3-Day Pico Duarte Mule Trek-Hike



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Pico Duarte

The Highest Peak in the Caribbean!

Exclusively Designed for Volunteers of the DREAM Project

DREAM Pico Duarte Menu
Trip Leader Contact

Trip Highlights

  • Mule Trek-Hike to the Highest Peak in the Caribbean!
  • See the Sunrise Over the Caribbean!
  • Includes All Snacks and Meals!
  • Includes All Ground Transportation!
  • Includes All National Park Entrances and National Park Guide!
  • Includes Professional 4T Guide!
  • Includes Pack Mules for your Gear!
  • Cabin Camping Accommodations!
  • Includes Sleeping Bag and Sleeping Mat Rental!

Trip Descriptive Itinerary

Day 1: January 3, 2006 (Tuesday)

  • Early morning breakfast and trip briefing at Claro Restaurant.
  • Transport: North Coast to Jarabacoa to La Cienega de Manabao [4.5 hours]
  • Hike to Los Tablones (pending Nat'l Park approval).
    Trek: La Cienega de Manabao to Los Tablones [4 Km, elevation 1000M to 1200M]:
    The short, mild hike into Los Tablones is an excellent warm-up for the next day's serious mileage. We follow the Los Tablones River, forming the boundary of the park, along a flat path frequented by locals who live near the base camp. Towering Wild Cane lines our path and giant broadleaf forests form a canopy overhead. We arrive at the camp of Los Tablones in plenty of time for happy hour and a little exploration before our filling supper of Chambre, a traditional Dominican stew.
    {Alternate: camp at Armando Bermudez Nat'l Park Headquarters at La Cienega de Manabao}.
  • Dinner.
  • Accommodations: Cabin Camping.

Day 2: January 4, 2006 (Wednesday)

  • Los Tablones to La Cotorra (4Km, 1200M to 1750M):
    Awakened by the brisk air, and our guide, we arise before dawn for a nutritious breakfast of fresh fruits, cereal, hot oatmeal, juice, hot chocolate, and "campesino coffee" made on the open flame of the fogon. Following the Tablones River for .5 Km, the trail begins a rapid climb up some of the most eroded and technical parts of the trail. The surroundings give way to a new life-zone of vegetation featuring Lirio, Myrtle Laurel Cherry, Copey, Pasture Fiddlewood, West Indies Laurel Cherry, and Sierra Palm. Our resting-place for a short break, La Cotorra, is aptly named for the Hispaniola Parrots that congregate in the area in the late afternoon.
  • La Cotorra to La Laguna (2 Km, 1720M to 2100M):
    Climbing away from the broad views of the La Cienega Valley, the trail follows the natural ridge-line. Once again, new flora greets us as West Indian Sumac, Palo de Viento, Wild Brazilleto, Krug Wild Avocado, and Tree Ferns decorate the thick forest surrounding us. A fresh-water spring is our reward at La Laguna.
  • La Laguna to El Cruce (.5 Km, 2100M to 2200M):
    The trail climbs steeply to the intersection where the path to Pico Duarte and picturesque Valle Tetero separates. The northern slope is blanketed with green ferns.
  • El Cruce to Aguita Fria (5 Km, 2200M to 2600M):
    Climbing the natural ridge line, the vegetation makes its final Caribbean Alpine change before reaching the barren-rock top of Pico Duarte to Creolean Pine, Lyonia Heptamera, Myrica Picardae, and low-growing bushes, like Garrya Fadyenii, Satureja Alpestris, and Baccharis Myrsinites. Our resting place for a refueling snack at Aguita Fria is just beyond a wet bog. It is in this place that the headwaters of the two longest rivers in the DR, Yaque del Norte and Yaque del Sur, subtly bubble up from the ground.
  • Aguita Fria to La Compartición (3.5 Km, 2600M to 2350M):
    Dropping down the natural ridge line, pine forests welcome us to our cozy cabin in La Compartición. Excellent views of the mountain range are in all directions. A small cascade and pool offer a brisk shower, before a filling meal, a mug of hot chocolate and warm sleeping bag.

Day 3: January 5, 2006 (Thursday)

  • La Compartición to Pico Duarte (4 Km, 2350M to 3087M):
    Beginning with a steady climb hours before dawn, we follow a switchback trail through pine forests along the wide ridge line to an open meadow at Vallecito de Lilis. We can catch a breath enjoying the view of La Pelona, the second highest peak in the Caribbean at 3070M, before beginning the final push to the summit. Sparse pine forests give way to rock and boulders at the peak with origins dating back 60 million years to the Cretaceous period. On a clear morning, with the sun rising over our path back down the mountain, there is truly no doubt that we are on the Roof of the Caribbean! We'll head back down to La Compartición for breakfast.
  • La Compartición to La Cienega de Manabao [20 Km, 2350M to 1000M]:
    Given reasonable weather and a good pace, we should be back at the National Park Headquarters in La Cienega de Manabao by 4:00 p.m. for a celebratory swim in the brisk waters of the Tablon River.
  • Return transport to North Coast. [4.5 hours]
  • Arrival in Cabarete! Welcome Home Trekkers!


    Cabin camping in the Armando Bermudez National Park is our first choice.

    In the event that space is not available in the national park cabins, this trip is equipped with 6 and 4-person tents.

    Eureka 6-Person, 2-Room Tetragon

    Kelty 4-Person Teton

    Exclusive pricing for Volunteers of the DREAM Project.
    40% off regular US$425/person price!

    US$255/DREAM Project Volunteer, inclusive.
    This tour is open to the public.



      January 3 (Tuesday) - January 5 (Thursday), 2006


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Most photos credited to "Open Shirt' Mike Gussak at unkmonk@hotmail.com