Río Yaque del Norte, a beautifully blue, fast-flowing mountain stream that rises up in the very heart of the Cordillera Central mountain range, plays host to a number of different whitewater adventures. The lower sections are used by several rafting operators and offer some exciting drops up to grade IV. The nearby Jimenoa and Yásica rivers offer even more severe challenges, but these are only accessible to experienced kayakers; note that none of the whitewater rafting trips are available to children under 12. Many of Jarabacoa’s rivers and waterfalls can also be enjoyed firsthand by taking a canyoning trip with one of the local tour operators. Accompanied by an experienced guide, you’ll make your way downstream using a combination of swimming, jumping, walking and rappelling. Previous experience isn’t necessary and it’s a breathtaking way to see some unspoiled countryside. Other local outdoor options include hiking, biking and horseriding.
Local tour operators
t 571-0908, w www.iguanamama.com. Although based in Cabarete, Iguana Mama offers many excursions in the Cordillera Central, including multi-day mountain-bike odysseys across the range, white water rafting (US$59) and three-day hikes of Pico Duarte (US$520). The best but priciest of all the island’s adventure specialists with impeccable ethics.
Road to Constanza Km 5 t 574-6890, w www.ranchobaiguate.com. One of the island’s biggest and best-organized tour operators, with most of their clients from the all-inclusives on the north coast. They run a wide range of adventure tours, including whitewater rafting (US$50) – with fifty percent discount for guests – and canyoning (US$50). Other excursions include hiking, mountain biking andhorseriding. Longer trips include a guided three- or four-day hike to Pico Duarte (US$255–325) and a five-day hike, which takes in the peak and Valle del Tétero (US$415).
Road to Sabaneta Km 2 t 222-3202. Less-expensive option than Baiguate forhorseriding in pueblo Sabaneta, 2km north of Jarabacoa.