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Located 529 meters above sea level, this scenic mountain resort town is a favorite escape for those who are searching for some cold temperatures, fresh rivers, and sweeping green landscapes flanked by dense pine forests and coffee-producing mountains. An eco-tourism hub easily accessed via modern highways, Jarabacoa–meaning “place of waters” in Taino–boasts a variety of charming accommodations, from riverside ranches and eco-lodges to luxury vacation villas perched in the mountains.
Most adventurous travelers who reach this unique side of the country arrive on a quest to conquer the tallest peak in the Caribbean: Pico Duarte, standing 3,087 meters (10,125 feet) inside the Armando Bermúdez and José del Carmen Ramírez national parks, reigning over the Cordillera Central mountain range. From this mighty summit flows the Río Yaque del Norte, the longest river in the DR, running through the heart of this Cibao region like its lifeline.
Together with at least six additional rivers sourced here, and their tributaries, the region becomes a world of waterfalls and outdoor water adventures: you can go river rafting, tubing, canyoning and rappelling down Salto Baiguate, hiking to the Salto de Jimenoa falls, or swimming at La Cortina and La Confluencia, two recreational parks fed by fresh pools. On land, horseback riding is part and parcel of Jarabacoan culture. You haven’t quite felt the magic of this valley-filled town until you’ve been galloping on horseback or riding freely on a scooter along verdant fields, fragrant with cilantro and tayota, past cows grazing along riverbanks and under mango trees, and wooden cabins tucked near mountain tops.