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MTrek Menu
Trek Leader Contacts

Adrian "IDB" Costin
Jyoti "J Ro" Rajagopal
Wendy "Princess" King
Jason "Pigeon" Christos

Trip Highlights

  • See the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean in one trip!
  • Spelunking in the Cuevas de Pomier Anthropological Reserve!
  • Yasica River exploration on a WWII Duck!
  • See elusive Dominican animals, like the North American Crocodile!
  • Dinner and bonfire on a remote beach!
  • Canyoning!
  • White Water Rafting!
  • Mule Trek-Hike to the Highest Peak in the Caribbean!
  • Giant Catamaran Day Sail!
  • Stay in the Historic Colonial Zone of Santo Domingo!
  • Stay in the Kiteboarding & Windsurfing Capitol of the World, Cabarete!
  • 3*** Accommodations!
  • Change your perspective on how good life can be!

Trip Descriptive Itinerary

Day 1: August 13, 2004 (Friday)

  • Airport Pickup.
  • Check-in to hotel.
  • Dinner at Restaurante El Conuco.
  • Accommodations @ Mercure Comercial, Santo Domingo.

Day 2: August 14, 2004 (Saturday)

  • Breakfast in the hotel.
  • Exploration of Cuevas de Pomier Anthroplogical Reserve.
    Cuevas de Pomiér Anthropological Reserve which is located about an hour's drive west of Santo Domingo on the outskirts of San Cristobal is the only region in the country specifically designated for the protection of a subterranean ecosystem and it is the single most important pre-Columbian site in the Caribbean. With more 6000 recorded pictographs and around 500 petroglyphs pertaining to several distinct indigenous populations, the Cuevas de Pomier are, in anthropological importance, for the Caribbean what the Pyramids of Giza are for Egypt and the Altamira and Lascaux Caves are for Europe. Cave Number One has 590 pictographs; more than are found in all other locations in the Minor Antilles put together. We spend the afternoon exploring this cave which provides insights into the Pre-Columbian origins of humans in the Caribbean with Dominican environmental activist, journalist and Espeleogrupo Santo Domingo President, Domingo Abreu.
  • Picnic Lunch at Pomier.
  • Transport to Cabarete, North Coast.Check-in to hotel.
  • River exploration to La Boca Beach Dinner & Bonfire.
    A short distance from the Laguna Cabarete & Goleta park office, on the banks of the Islabon River, Wilson Zapeta has a small ranch of wildlife in temporary captivity. Here we have the opportunity to see some of the Dominican Republic's more elusive wilderness creatures, such as the Carey Turtle, Boa Serpent, Tarantula, Rhinoceros Iguana, North American Crocodile, Turkey Vulture, Sparrow Hawk, and Mongoose. From there you board a boat for a leisurely float down the Wilson River to its mouth at the Atlantic Ocean. Your dinner this evening is served on the beach, amongst the sand dunes and a roaring bonfire.
  • Accommodations @ Hotel Villa Taina, Cabarete.

Day 3: August 15, 2004 (Sunday)

  • Breakfast in hotel.
  • Transport to top of Septentrional Mountain Range.
  • Full Day Canyoning.
    Rappel down a 50 meter waterfall to enjoy challenging jumps from as high as 12 meters. Includes professional guides, refreshments and fruit, equipment, a day of guaranteed adventure, and roundtrip transportation. Rating: Intermediate-Advance hikers looking for an intense experience. Swimmers only.
  • Early Dinner at Las Brisas de Yasica.
  • Accommodations @ Hotel Villa Taina, Cabarete.

Day 4: August 16, 2004 (Monday)

  • Breakfast in the hotel.
  • Transport to Jarabacoa, Central Mountain Range.
  • White Water Rafting, Class III.
    A beautiful adventure in breath-taking surroundings. The Yaque del Norte river is the longest in the DR, and offers fantastic rapids, demanding technical stretches, a narrow canyon, and adrenalizing drops. Rapids are soft and gentle in the beginning allowing enough time to learn skills and commands. The second part offers rafting at its best with awesome drops, like Mike Tyson and the Mother-in-Law. Includes roundtrip transportation, boat, equipment, guides, instruction, light breakfast, and lunch. Rating: Class III. Swimmers only.
  • Buffet lunch at Rancho Baiguate.
  • Transport to La Cienega de Manabao.
    Transport: North Coast to Jarabacoa to La Cienega de Manabao [4.5 hours]
  • Pico Duarte 3-Day Mule Trek-Hike.
  • 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 5: August 17, 2004 (Tuesday)

  • 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 ridgeline, 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 ridgeline, 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 6: August 18, 2004 (Wednesday)
Trek: La Compartición to Pico Duarte to La Cienega de Manabao [28 Km, 2350M to 3087M to 1000M]

  • 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 ridgeline 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! Given reasonable weather and a good pace, we should be back at the National Park Headquarters in La Cienega de Manabao by 3:00 p.m.
  • Transport to Jarabacoa.
  • Dinner at Pizza and Pepperoni.
  • Check-in to hotel.
  • Accommodations @ Hotel Villa Taina, Cabarete.

Day 7: August 19, 2004 (Thursday)

  • Breakfast in the hotel.
  • Transport to Puerto Plata.
  • Giant Catamaran Sail.
    A day of sailing along the North Coast from Puerto Plata to Sosua and back enjoying the views, Caribbean music, and friends on a giant Catamaran. Includes light morning snack, juice and national beverages, lunch, snorkeling gear for the reefs, and roundtrip transportation. Rating: All levels.
  • Transport to Cabarete.
  • Farewell Dinner on Cabarete Beach at La Casita de Papi.
  • Accommodations @ Hotel Villa Taina, Cabarete.

Day 8: August 20, 2004 (Friday)

  • Breakfast.
  • Transport to Santo Domingo.
  • Lunch (play by ear according to group).
  • Airport Drop-off.


August 13-20, 2004


$1,100 - $1,250 plus airfare (approx $580)




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