Ea­gles' Bay

An Un­tap­ped Pa­ra­di­se in the Do­mi­ni­can Re­pu­blic

Excelencias Turísticas del caribe y las Américas - - Lugar Con Encanto | Charming Places -


Just a two-and-a-half-hour dri­ve is what it ta­kes to get to Bahia de las Aguilas (Ea­gles' Bay), a pla­ce you won't ever want to lea­ve as you find your­self su­rroun­ded by an en­vi­ron­ment of uns­poi­led bea­ches of whi­te sands and crys­tal-clear wa­ters. Per­ched on the Pe­der­na­les Pe­nin­su­la, in the south­wes­tern Do­mi­ni­can Re­pu­blic, and ta­king part of the Ja­ra­gua Na­tio­nal Park, this pa­ra­di­se on earth can be reached as you lea­ve behind moun­tains cap­ped by high palm trees, ri­vers and small towns la­den with woo­den hou­ses who­se roofs are co­ve­red by tin sheets and that­ches, and pain­ted in li­vely co­lors. The to­tal sur­fa­ce is 37 ki­lo­me­ters stret­ching from Pun­ta Chi­man­che all the way to Pun­ta Agui­la.

Vi­si­tors can­not ex­pect anyt­hing but just a ranch whe­re they can eat a lo­cal red­dish fish known as chi­llo or lobs­ters. The inexis­ten­ce of hu­man settle­ments in Bahia de las Aguilas has been well do­cu­men­ted for years. The Ja­ra­gua Na­tio­nal Park Ma­na­ge­ment Plan pu­blis­hed in 1986 de­fi­nes an ur­ba­ni­za­tion pro­ject ba­sed on re­com­men­da­tion for re­crea­tio­nal pur­po­ses. This par­ti­cu­lar pa­per work cha­rac­te­ri­zed all ma­jor ma­ri­ne ha­bi­tats and re­cog­ni­zed the fra­gi­lity of this breath­ta­king pla­ce's coas­tal struc­tu­re.

As a mat­ter of fact, its va­lues are plen­ti­ful. This God-bles­sed land boasts the Ca­rib­bean's best­pre­ser­ved co­ral re­efs and is one of the few pla­ces whe­re ma­na­tees can be spot­ted, an ex­tre­mely en­dan­ge­red spe­cies. But its wa­ters are also ho­me to star­fis­hes, ma­ri­ne prai­ries and gor­go­nians, tho­se

de ejem­pla­res jó­ve­nes que su­pere la que se reúne en Bahía de las Águi­las.

El Par­que Na­cio­nal Ja­ra­gua se da el lu­jo de mos­trar, ade­más, 130 es­pe­cies de aves de las cua­les diez son en­dé­mi­cas, 76 re­si­den­tes y 47 mi­gra­to­rias. La igua­na ri­no­ce­ron­te, la paloma co­ro­ni­ta y la paloma ce­ni­za pa­sean con to­tal tran­qui­li­dad por aque­llos la­res, úni­cos del pla­ne­ta don­de na­cen plan­tas co­mo la ca­ne­li­lla y el gua­ni­to.

Co­mo si fue­ra po­co, im­por­tan­tes ya­ci­mien­tos ar­queo­ló­gi­cos prehis­pá­ni­cos que re­gis­tran asen­ta­mien­tos in­dí­ge­nas han si­do ha­lla­dos aquí, es­pe­cí­fi­ca­men­te en las ca­ver­nas El Gua­nal, La Po­za y Mon­gó.


An­te tan­ta belleza na­tu­ral sin ex­plo­tar aún por el hom­bre, Bahía de las Águi­las co­mien­za a es­tar en la mi­ra de los gran­des in­ver­sio­nis­tas y em­pre­sa­rios de to­das par­tes, quie­nes bus­can crear las in­fra­es­truc­tu­ras ne­ce­sa­rias para fun­dar un au­tén­ti­co po­lo tu­rís­ti­co. Mas no es ta­rea fá­cil. Un gru­po sig­ni­fi­ca­ti­vo de or­ga­ni­za­cio­nes eco­ló­gi­cas ase­gu­ra que se tra­ta de un eco­sis­te­ma frágil «cu­ya con­ser­va­ción y uso pú­bli­co de­man­da de una vi­sión de fu­tu­ro y un al­to sen­ti­do de res­pon­sa­bi­li­dad an­te la so­cie­dad do­mi­ni­ca­na y an­te el mun­do». Por tra­tar­se de un área pro­te­gi­da, es­tá prohi­bi­do acam­par y ha­cer fo­ga­tas.

