- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
The Cordillera Central (Central Mountains) and the Valle del Cibao make up the fertile backbone of the Dominican Republic, referred to by Dominicans as El Cibao. Removed from the lazy beach towns and all-inclusive resorts, this lush region highlights the biodiversity of the country, featuring ranches, vegetable and fruit farms, twisting mountain roads, crashing waterfalls, rushing rivers, and crisp, fresh air. The area is abundant with produce ranging from potatoes, coffee, tobacco, and vegetables to some not-so-typical fruits such as strawberries and apples.
Most tourists who come to the tropics typically head to the beaches. But the adventure-minded independent travelers seeking the antithesis of plastic-bracelet all-inclusive resorts come here to enjoy the backyard garden of the Dominican Republic—it’s a getaway favorite for the Dominicans themselves.
The area offers a visitor not only a taste of mountain culture but also an insider’s view of the Dominican city-folk relaxing and at play, taking a break from their own hectic lives.
Ecotourism and adventure travel have gained substantial momentum in the tourism industry of the Dominican Republic. Every year more tourists become aware of the richness and diversity of the Dominican Republic’s topography, and many choose El Cibao to create a fun, more adventure-focused vacation.
Abundant outdoor activities include rafting, canyoning, and treks to Pico Duarte. Whether you ride a mule or do a five-day hike on foot, the climb to the summit of Pico Duarte is one of the most popular activities here, where the reward is a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition