For those who are used to considering the Dominican Republic an exclusively country of beautiful beaches and tall palms, a kind of miraculous island where summer is all year round, and there is nothing else interesting, the fact that there are also mountains can be a real discovery. Indeed, the Dominican Republic is a mountainous country, and there are also dense green forests, picturesque rivers and ringing waterfalls, of which there are a lot in the vicinity of Jarabacoa: El Gran Saltode Jimenoa, Saltode Baiguate, Balneariode la Confluencia, Balneariode la Guasaras.
The city is located in the center of the country, in the province of La Vega. Far from the sea, at an altitude of 529 meters above sea level, rest looks completely different than on the coast. And at least in order to have a more or less complete picture of the country visited, Jarabacoa is worth a look.
Ecotourism and relaxation in Jarabacoa
Jose Armando Bermudez National Park
Parque Nacional Jose Armando Bermudez is a unique nature reserve located 35 kilometers west of Jarabacoa. It attracts the tourist brotherhood with its picturesque landscapes of high mountains overgrown with luxurious pine trees, green valleys, into which mountain rivers and streams descend, surrounded by olive groves, almonds, palms, lianas, black and mahogany trees, junipers and cedars. All this splendor is filled with live music of bird singing. The park is inhabited by dozens of bird species: nightingales, turtle doves, Antillean crows, parrots, palm trees, woodpeckers, and quails. With a certain amount of luck, you can observe guinea pigs, ferrets, huntias and other animals in their natural habitat.In addition to hiking in the reserve, horseback excursions, bicycle rentals and rafting on mountain rivers are in demand here. One of the most popular activities in the National Park is climbing the highest peak in the Caribbean region, Pico Duarte. Such an adventure will take about two days.
The cost of a tour of Parque Nacional Jose Armando Bermudez depends on the duration and intensity of the program. If it includes the conquest of the Pico Duarte, then the price starts at RD $ 8,900 ($ 200).
Waterfall The Great Jump of Jimenoa
The city of Jarabacoa is built in the valley of the mountain river Jimenoa, whose rough waters, rushing with unbridled pressure, form a whole cascade of waterfalls on their way. The largest of them, with a water drop of 20 meters, is called El Gran Salto de Jimenoa. It is located near the city, and it is very convenient to go here for excursions. It is best to use the services of a guide: he will not only indicate the desired path leading to the waterfall, but also explain the safety measures. Before descending to the waterfall, you can admire its beauty from the height of a convenient observation deck. A small lake has formed under the waterfall, where you can swim.
The cost of the excursion is RD $ 50 ($ 1.1).
Estancia Naturaat Spirit Mountain
Estancia Naturaat Spirit Mountain is a family-run farm based on the cultivation of organic coffee. The object is popular among tourists: here you can not only see the coffee plantations with your own eyes and get an idea of where your favorite drink comes from, but also enjoy the wonderful landscapes, breathe in delicious air, and also engage in extreme off-road bike races. As a keepsake, tourists buy a small amount of selected coffee, as well as souvenirs, for example, a backpack or laptop bag, converted from a bag for coffee beans.
The address: 2 ave Confluencia, Jarabacoa.
In the middle of the beautiful urban landscapes of Jarabacoa , in the picturesque Cibao Valley, there is a spa complex, visiting which you can feel like a rejuvenated person. On the territory of the complex there is a cozy guest house, a restaurant with healthy food, a swimming pool, a sauna. Here you can devote yourself entirely to massages, spa treatments and total relaxation to achieve harmony and balance. Between the exfoliation and the gold therapy, it is recommended to practice some horse riding among the eye-pleasing local natural beauty.
The address: Quitapesares, Jarabacoa.
Adventure tourism and extreme activities in Jarabacoa
Rancho Baiguate is a popular destination for adventure lovers and outdoor enthusiasts surrounded by wildlife. The ranch has a climbing machine, a sport that is welcome in Jarabacoa. If you wish, here you can also order a horse ride through the picturesque surroundings. But the main thing for which it is worth visiting the ranch is rafting down the mountain river. All the necessary equipment for rafting is provided, so you can safely go in search of an adrenaline rush.
