Visitors who want to enjoy the pleasures of a Caribbean “winter” should plan to visit Jarabacoa, one of the country’s most beautiful mountain destinations. Whether it is winter or summer, the centrally-located mountain town of Jarabacoa is the perfect destination for the ecotourist, the more adventurous visitor who enjoys more extreme sports, or the golfer who enjoys playing in cooler temperatures. This paradisiacal mountain town also offers visitors excellent lodging facilities, entertainment and delicious Dominican cuisine.
Situated in the very heart of the country’s Central Mountain Chain, Jarabacoa is the perfect destination for anyone interested in ecotourism activities. The region’s tremendous beauty, the diversity of its flora and fauna, the breathtaking mountain views, its provincial charm and spring-like climate (temperatures can range from 7 to 22 degrees Celsius) makes it a truly perfect destination for anyone interested in mountain tourism.
The town of Jarabacoa has a population of about 60,000, and is situated some 530 meters above sea level. This friendly community, which for decades was the perfect vacation destination for wealthy Dominicans, has become an active tourism enclave that also depends greatly on agricultural activities.
Visitors will have plenty of options for horseback riding, hiking, canoping, motocross activities and white-water rafting, among others. Jarabacoa is also a haven for the nature lover looking to disconnect from the hustle and bustle of everyday living.
This area is also the gateway to the country’s Duarte Peak, the highest in the Caribbean with an altitude of 3,175 meters above sea level. It is the ultimate experience for the hiker and anyone else who wants to experience the beauty of this unique region.
Enjoy Golf in the Mountains
Jarabacoa features the country’s only mountain-region golf course. Quietly nestled among low-lying hills, the Jarabacoa Golf Club offers golfers a challenging terrain. But, the cool temperatures and beautiful landscape makes it a must-stop for golf lovers traveling to the region.
The Coffee Trail
The Coffee Trail is a never-before-experienced adventure that envelops visitors in the unique aroma and wonderful flavor of Dominican coffee. This particular region is known for the production of some of the world’s best, and most beautiful, coffee plantations.
Also, visitors staying in Jarabacoa have a wide range of hotels, restaurants and bars from which to choose from. Most of these places are located in and around the town’s main square, which features a native tree that is more than 160 years old.
Where to Stay
Rancho Aurora: Swimming pool, conference room that comfortably seats 70, full-service restaurant featuring spectacular mountain views.
“Casa Tranquila” : This 14-room country home features a dining area, conference room and cozy country atmosphere. This ecolodge was awarded a “Dominican Treasure” certificate, issued to excellent eco-friendly tourism destinations in the Dominican Republic.
“Bohios de Campo Añil” : Features beautiful cottages, and the package includes three meals and a true country atmosphere. There is a swimming pool, a playground, bonfires, movies and an outdoor bungalow for dancing and other social activities.
“Hotel Brisas del Yaque” : Situated right in Jarabacoa, the hotel features 18 comfortable rooms and a good restaurant.
“Jarabacoa River Club”: 45 rooms, restaurant, swimming pool, terrace to hold social events, playground for kids and weekend bar-café, karaoke and a DJ.
“Villas Quintas del Bosque”: The complex features 70 eco-lodges that range from 150 to 300 square meters. Swimming pool, clubhouse, playground, BBQ area and gazebo.
“Hotel Gran Jimenoa”: 65 comfortable rooms, swimming pool, restaurant, beautiful surrounding gardens, access to the nearby Jimenoa River and a conference room with capacity for 600 guests.
“La Jamaca de Dios” : 12 luxury apartments with stunning views of the beautiful mountain region. The perfect destination for those who want to relax in a perfect mountain setting.
Where to Eat
“Restaurant Brisas del Yaque” : Specializing in popular Dominican dishes, such as mashed green bananas, suckling pig and stewed goat.
“Pizzeria y Resposteria Pepperoni” : Offers some of the best pizzas in Jarabacoa, and local desserts.
Jarabacoa River Club: Known for its many popular Dominican treats.
Restaurant “Gran Hotel Jimenoa:” True experts when it comes to Dominican dishes.
D’ Kalidad : Offers both national and international dishes.
“La Tinaja:” Best sandwiches in Jarabacoa.
“Plaza La Confluencia:” This popular shopping plaza is home to various restaurants, such as Pala Pizza, Segafredo and the Pierre Restaurant, specializing in meats and sushi dishes.
“Aroma de la Montaña” in the “La Jamaca de Dios Hotel: Excellent a la carte restaurant, with stunning mountain views.
“El Carrito de Moshe” : Known for their giant and very tasty sandwiches.
“Helados Ivon” : The best hand-made ice cream in the entire region.
“La Tinaja:” The shop offers a wide variety of organic gourmet coffee, German beers, homemade desserts, popular carrot and banana cupcakes, homemade custard and many other locally-made products.
Ecotourism Cluster Office: Beautiful native Taino souvenirs and fruit wines produced in Jarabacoa.
“Entre Amigos Bar”
Road to Jarabacoa
The road that connects Jarabacoa with the Duarte Highway, the country’s most important highway, is in optimum condition. In general, all roads leading to and from Jarabacoa are in very good condition.
By Anya Duran
Photographs: Maximo Zorrilla