National parks

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  • This is a view of Lake Enriquillo, SW Dominican Republic. This body of salt water is the largest lake in the Caribbean (42km lng, 12km wd), as well as its lowest point (40m below sea level). It is home to the highest concentration of American crocodiles, and other reptilian species that once walked alongside the dinosaurs. The entire area is part Jaragua National Park. Ambar (the girl in the pic) just ascended 164 ft to a rock shelter called Las Caritas, which was sacred to the Taino indians; many anthropomorphic figures are incised into the rocks. I will say from experience that Las Caritas is the most spiritual place I have ever witnessed. Sitting there: looking at the arid landscape and ancient lake, far from any human concerns; the strange rock formations; sheltered by the carved rocks and suddenly agreeable climate (it's as if the rock shelter were at least 10 degrees cooler); caressed by soft breezes is a memory I will forever keep. It is, for me, the most special place on Earth - I know those who have been there will doubtless agree
  • Fascinating hardly comes close to describing the “Cave of Miracles." The Dominican Republic is loaded with caves and this is one of the more popular ones, a huge tourist attraction fronted by a sweeping manicured field. The tour takes about an hour to complete. Tour guides lead small groups down long, well-lit footpaths that open to some of the most spectacular cave formations available to the non-spelunking world. There are monstrous caverns dotted with stalactites and stalagmites, most still in drop-by-drop calcium-rich formation after thousands of years. This is a Mecca for Taino cave drawings, more than 250 in all, all well preserved works of ancient art. Dim lighting casts a magic glow over the rocks, and one can imagine the native Tainos’ imaginations running wild as their campfires bathed the walls in dancing, otherworldly shadows. Some clusters of rock here look like skulls, gory calcified gargoyles carved by nature. The guides are informative, and occasionally humorous. Bats populate these caves but hide during tourist hours ... for the most part. Above you are many bat holes. The guide warned us that water drips constantly in here but if you get splashed with something and it’s warm, it’s not water. That’s about as close to nature as you’d care to get, but it surely makes a fun story to tell the folks back home.
  • Este parque ocupa la porción Sur del Procurrente de Barahona, en el límite suroeste de la República Dominicana.  Incluye en sus límites a las islas de Beata y Alto Velo, así como a los cayos

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