On hot and humid afternoons in the community of Cabeza de Toro, in Punta Cana, visitors will be able to observe a large body of salt water that perfectly reflects the beauty of the surrounding flora and fauna.
This unique ecosystem, surrounded by more than four kilometers of mangrove trees and more than five kilometers of wetlands, is the Bavaro Lagoon. It is the place for that perfect nature walk or kayaking.
The lagoon is considered to be an environmental oasis that provides shelter to 233 species of trees, nine of them found only in the Dominican Republic; 13 species of reptiles, 11 of them endemic; 87 species of birds; and a variety of fish including the “Cyrpinodon Higuey,” a fish found only in the lagoon.
In order to raise awareness of the importance of this ecosystem and share its beauty with national and international visitors the Tourism Cluster of La Altagracia Province, on the country’s easternmost region – with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID ) – have made possible have set up environmentally-friendly activities such as kayaking, standup paddle, nature trails, bird watching, fishing and panoramic tours in small boats.
All these activities provide insight into the special nature of the place. The lagoon has also become an added attraction for national and international visitors vacationing in the nearby Punta Cana area.
Not too long ago places such as the lagoon were considered to be inhospitable, a source of disease and the breeding ground for dangerous bugs. But the new-found eco-awareness have turned these beautiful areas into important tourism destinations. They have also become special areas for Dominican wildlife preservation.
In the past the region was visited by migratory birds that nested in and around the lagoon. But, in 1995, in order to preserve the important ecosystem of the region, the lagoon was declared a protected area in 1995. In total, the lagoon occupies an area of some nine square kilometers.
Currently, after years of combatting predators experts have registered a significant return of migratory birds that are now protected by national and international laws and agreements, such as the “Convention on Biological Diversity” signed at the Earth Summit (Rio de Janeiro 1992) and ratified by the Dominican Congress in January 1997. For information on tours to the lagoon please call 849-214-0977 or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.