Si se les ofre­cie­ran a los vi­si­tan­tes cier­tas co­mo­di­da­des, Bahía de las Águi­las se­ría per­fec­to para el tu­ris­mo de aven­tu­ra y eco­lo­gía,

un pro­yec­to, que por su­pues­to, re­pre­sen­ta­ría ma­yo­res po­si­bi­li­da­des de em­pleo y de desa­rro­llo eco­nó­mi­co y so­cial para quie­nes viven en los al­re­de­do­res. Mu­chos lo in­ten­tan, pe­ro na­die quie­re po­ner en ries­go al prin­ci­pal eco­sis­te­ma de pla­ya de ba­ja ener­gía pro­te­gi­da que existe den­tro del Par­que. Y es que to­dos velan por­que es­te si­tio man­ten­ga por siem­pre su con­di­ción de Re­ser­va Mun­dial de la Bios­fe­ra que le otor­gó la Or­ga­ni­za­ción de las Na­cio­nes Uni­das para la Edu­ca­ción, la Cien­cia y la Cul­tu­ra (UNES­CO). curious in­ver­te­bra­tes that look li­ke bush ske­le­tons. Hawk-bill turtles also lord it around the­re. In fact, the­re's no bet­ter pla­ce for them to lay their eggs, a reason why the­re's no ot­her pla­ce on the fa­ce of the earth with such an amount of turtle offs­pring than Bahia de las Aguilas. Mo­reo­ver, the Ja­ra­gua Na­tio­nal Park proudly showcases 130 bird spe­cies (10 are en­de­mic), 76 re­si­dent spe­cies and 47 mi­gra­tory birds. The rhino-bi­lled igua­na, the crow­ned do­ve and the ashy pi­geon also roam around the pre­mi­ses, rub­bing el­bows with such en­de­mic plants as ca­ne­li­lla and gua­ni­to. To top it all off, ma­jor preHis­pa­nic ar­cheo­lo­gi­cal si­tes that lay ba­re the for­mer exis­ten­ce of in­di­ge­nous settle­ments, es­pe­cially in the an­cient ca­verns of El Gua­nal, La Po­za and Mon­gó.


In the fa­ce of this la­vish na­tu­ral beauty that re­mains un­tap­ped, Bahia de las Aguilas is slowly get­ting in the cross­hairs of big-ti­me in­ves­tors and im­pre­sa­rios from everyw­he­re un­der the sun who are see­king to crea­te the infrastruc­ture re­qui­red to co­me up with a full-fled­ged tra­vel des­ti­na­tion. Ho­we­ver, this is not an easy task. A sig­ni­fi­cant num­ber of eco­lo­gi­cal or­ga­ni­za­tions ar­gue this is an ex­tre­mely fra­gi­le ecosys­tem “who­se con­ser­va­tion and pu­blic use call for a vi­sion of fu­tu­re, coupled with a high sen­se of res­pon­si­bi­lity in the eyes of the Do­mi­ni­can so­ciety and the world.”For being a pro­tec­ted area, cam­ping out and buil­ding bon­fi­res are strictly ban­ned.

If cer­tain con­ve­nien­ces we­re of­fe­red to vi­si­tors, Bahia de las Aguilas would be the per­fect pla­ce for ad­ven­tu­re tra­vel and eco­lo­gi­cal tou­rism, a pro­ject that would cer­tainly pro­vi­de much big­ger pos­si­bi­li­ties for job crea­tion, eco­no­mic de­ve­lop­ment and so­cial ad­van­ce for the lo­cal po­pu­la­tion in the vi­ci­nity. Many ha­ve given a shot at that ef­fort, yet no­body wants to put the beach ecosys­tem –a pro­tec­ted area wit­hin the park- in harm's way. In the sa­me breath, every­body wants this pla­ce to keep its con­di­tion as World Biosp­he­re Re­ser­ve gran­ted by Uni­ted Na­tions Edu­ca­tio­nal, Scien­ti­fic and Cul­tu­ral Or­ga­ni­za­tion (UNES­CO).

Bahía de las Águi­las co­mien­za a es­tar en la mi­ra de los gran­des in­ver­sio­nis­tas y em­pre­sa­rios de to­das par­tes, quie­nes bus­can crear las in­fra­es­truc­tu­ras ne­ce­sa­rias para fun­dar un

au­tén­ti­co po­lo tu­rís­ti­co.

Bay of Ea­gles be­gins to be in the sights of the great in­ves­tors and bu­si­ness­men from everyw­he­re, who seek to crea­te the ne­ces­sary infrastruc­ture to found a true

tou­rist po­le.

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