Welcome to Barahona
Bio-diverse Barahona is one of the best kept secrets of Dominican Republic. Often referred to as “La Perla del Sur” (The Pearl of the South) and “Maravilla Natural” (Miracle of Nature), Barahona is located in the southwest of the country and remains one of the last frontiers for tourism. Made up of amazing natural beaches, unspoiled waterfalls, and rugged ranges of mountain pine, the area offers eco-friendly expansions that preserve the rare biosphere, specifically the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve, which was added to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves in 2002.
Barahona was founded in 1802 and gained recognition as a fishing and agricultural town, famous for its large plantations and vast collection of coffee and sugar fields. The area is home to some of the top coffee plantations in the country, which originated from the Spanish colonists who brought the plant to Hispaniola in the 18th century. Barahona coffee has been internationally recognized as “Denominación de Origen Café de Barahona,” an esteemed honor that endorses the unique characteristics and quality of coffee from this region.
The pristine nature and flawless union between the beautiful unspoiled beaches and the majestic mountains of Barahona encourage eco and adventure tourism. The area boasts the largest saltwater lake in the Caribbean, a spectacular panoramic highway with a vista-lined coast and a dry forest of plants that lay near the green land cultivated with the best fruits. The area’s boutique and family-friendly hotels integrate the natural elements of the area. Both offer unique ecological experiences throughout the lush surroundings and incorporate local goods into their restaurants and ecofriendly spas.
The following guide to Barahona includes descriptions of its biodiversity, immaculate beaches, and more unique attractions in the nerby Province of Pedernales that await you!
Laguna de Oviedo – The saltwater lake, located in the Jaragua National Park, is one of the Caribbean’s most important ecological reserves and is the second largest body of water in Dominican Republic after Lake Enriquillo. There are mangrove swamps and 24 keys in the center of the lagoon, which visitors can see during a three-hour boat tour. Here, colonies of Ricord and Rhinoceros iguanas live and migratory and endemic birds nest, including the royal and Blue Heron, gulls, Spoonbill Pelicans, parrots and flamingos.
Cachote – Located one hour from Paraiso in Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco, this hilltop hamlet and its winding paths offer a great ecotourism attraction. Visitors can observe a variety of tropical flora including bromeliads and wild orchids. And, as it is located at a higher altitude in a cloudy forest, it is also a paradise for bird watchers with more than 20 endemic species being reported.
LAGUNA CABRAL OR RINCÓN – The Laguna de Rincón is the Country’s largest freshwater lagoon, reaching 18 square miles (46.8 square kilometers). The lagoon is home to a variety of fauna and wildlife including fresh water turtles, iguanas and more than 50 species of bird such as flamingos, pelican, heron and Florida duck.
Hoyo de Pelempito – An impressive geological depression on the Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco, Hoyo de Pelempito is nestled between high mountains and considered one of the wonders of the Caribbean. The temperature ranges from 77 degrees Fahrenheit (25 degrees Celsius) during the day to 32 degrees Fahrenheit (0 degrees Celsius) at night. The park’s facilities include an information center and several mountain trails that allow visitors to see the area’s diverse flora and fauna.