During this excursion you will experience the jungle of the National Park del Este and it direct surroundings. This park is well-known for the excursions to the Islands Saona and Catalina. But the land part of the park is virtually un-explored.
Nature, Culture & History
This is no disguised shopping trip like many "Safaris", but this is a real jungle tour. Guided by expert guides and park rangers. With this excursion you can experience the various parts of the Park: the dense dry jungle, the fauna and flora and the special story of the people who lived in the area, before the park was inaugurated. We will visit a magnificent cave in the National Park. And we will follow the trail of the Taino Indians to the River Chavon where we will discover the origin of the Taino words "Canoa", "Yuca" and many others. A relaxed day for the active explorer.
Explore the Land of Mystery and Imagination
This guided excursion will explore the Parque Nacional del Este. We meet at our visitors center on the beach of Bayahibe. The excursion starts with a short briefing to explain the proceedings of the day. We then go to our first stop: the Padre Nuestro Ecological and Archaeological Jungle Trail. Padre Nuestro is located within the area of Parque Nacional del Este just outside Bayahibe.
An easy hike through Taino history ...
The trail has different pathways, ranging in difficulty along its 1.9 km / 1.2 miles. Sturdy shoes are recommended. The trail takes you through the dry tropical jungle, a landscape of limestone, butterflies and birds, as well as impressive underground fresh water caverns. We will tell you about the history of the Park and you can explore the remains of the Taino settlements, the first inhabitants of the Dominican Republic. You also get to experience the magnificent native flora and fauna, which is unique to the East Coast of Hispaniola.
Cueva de Chicho: Stalagmites ... Stalactites ... bats and ancient rock art
At the end of the trail we visit the freshwater springs secluded inside the caves. We will decent into the cave Cueva de Chicho. This large cave has at the bottom a stunning underground lake. Used as a water supply since pre-Hispanic times, a significant collection of large ceramic artifacts remain of the era. A total of 26 petroglyphs can be seen at the entrance of the cave.
Swimming in the cave in crystal clear water ...
Those who want can decent to the bottom of the cave and swim in the cold, fresh water lake inside the cave. You can enjoy the spectacle, when we illuminate the crystals sunk in the sandstone cave walls.... This is the land of Mystery and Imagination...
Meet the local people and sniff the local culture
The next stop is in the village of Benerito (10 minutes from Bayahibe) and in particular the 'Campo Padre Nuestro'. This is the new settlement were the inhabitants of the National Park were relocated when the park got inaugurated. It shows a vibrant and colorful community. We'll visit the jewelry project sponsored by the USAID to help the women to earn an income...
Relax on the River Cruise through the gorge of the Rio Chavon ...
After a short drive we will reach the River Chavon. We will board the traditional boat and cruise stream up through the gorge of this beautiful river.
The Film set for blockbuster films ... you will see why...
The tropical jungle can be seen on the banks. The block busters Apocalypse Now and Rambo 3 are filmed here. We will reach our riverside farm.
How one little Taino crop saved the world from starvation ...
Here we will give more information about the Taino lifestyle. Some of the words we use, such as barbacoa ("barbecue"), hamaca ("hammock"), kanoa ("canoe"), tabaco ("tobacco"), yuca, batata ("sweet potato") and Juracan ("hurricane"), origin from the Taino language. You can taste the small dishes prepared in the traditional Taino way.
Traditional lunch prepared the Taino way.
This is followed by a traditional Dominican "barbacoa", with pork chops, chicken wings, traditional Dominican rice, 'batata', platanos and various salads.
If you just want to relax:
The jacuzzi with the best view in the world
After lunch you can relax in our jacuzzi high above the river!! You can test one of the 'hamaca' (hammocks) too.
Discover the secrets of how to 'live from the land'
If you want you can participate in our fruit trail. We show you a lot of local fruits and explain how the people live of the land here. We continue to the sightseeing point, crossing our 'hanging bridge' on the walk.
Feel a real explorer by navigating a small side river per canoe
You can participate in our canoe adventure to a little side river of the Rio Chavon. We go deeper into the jungle and have to navigate through hanging lians and around fallen trees. We might see the fresh water turtles here.
Buy your souvenirs for local prices
We are heading back to Bayahibe now. We'll show you what the present influence of the National Park is on the village. Thousands of tourists flock to Bayahibe on a daily basis to board the boats to one of the islands. The local economy depends for 100% on the stream of tourists. You also have the chance to buy rum etc. for normal prices in the local colmado. Around 05:00pm we will return to our visitors center overlooking the bay of Bayahibe for the transfer back to the hotels.
Note: The tour includes a hike of +- 90 minutes in the National Park. The hike is not difficult, but you should be able to walk on an uneven surface without restrictions.
The taxi fares from the cruise port to Bayahibe (25 minutes) and back will be arranged by "TAXI CASA DE CAMPO". This is an independent company. As soon as you leave the ship, you'll see the coordinator of the taxi association with a sign "TAXI CASA DE CAMPO". Please note that on the port grounds some of the staff may (pretend to) doesn't know "Seavis" or the transfer code. Ask for "TAXI CASA DE CAMPO" while on the port grounds and you will be guided to the parking of this taxi company or click on this ground map
for exact location.
The costs for the round trip taxi fare is US$ 15.00 per person and payable in cash directly to the taxi driver on the way back to the port. We'll make sure the taxis are on time for the return fare, so you don't miss the ship.