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El Choco National Park

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

5 16, Cabarete 57000, Dominican Republic

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

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expert
Yan
Local tour guide
"Visit El Choco National Park in Puerto Plata early in the morning to experience the trails when they are most peaceful and to increase your chances of spotting the diverse wildlife. Also, check out the local guide's association for off-the-beaten-path tours that many tourists aren't aware of, such as private caves and hidden freshwater springs."

What is El Choco National Park?

El Choco National Park is a stunning natural retreat nestled in the vibrant Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic. This hidden gem offers an escape into a world where lush greenery, exotic wildlife, and serene lagoons define the landscape. The park spans roughly over 77 square kilometers, and it is a sanctuary for nature lovers, famously known for its extensive system of caves, underground rivers, and tropical forest. Its enchanting environment not only supports a diverse ecosystem but also carries a sense of tranquility and adventure for those who wander its paths.

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History of El Choco National Park

The history of El Choco National Park is as rich as its biodiversity. Formerly the land was utilized for agricultural purposes, with a focus on cattle grazing and crop cultivation; however, recognizing the ecological importance and natural beauty of the area, the Dominican government declared it a national park in 1976. The move was aimed to preserve the park's unique features, like the Cabarete and Goleta lagoons, and protect its floral and faunal diversity. Since its establishment, El Choco has been a significant site for scientific study and environmental education, contributing vastly to the understanding and appreciation of the region's natural history.

Why is El Choco National Park Important?

El Choco National Park is a treasure trove of ecological importance. It serves as an essential habitat for a wide variety of species that are native to the Dominican Republic, encompassing a sanctuary for both terrestrial and aquatic life. Its caves hold geological and historical significance, with some featuring ancient pictographs left by the Taíno people, the indigenous inhabitants of the island. The park also represents a critical sanctuary for water resources, as the lagoons and underground rivers within play a key role in the local water supply, making it an invaluable asset for both conservation and the community.

Things to Do & See at El Choco National Park

Entering El Choco National Park is like stepping into a different world. The abundant activities here cater to a broad array of interests. You can:

  • Explore the mystifying cave systems, including Cueva de los Murciélagos, where you can observe bats in their natural habitat.
  • Take a refreshing dip in the freshwaters of Cabarete and Goleta Lagoons, perfect for swimming or a peaceful kayak trip.
  • Witness the diverse flora and fauna on a guided nature walk; you might encounter exotic birds, reptiles, and if you're fortunate, the park's rarest orchids in bloom.

Adventurous visitors can mountain bike through the park's rugged territory, while those seeking relaxation can meditate amidst the natural symphony of the tropical forest. Visitors are often intrigued by the park's educational opportunities, such as learning about the birds and wildlife from local experts who have dedicated their lives to understanding these ecosystems. The park also offers a canopy tour for a thrilling perspective above the treetops. Each corner of El Choco National Park reveals something new, a secluded world far removed from the bustling resort beaches yet brimming with its own vibrant pulse of life.

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Frequently asked questions

What is El Choco National Park?

El Choco National Park is a natural reserve located in the Puerto Plata province of the Dominican Republic, known for its lush tropical forests, diverse wildlife, and series of lagoons.

What activities can visitors enjoy at El Choco National Park?

Visitors to El Choco National Park can enjoy activities such as hiking, bird watching, caving, mountain biking, and exploring the park's lagoons and caves.

Are there guided tours available in El Choco National Park?

Yes, guided tours are available in El Choco National Park, which can provide insightful information about the park's ecosystem and help visitors to safely navigate the trails and caves.

What is the best time of year to visit El Choco National Park?

The best time to visit El Choco National Park is typically during the dry season, which runs from December to April, when the weather is more favorable for outdoor activities.

Is there an entrance fee for El Choco National Park?

Yes, there is an entrance fee for El Choco National Park, which is used for the maintenance of the park and to support conservation efforts. The fee amount can vary, so it is recommended to check the latest information before visiting.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

5 16, Cabarete 57000, Dominican Republic

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

Free

Find it on google maps