Los Hai­tises Na­tional Park,

Do­mini­can Repub­lic

Lonely Planet Magazine (US) - - Easy Trips -

In the south of Sa­maná Bay, Los Hai­tises Na­tional Park is a patch­work of craggy islets, blue canals and ver­dant for­est, an ecosys­tem that ap­pears plucked from pre­his­tory. Per­haps the park’s most unique fea­ture is the se­ries of lime­stone caves worn ragged with wa­ter ero­sion and streaked with salt. Pass into the yawn­ing Boca del Tiburón (Shark’s Mouth) be­fore swing­ing around to shore to ex­plore caves that were once cer­e­mo­nial grounds for the Taíno peo­ple; these caves con­tain well-pre­served carv­ings and paint­ings de­pict­ing an­i­mals, deities, medicine men and even the Span­ish cross. Los Hai­tises is hardly a well-kept se­cret, but vis­i­tor num­bers are ris­ing: some big ho­tel projects are brew­ing nearby, and an up­dated sus­tain­abil­ity plan will en­hance in­fra­struc­ture and preser­va­tion, so you’ll be greeted with im­proved trails and fa­cil­i­ties.

» Don’t Miss Take a mo­tor­boat tour through larger waterways and take in pris­tine views.

For a more re­laxed ap­proach, em­bark on a kayak­ing tour through smaller in­lets and man­grove forests, or drift in the open wa­ters at sun­rise to catch the best views of abun­dant bird life.

Pre­his­toric-look­ing Los Hai­tises Na­tional Park is lined with dozens of small islets that are only nav­i­ga­ble by boat.

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