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Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic

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The SSV Corwith Cramer anchored in Samana Bay.

On our first day anchored in Samana Bay, we were picked up early for a tour of Los Haitises National Park. Los Haitises is located near the Samana Peninsula, and it’s a part of a growing ecotourism industry in the Dominican Republic.

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The great things about Los Haitises is that it is striking to the fashionable ec0-tourist interested in the finer details of the ecosystems in the Dominican Republic, but also to the casual ‘I-just-want-to-go-kayaking’ tourist. Being a combination of those two, I relished the beautiful tropical forest, the countless limestone keys and mangroves while kayaking around it all. A lot of information thrown our way was made the more interesting by our knowledgeable and friendly guide, Wilfredo.

The thing about Wilfredo, and most guides I encountered, was that they were not faking cheerfulness or interest. If they get tired of saying the same thing to tourists over and over, you can’t really tell, because they truly seem to enjoy explaining the surroundings, history and overall knowledge of their country. They seemed to get honestly excited about your excitement.

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Wilfredo pauses to explain the greenery surrounding us.

Following our kayaking jaunt, we proceeding to caves within the keys, filled with giant stalactites and stalagmites. The formations inside the cave have unfortunately been tampered by years of tourist- and even reality TV-traffic — Petroglyphs and graffiti adorned the walls along with spiders that can have you dead in minutes.

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The Dominican Republic personifies the contradictions about the Caribbean. With its amazing blue waters and natural resources a short boat ride away from Samana, a city lacking basic infrastructure, where most citizens live without running water. Yet one thing that never failed us in our travel was the warmth of the people, who don’t dwell on contradictions or ironies. A couple of days is not enough time to truly savor the beautiful region of Samana, and when you’re there, you worry about when you won’t be. You’ll wonder “how can I continue living without the mangroves and the palm trees and the water?”, and that’s when you realize that you will, inevitably, return.

3 replies on “Los Haitises National Park, Dominican Republic”

“The Dominican Republic personifies the contractions about the Caribbean”

Did you mean contradictions?

Hi Vern, thanks. It’s certainly disappointing that the only thing on my blog worth commenting on was a spelling mistake.

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