Los Haitises: The DR's Tropical Jewel

Los Haitises in the Dominican Republic is a protected virgin forest. It is this mysterious and enchanting stretch of tropical wonderland, with a playground of habitats for beautiful flora and majestic fauna: untouched mangrove forests, secluded beaches, ancient caves and 98-foot high rock formations all come together. In a different time, it used to be a sacred, safe haven for the Tainos — the original inhabitants of this island. Los Haitises means “hilly land” in the taino language, and we can see why.

There is a multitude of caverns that were created by water erosion, which adds to the mysterious and alluring mood of Los Haitises. Native Americans would adorn these caverns with pictographs and petroglyphs. The cultures which created these artworks remain unidentified, but some say it is possible that these culture(s) may even predate the Taínos. 

Los Haitises

The majority of the park stretches across the municipality of Sabana de la Mar, province of Hato Mayor, as well as the provinces of Monte Plata and Samaná. Los Haitises contains a number of different habitats, which results in a rich diversity of flora and fauna, some of which are rare and endemic to the island. It is considered one of the most biodiverse regions of the country. It contains a large variety of birds, including most of the species endemic to the country. These include the brown pelican or alcatraz, magnificent frigatebird, Hispaniolan amazon, barn owl, and stygian owl. Some of the bird species found in Los Haitises are not found elsewhere within the Dominican Republic. The beautiful Hispaniolan hutia (Plagiodontia aedium) and the Hispaniolan solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus) are two endemic mamal species, which are in fact threatened with extinction. The park also has the greatest diversity of fauna among the protected natural areas in the country.

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