Situated 3,087 meters above sea level is one of the country’s most important destinations for the true nature and adventure lovers.
Reaching the Caribbean’s highest peak, the “Pico Duarte,” is an experience that few nature lovers can afford to miss.
The “Pico Duarte” is situated in the country’s central mountain range. The range literally crosses the island in the middle, going from east to west.
Getting is there is a fun-filled eco-adventure that will test everyone’s resistance.
The low temperatures, the dense forest, the unique landscape of the Caribbean, the fauna and rugged terrain are all part of the journey to the peak.
Stubborn mules, used by many to reach the mountaintop, are very familiar with the terrain and can literally make their way up by themselves.
Reaching the “Pico Duarte”
There are five trails or routes that are used to reach the peak. The most commonly used are the “La Ciénaga, “Mata Grande,” and the Sabaneta routes.
From Santo Domingo, the capital city, visitors will travel to the mountain town of Jarabacoa (some two hours north of the city) in order to reach the “Mata Grande” route.
Another popular route is “La Ciénaga,” situated in Santiago, the country’s second largest city.
The third route, known as “Sabaneta,” is situated in the northwest mountain town of San Juan de la Maguana, located some three hours west of Santo Domingo.
The “La Ciénaga” route is by far the shortest. Its 23 kilometer hiking trail can lead visitors to the peak in two days.
The second route is 45 kilometers long, with an average hiking stay of three days. The third, which is 48 kilometers long, can be done in three days maximum.
The “Pico Duarte” can be visited through the year, except during the dry months.
Tours, however, are usually carried out during January and February due to the low temperatures and overall beautiful weather.
Several agencies offer special tour packages for January 2013.
- “Desde el Medio Tours”: Travel from January 2-6, through the “Mata Grande” route. The package includes translators, and the price is US$ 350. For information: Tel: (809) -472 to 4422; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- “Senda Tours”: January 17-21. The tour leaves on a Thursday, at 7 p.m., through the Manabao route. Cost: US$162.37. Phone (809) -422 to 1881; Email: email@example.com.
- D’bonche Tours: From January 18-21, through “La Ciénaga” route. There is a party after the tour is over. Cost: US$187.38. Phone (809) -334 to 6160; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.
- Individual tours are also available. Robinson Acosta and Giordano Desgns offer tours in English and Spanish, from January 2-8, with rates going from US$182.5 to US$262. For more information: Tel: (809) -886 to 3587; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com.