San José de Ocoa: a beautiful mountain village in the southwestern hills of the Dominican Republic

Without a doubt, the mountain village of San José de Ocoa is the capital of the southern foothills of the Dominican Republic’s central mountain chain.

Although not very popular with tourists, this picturesque village offers visitors impressive attractions that make it worthy of a visit.

One of its most unique attractions is the Church of ‘La Altagracia,’ which was built – stone by stone – by the community.  Another important attraction is the “Guayacan Museum,” a name also given to the town’s most popular and beloved priest, Father Luis Quinn.


Father Quinn was a missionary priest who lived in the region for 42 years.  Because of the work he carried out in San Jose de Ocoa, especially works that benefited the poorest in the community, his popularity grew nationwide.  One of his greatest achievements was the creation of the Association for the Development of San Jose de Ocoa, a community-management model which benefited the community as a whole and which later became a national model.

Visitors to the town will be more than impressed with the “Parque Libertad” (Liberty Park) and its beautiful trees.  A walk through the town will also provide the visitor with the town’s most popular candy store, or delight in the town’s famous “arepas” (corn cakes), or enjoy a hearty meal featuring goat meat.


The small hotel “Rancho Francisco” will offer the traveler the possibility of staying at an eco-friendly hotel near the Ocoa River and near walking trails through the Luis Quinn National Park. (For more information, contact the Ecotourism Fund Office of San José de Ocoa. Tel: 809 558 4158; e-mail:


Adolfo López
Environmental Consultant

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