Traveling along the scenic Carretera Turística north through the countryside, snaking up curvaceous mountainous passages, no doubt marveling at the tree-plush landscape being laid out below, you will come to La Cumbre, which translates to “The Summit.” This area is famous for its amber mines and was used as the setting for a scene in Jurassic Park.
You will know you have found La Cumbre when you start seeing roadside stalls selling souvenirs. There will be a marked turnoff for La Cumbre de Juan Vegas, which you will need to follow for about three kilometers. From there you will need to walk up and over the hill to where the mines are found. The company Tours Trips Treks & Travel (tel. 809/867-8884, www.4domrep.com ) leads expeditions to these mountains for a visit to the amber mines.
If you just want to enjoy a good meal and one of the country’s great mountain views, go to either Rancho La Cumbre Bar & Restaurant for a steak or El Caffeto Bar & Restaurant (Carretera Moca–Jamao, La Cumbre, tel. 809/471-0015, caffeto [at] hotmail [dot] com), where they have live jazz music on the fourth Friday of every month (possibly more nights in the works). Even without the music, the view of the Cibao that these restaurants offer is breathtaking and worth a stop.