Do not forget, nevertheless, that Baiguate is, first of all, a ranch, that is, a horse farm, and horse competitions are organized here from time to time. As a rule, they are held in the spring, on the eve of Easter, and also in June, during the Flower Festival. Horse racing fans will definitely enjoy this spectacle.
Daily from 8:00 to 22:00.
Hawk Paragliding School
For those who are fond of paragliding, as well as for beginners who dream of experiencing free flight for the first time, Jarabacoa provides a chic opportunity. After all, if you are going to climb so high into the sky, then it must be done in such amazingly beautiful places as here. Moreover, the city has a Hawk Paragliding School. Experienced pilots and beginners alike, who are offered a training course, come here. In addition, you can go on a flight without advanced skills – in tandem with an instructor.
Tuition fee: RD $ 40,000 ($ 900).
Tandem flight cost: RD $ 2,650 ($ 60).
The address: Venecia 1st Street, Jarabacoa.
Rancho Jarabacoa is a pioneer of adventure tourism in Jarabacoa. The ranchers have developed a whole range of sports entertainment for every taste for extreme lovers: rafting on the Yaque del Norte river, canyoning (descent into mountain gorges using mountaineering equipment), horseback riding on forest trails, trekking in the dense jungle. Here you can book an excursion to the El Gran Saltode Jimenoa waterfall, as well as take part in a hike or horse trek to the Pico Duarte.
The address: Sabaneta, Jarabacoa.
Daily from 9:00 to 18:00.
Flying Tony is a project that brings together a paragliding school and a whole range of other extreme activities for people looking for outdoor activities and thrills. Flying Tony offers not only paragliding training, but also tandem flights, as well as rafting, horseback riding, canyoning, a tour of the Jarabacoa falls, ascents to the Pico Duarte and El Mogote peaks, and a rope parkour course.
Address: Medina 2, Jarabacoa.
Phone: 1809 8545880.
Daily from 10:00 to 17:00.
Moto Caribe is a project that invites guests to explore the country in an original way by going on a motorcycle tour. This is a truly exciting adventure, during which participants get the opportunity to see what other tourists cannot. Every day a group of 5 – 7 people swallows 200 kilometers of not too smooth and not too clean roads, looking into small towns and villages on the way. Tours can last from 4 to 9 days. During this time, the participants of the trip travel up to 2,000 kilometers. The tour price is all inclusive: from airport transfers, to gasoline, food, and drinks. Visits to resorts, beaches and attractions are also planned in the trip program. However, the tour organizers warn that no trip is the same.
The address: Calle Las Palmas # 3, Jarabacoa.
Cultural holidays in Jarabacoa
The Point of Art
El Punto del Arte is an attractive destination for lovers of fine arts and delicious pastries. An art gallery, a restaurant, a beer bar and a bakery are very organically combined here. In addition, in El Punto del Arte you can dine deliciously, order excellent pastries for dessert, and admire the colorful masterpieces of local artists, in addition, all this can be accompanied by live music performed by local musicians. It is worth to devote 1 – 2 hours to this institution.
The address: Independencia Street, Jarabacoa.
Mon – Wed from 7:00 to 22:00;
Thu – Sun from 7:00 to 2:00.
How to get to Jarabacoa
The cities closest to Jarabacoa with airports: Santiago (32 km), Puerto Plata (71 km), Santo Domingo (128 km). You can get to the city by intercity bus or taxi. But if the age and the presence of an international driver’s license allow you to rent a car, it is best to take advantage of this opportunity, because in Jarabacoa itself, a car will be simply an irreplaceable assistant when traveling to the natural attractions of the city. The car can be rented directly at the airport. In Santiago and Puerto Plata, rent will cost RD $ 900 ($ 20) —RD $ 1,130 ($ 25) per day. In Santo Domingo, the service costs a little more —RD $ 1,600 ($ 36) per day, so it’s more logical, nevertheless, to depart from the capital to Jarabacoa by bus.
In general, catering is excellent in Jarabacoa. There is no particular problem in finding a decent restaurant or cozy cafe where you can have a hearty lunch, dinner or grab something quick, tasty and inexpensive. Tasting local traditional and modern cuisine or choosing something more familiar – everyone chooses at their discretion, but there is definitely no shortage of satisfying and aromatic food here.
Aroma de la Montana is a decent restaurant with a pleasant atmosphere and caring staff. The varied menu includes Caribbean and international cuisine, both traditional and modern. The restaurant was built in the mountains, at an altitude of 1200 meters and is part of a residential complex. A unique feature of the Aromade la Montana is its revolving second floor, which offers visitors great views of the city and its stunning natural surroundings.
The average bill is RD $ 1,110 ($ 25).
The address: Jamaca de Dios, Jarabacoa.
Sun – Thu from 11:00 to 22:00;
Fri – Sat from 11:00 to 23:00.
La Via Appia is a small street restaurant built in a European style, offering its guests pasta, risotto, ravioli, caprese, chicken with parmesan and other traditional Italian dishes, truly Italian, not imitations of it. The cozy atmosphere in the outdoor cafe is conducive to relaxed conversation and unobtrusive observation of passers-by.
The address: Plaza la Confluencia, Jarabacoa.
De Parrillada is an inexpensive, cozy cafe, lost on a quiet, picturesque street, offering Cajun, Creole and international cuisine at reasonable prices. Excellent dishes made from well-done meat will be remembered by visitors for a long time. Vegetarians will not go hungry either – here they will be offered a varied vegetable menu.
The average bill is from RD $ 220 ($ 5) to RD $ 1,330 ($ 30).
The address: Dombori Conneticot, Jarabacoa.
Tue – Sun from 12:00 to 23:30.
Jarabacoa offers a variety of accommodation options for travelers. There are quite a few hotels and they all look pretty decent. There are hotels both in the city itself and near natural attractions. You can settle, for example, in a picturesque quiet valley by the river or on a high mountain and at the same time be able to quickly get to any place of interest. In addition to standard hotels, there are interesting options for accommodation in private mini-hotels, where tourists feel like members of a family of hospitable hosts.
Hotel Gran Jimenoa *** is conveniently located on the banks of the river, surrounded by exotic trees. The hotel has 65 suites equipped with air conditioning, refrigerators and free Internet. The room rate includes breakfast. The hotel has a swimming pool, jacuzzi, restaurant, cocktail bar, conference room, business center, free parking. Rooms are served by multilingual staff.
Rooms’ fares range from RD $ 2,670 ($ 60) to RD $ 3,650 ($ 82) per night.
The address: Av La Confluencia, Jarabacoa.
Villa Celeste is a small hotel with 8 deluxe rooms, located in a picturesque mountainous area, which disposes to a relaxing holiday in silence in the bosom of nature. Guests can use free internet, a cocktail bar and park their cars free of charge. The friendly staff creates a cozy family atmosphere for the hotel guests.
The cost of the room is RD $ 3,250 ($ 73) per night.
The address: Mountainsof Jarabacoa.
Mi Vista Mountain Resort is a nice family-run mini-hotel consisting of 5 cozy rooms. On the territory there is a swimming pool, a restaurant with delicious home cooking and a bar. The hospitable owner of the mini-hotel will arrange a warm welcome for his guests, help organize outings to nature, find everything a tourist needs in an unfamiliar city, and also tell those who wish a lot of interesting stories. A good place to change the scenery and escape from the hustle and bustle.
The cost of the room is RD $ 6,500 ($ 146) per night.
The address: Calle La Confluencia, Jarabacoa.