- 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
Constanza is in a circular valley surrounded by mountains 1,200 meters above sea level. The pastoral scenery offers some of the best views in the country and is what makes it a favorite getaway spot for Dominicans and foreigners. Although it is not a destination filled with as many activities as Jarabacoa, it is a peaceful respite and a jumping off point to one of the routes to Pico Duarte.
The fertile grounds are the livelihood for many families in the region. In the 1950s, Trujillo invited 200 Japanese families to the area to farm the land. His hope was to convert the land into a highly productive agricultural center. Today, many Japanese families remain and the area cultivates a great deal of the country’s produce for local consumption and exportation.
Although winter temperatures can sometimes dip down to freezing at night, the marvelously fertile ground and pleasant daytime temperatures stimulate the growth of strawberries, cabbage, potatoes, onions, cauliflower, and a great deal of garlic as well as flowers.
Constanza is a wonderful choice for those looking for ecotourism options like mountain biking, four wheeling, motorcycling, hang-gliding, trekking, jeep safari trips, and horseback riding. Even just taking a dip in the cool crystalline waters of the natural spa at El Arroyazo is an adventure unlike the standard beach-bum Caribbean vacation.
Since most of the sights worth seeing near Constanza are quite far from the town itself, you’ll need a good four-wheel-drive to get around and to reach many of the sights and activities. Two of the high points in the area are the Reserva Científica Ebano Verde and Parque Nacional Valle Nuevo.
Getting to Constanza
If you’re driving to Constanza, you’ll need a four-wheel-drive vehicle for the hills. Going on a clear day is best. Drivers tend to drive in the middle of the road. A quick honk around the blind corners is wise; open your window and listen for others doing the same. Fog or low clouds can make your trip a huge mistake or nerve-wracking and make your morning mangú come right back up. You’ll need to remain quite alert on these roads. You’ll pay a RD$30 toll getting out of Santo Domingo and the rest of the highway is a nice new road.
The Carretera Duarte (from Santo Domingo) is the safest way into Constanza. At the summit of a mountain pass, you will pass the Santuario de La Virgen de Altagracia, and at that point you will start your descent into Constanza.
Arriving from Jarabacoa, you will take the Carretera Jarabacoa–El Río–Constanza, 48 kilometers of pure jostling nightmare. There are plans to rebuild this road, but no real progress yet.
The main drag of Constanza is Calle Luperón. On this street is a gas station that doubles as a bus stop at the eastern end. You can catch buses going to Santo Domingo (US$5.50), Santiago (US$5.50), and La Vega (US$2.75).
Guaguas also take off from the same stop (la parada to the locals). You can catch one going to Jarabacoa (US$2.80) and El Abanico. From these two stops you can connect to other cities.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition