Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Mountain Dreaming: Hoyo del Pino

Hoyo del Pino
Seventeen kilometers uphill from Bonao into the pine forests of the Cordillera Central is the small valley village of Hoyo del Pino. In 2004, community members founded a non-profit dedicated to the conservation of the area around a tributary of the Yuna River. 

The recently completed Río Blanco Ecotourism Complex provides a peek into the wilderness and coffee farms around the village. The center offers hiking treks guided by local experts, birding tours of endemic and migratory species, and visits to mountain-cold swimming holes. Other attractions include one of the highest waterfalls in the country, coffee production demonstrations and tasting, and a stop at a bamboo artisan’s workshop. The complex’s restaurant, Rancho Don José, serves up locally grown and sourced Dominican favorites. Proceeds go to ecosystem preservation efforts and improving economic opportunities for local families around the project area. 

La Estancia del Río

La Estancia del Río offers ten double bedrooms with private bathrooms and hot water at RD$1300 a night per person (includes breakfast, lunch and dinner). For large groups, the collective lodge is ideal with 70 bunk beds and shared hot-water bathrooms. Staying with a host family is the most economical (and adventurous) option, providing guests with a glimpse into the local way of life. Reservations are strongly recommended.  

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