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Constanza, Exploring the Caribbean Alps


A matchless environment having temperatures below 5 °C in winter, has made Constanza the coldest city in the Dominican Republic and the Caribbean. Its amazing mountainous landscapes painted in white at dawn represent a challenge, even in the Tropics, to those finding at the Swiss Alps in Europe.

In the Constanza valley, with an elevation of 3772 ft above sea level, there is an intensive agriculture in technology, labor and capital. It covers an area of 1823,52 ha, mainly dedicated to vegetables, flowers and other crops, that have cycle of production ranging from two to six months and are destined mainly to supply the local market.

After World War II, dictator Trujillo invited many Japanese families to settle here that brought in their form of agriculture. These immigrants mingled with the local population and their descendants still possess vast large estates today.

Agriculture is the basis of the economy and the productive sector of the population in this municipality of La Vega reaches 65,000 inhabitants. In every sunrise, the magnificence of the sun unveils its lands with an endless amount of agricultural products. Crops such as garlic, potatoes or carrots, from which an average of 817, 44, 1666,32 and 534,48 ha are planted annually, cover the valley with its different shade colors.

Flower cultivation

Roses, lilies, daisies and sunflowers are some of the flowers varieties cultivated in Constanza. Some of them come from Germany, Spain, Israel, Colombia, Ecuador, the Netherlands, the United States and even Africa. Each of these species requires a specific time for growing, and even some, as in the case of lilies, have to be frozen for three months to be ready for their production.

Visitors enjoy the surrounding natural beauty spots, the variety of hotels, the opportunity to do extreme sports, and of course, the unassuming of its people. It is a more demanding everyday destination by foreign and local tourists who look for eco-tourism offers. Small local enterprises propose lots of activities including routes that can be travelled by horse, on foot or by bicycle. Besides, there are some expeditions that can be arranged to see its main cultural attractions like the Monument to Caamaño, situated where the guerilla and national hero was shot, or “The Pyramids” that, according to some people, is the geographical center of the country.

The Pyramids were built in 1958 in appreciation of the dictator Trujillo, who made possible the construction of roads to link two municipalities Constanza and San José de Ocoa. They are part of Valle Nuevo at a height of 7,545 ft above sea level. The construction had to be divided in four polyhedrons to place a bronze plaque that points out this data.

There are excursions from the airports of Punta Cana and La Romana to Constanza, overflying The Aguas Blancas falls and large farms of strawberries, flowers and different varieties of vegetable.

TEXTO: Alana Fernández; IMÁGENES: Suresh