Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Mountain Dreaming: Introduction

Cordillera Central, Ocoa
The sun-kissed sandy shores are what postcards are made for, but a trip to see the real Dominican Republic must include a visit to its lush, green hills. Even if the country isn’t most famous for towering peaks, the Dominican landscape is actually something of a topographical roller coaster, dominated by four mountain ranges. In fact, the DR is home to the tallest mountain in the Caribbean named Pico Duarte, topping out at more than 10,000 feet. During the warm summer months, Dominicans not only flee to the beaches, but they also head up to the hills, where cooler climates, relaxing rivers, and outdoor activities call.

Using the strong summer sun and heat as inspiration, the next series of posts will discuss the less-explored mountainous interior of the country. We’ll take a look at two high valley towns in the Cordillera Central, Jarabacoa and Constanza, a small village called Hoyo del Pino in the Cordillera Central with a new community-led ecotourism complex, and a town in the southern mountain range, San José de Ocoa. Each of these offers a unique experience to see and experience life away from the busy city streets and beaches. Take some time to swim under a waterfall, hike through piney forests, visit a coffee farm, or hang-glide while taking in awe-inspiring views.

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