Discover the stunning Los Haitises National Park, the perfect blend of nature, adventure, and history. Going through mangroves and jungle to access remote caves, you’ll feel like Indiana Jones on a journey. Gaze at nature and explore the intricate cave systems where the Tainos used to live millenniums ago.
Taino caves in Los Haitises National Park
There are not many places in the world where you can see pictograms from the prehistory era, and Los Haitises is one of them. There are several caves that are open to visitors where you’ll find pictographs and petroglyphs, some predating the Taino culture, archaeologists are still unsure of who exactly drew them. Artifacts dating as far back as the preceramic era have been found in some of the caverns.
Traces of several cultures, some still unknown have been found within the park. It is estimated that people have been inhabiting the caverns for a period of 3,000 years. There are still many caves that haven’t been excavated yet as they are almost impossible to reach.
The ones you can visit are located near the coast, but if you go deeper inside the park, you’ll find more. Painted on the wall, you’ll be able to identify animals, people, and deities, it’s incredible how well they have been preserved over time. The drawings are the same style as the ones you’ll find in other caves across the Dominican Republic. Over 1000 paintings have been spotted within the park so far.
Another unique feature in Los Haitises is the petroglyphs found in some of the caves. They mostly depict human figures carved on the rock, some with intricate detailing. The artists used the shapes of the rocks they were carving on to create a special effect.
In some places, inside the caves as well as outside, there are also a couple of well-preserved bas-reliefs carved in rocks. So far, five have been found within the protected area.
Nature and wildlife in Los Haitises National Park
In the Taino language, Los Haitises means high ground or mount, this unique ecosystem spans over 2,000 miles of virgin rain forests, mangroves, and secluded beaches interwoven in the coastline where you’ll find spectacular rock formations, carved from centuries of erosion and rain.
Los Haitises National Park is home to over 230 species of birds including the rare Black-Hawk Eagle. Many of the birds you might see in Los Haitises are endemic to the Dominican Republic, some can only be found within the protected area.
In the marine area, there are many well-preserved coral reefs and their waters are the habitat of innumerable species of fish, crustaceans, and mollusks. Marine mammals such as whales, dolphins, and manatees are common in the park’s waters.
Los Haitises has the greatest diversity of wildlife in the country, and spotting rare birds is pretty common. Your guide will be there to look out for birds through the bushes, if you have binoculars, bring them.
Tours and excursions to Los Haitises National Park
The tour starts early morning, we’ll come to pick you up at your hotel or villa in Las Terrenas, from there we’ll be heading to a local fishermen’s wharf on Samana Bay. We’ll then cross the bay to the park.
Once in the park, we’ll explore the mangroves from the boat, seeing some spectacular karst rock formations and wild beaches along the way. We’ll stop for a quick lunch then head to the caves, trekking through lush jungle. We’ll try to spot birds on the way and local plants. The guide will tell you all about the park, its history, and its fauna and flora.
We’ll visit several caves where you can see the murals and pictograms.
Our guides are locals who have spent their life exploring Los Haitises National Park and its surrounding. You won’t find a better source of knowledge. They are dedicated to protecting the park and sharing its wonders with tourists.
KiteWorld emphasizes the need for eco-tourism in the Dominican Republic and works closely with local communities to preserve the local fauna and flora and to generate a source of profits that will benefits locals.
Make sure to pack sunscreen, mosquito repellent, your swimsuit (have it on), a towel, and snack and water for the trip.