Caño hondo, a hidden Paradise
It is very diffi cult to imagine landscapes in the Dominican Republic that are unrelated to the white sands and turquoise waters; but, you can change the saltwater by refreshing waterfalls, this is what Caño Hondo offers.
This is a paradise located in the picturesque town of Sabana de la Mar, northeast of the country, famous for being the starting point of those visiting the National Park Los Haitises or those who venture into watching humpback whales during the fi rst months of each year. Sabana de la Mar is a very old town, in fact, it was founded in 1762 by the Spanish brigadier Diego de Lira, who settled up with a group of Spaniards from the Canary Islands. The simplicity of its people must be added to its spectacular charming, mostly made up of fi shermen that during high season become the best tour guides in the area.
About 20 kilometers from town, deep inside the mountain, is the EcoLodge Paradise Caño Hondo, a truly sanctuary of peace, ideal for those looking for a real break, without rush, where the only sounds are those coming from nature. Here you must forget about phones, emails or wi-fi .
The hotel is literally buried deep in a limestone mountain, that’ why it is not surprising that many of the walls of the rooms are beautiful rock formations sculpted for hundreds of years giving an original touch to each chambers. In fact, it shows how the structure is adapting to mountain surface, and sometimes to climb a ladder is very similar to walking into a cave.
However, the main attraction of Caño Hondo is its natural pools. The pure water from a nearby spring is responsible for giving life to the twelve waterfalls falling at different heights and pressure on swimmers who want to forget salt water for a while. There is no a timetable, thus you can cool off in the summer evenings until your body endures or during the Caribbean winter, where the challenge is to overcome the “little cold” very typical of the season that can put more than one chattering teeth .
In the evenings, mountain, nature and stars provide a sight worth staying in the windows. During the day, the hotel offers several eco tourist activities as an own canopy which passes over the pools during a short tour, but very exciting. It also offers horseback riding paths and kayaking on the bay calm waters.
The National Park Los Haitises is a must-see place. In a motorboat, a tour is done by water channels through the mangroves until coming out to onto the sea. Once there after a walk you can appreciate karst mountains, home to caves where there are still traces of the passage of the Taino having well preserved pictographs and petroglyphs. The most important caves are La Reyna, San Gabriel and La Línea.
The village houses two museums, one of them the Taíno which has a collection of antique objects used by the Indians and were found in the caves of Los Haitises and the Museum of Miss Elupina Cordero, a remarkable woman who despite her physical limitations helped her fellows and today she is remembered and revered by many people in Sabana de la Mar.
Undoubtedly this place has great charm. It is a hidden attraction about to be discovered by the masses, you must make the most of it and discover one of the last spots of the Dominican Republic.
how to get there?
From Santo Domingo, go to 27th February Street and go straight ahead to Highway Las Americas and Eastern Boulevard. Then turn right at km 111, known as the crossroads of Hato Mayor on Route 3. You must reach Sabana de la Mar which is about 53 miles to the north. Once in town, turn right after passing the Clinic of Sabana de la Mar and go straight ahead for 9 km of Caño Hondo road, the hotel is on the right.