which is now a popular tourism attraction.

In 1502 he fought against the Tainos, the original inhabitants of the island. They lived mainly in what is now the National Park of the East.

In 1508 he left to conquer what is now Puerto Rico from the port of “Boca de Yuma.”

Before reaching “Boca de Yuma” visitors can visit the Berna Cave.

It is by far the most spectacular cave from the point of view of the number and quality of the petroglyphs found there. There is no other cave in the Dominican Republic like it.

Some 300 hundred figures, made by the Tainos, are engraved on its floors and walls.

The petroglyphs are distributed throughout three distinct areas: in the very opening of the cave, on top of a ledge that drops to the left, and in the very center of the cave.

Upon crossing the Yuma river visitors will be met by a multitude of hills and caverns. There are transparent and tranquil natural springs in many of these caves. Visitors will also find here many cave drawings.

Not far from here are the magnificent beaches that have made this region world famous.

Nearby is the “La Playita” beach (which in Spanish means “small beach”). This destination still preserves its original beauty, since no hotels have been built there yet.

The Viva Wyndham Dominicus Hotels offers local tours. For more information, please call: 809 6865658.

Text and photos:
Adolfo López
Environmental Consultant

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