Two national parks protect much of the mountains, cloudforests and pines present in the Cordillera Central, BERMÚDEZ and RAMÍREZ, each encompassing over seven hundred square kilometres that really need to be explored on an organized trek up Pico Duarte, the highest mountain in the Caribbean. At the very least, you’ll need to check in with a ranger and be accompanied by a guide for whatever trip you take into the parks.

Once in, you’ll see no small array of flora, though the endemic Creole pine tends to proliferate. Reforested Caribbean pines have been planted in places where there was once agriculture, and scattered palm trees dot the fringes. You’ll also spot many orchids and bromeliads, along with Spanish moss and parasites known as The Count of Pines, their branches winding up the trunks of other trees and slowly strangulating them. There aren’t many large animals in the mountains – persistent rumours of wild pigs aside – but you’ll notice a number of lizards and even Coquí frogs near the summit of Duarte; the relatively rare tarantula or non-poisonous snake is also known to make an occasional appearance. There are plenty of birds, too, especially Hispaniolan parrots, hummingbirds and woodpeckers; you’ll hear a raucous population of white-tailed crows near the summit.

Signs of agriculture are visible in the small valleys along the southern half of Ramírez, though the traditional slash-and-burn farming has been banned. Local folklore has it that small bands of Tainos are still holed up in the deepest mountains waiting for the Spaniards to depart, and that the trails are haunted by ciguapas – mythical blue-skinned women with their feet back-to-front who seduce young men at night and lure them to their deaths at the bottoms of streams.

Book through Rough Guides’ trusted travel partners

Dominican Republic features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

Video: 14 things we love about the Dominican Republic

Video: 14 things we love about the Dominican Republic

With waterfalls, beaches and wildlife galore, the Dominican Republic is an island paradise. If you need any more inspiration to plan a visit, here are 14 things…

19 Feb 2015 • Site Editor videocam Video
View more featureschevron_right

Privacy Preference Center

Necessary

Mandatory - can not be deselected. Necessary cookies help make a website usable by enabling basic functions like page navigation and access to secure areas of the website. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

PHPSESSID,aelia_cs_selected_currency,cookie_notice_accepted,RS,bp-message,bp-message-type,id,UIDR,w3tc_logged_out,__cfduid
__cfduid

Statistics

Statistic cookies help website owners to understand how visitors interact with websites by collecting and reporting information anonymously.

__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid,__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xt
__utma,__utmb,__utmc,__utmz,_ga,_gid
__atssc,__atuvc,__atuvs,di,dt,ssc,ssh,sshs,uid,uit,xtc

Marketing

Marketing cookies are used to track visitors across websites. The intention is to display ads that are relevant and engaging for the individual user and thereby more valuable for publishers and third party advertisers.

__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID,__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll,c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs
__gads,PISID, BEAT, CheckConnection TempCookie703, GALX, GAPS, GoogleAccountsLocale_session, HSID, LSID, LSOSID, NID, PREF, RMME, S, SAPISID, SID, SSID
__utmv, _twitter_sess, auth_token, auth_token_session, external_referer, guest_id, k, lang, original_referer, remember_checked, secure_session, twid, twll
c_user, datr, fr, highContrast, locale, lu, reg_ext_ref, reg_fb_gate, reg_fb_ref, s, wd, xs