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The Mysterious Red River in Dominican Republic

The Mysterious Red River in Dominican Republic

A local legend that makes your creativity fly yet makes you doubtful stays around in the Dominican tradition. It is the Eden´s garden. The story narrates about a young peasant who would aimlessly walk around to quench his thirst but decided to leave it in God´s hands after hiking big mountains and narrowed paths. He glimpsed a beautiful landscape full of fruits and flowers crowned by an amazing crystal-clear water river. Right just behind such a dream place, he found another affluent with a particularity, its water was colored in red. He named this luxuriant orchard “The Valley of God” and the curious river, he called it “Red Creek”.

To access this Valley of God and the Red Creek. You must reach the little community of Santana which is located 10 km away from Lo Cacaos district. This rural place belongs to San Cristobal providence. If you take “Autopista 6 de Noviembre” highway, it is 25 km away from Santo Domingo.

It is somewhat an hour trip from the capital. You may enjoy numerous coffee plantations along the way, 20-feet tall trees with green leaves and most importantly white flowers whose red coffee grounds can be seemed from the distance. They contain the actual coffee seed.

Local producers manage these small and medium-sized coffee plantations and invite visitors to enjoy the privilege of tasting the intense flavor or coffee and unique aroma. 

To reach the Valley of God from the rural community of Santana, you need to access “La Humeadora” Mountain National Park. An approximate 7 km hike that requires good physical condition as it has many steep slopes. Therefore, the duration of the trip may vary depending on the physical condition of the participants. The average trip time is between 2 and 4 hours.

Goldfinches and other native birds fly over the landscape while you are on the road of this little fertile valley embraced by the mount. It might be called an intense yet safe trip. Forest-guards oversee this changing environment and the spectacular coniferous valley at all times.

The Red creek is found in this one-of-a-kind environment. It looks like a large blood vessel that runs through the park for miles and miles. According to the Dominican geographer, José Infanzón Vásquez, the red color is due to the quantity of iron of the volcanic rocks that the river drags out along the way. The rock weathering colors the water. He claims that red forest floors develop when the rainfall is high and the rocks decompose, get oxidized and thus lead to acidic and ferric soils. 

The red mangrove is also part of this authentic flora. It is a tropical tree that lives in fresh and salt water and also affects the color of the flow. Local people call it the “The blood of God”.

An extraordinary journey highlighted by the natural beauty, especially by its amazing fire red colored river.  A spot hardly known by visitors that arrive in Dominican Republic, yet locals started to appreciate it more as a touristic destination certainly quite valuable for the country.

Walking for about 2 and 4 hours is necessary to reach “The Valley of God”.

The Red Creek (Arroyo Colorao) is in National Mountain Park “La Humeadora”.

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TEXT: Elena Crespo; IMAGES: Suresh