Lake Enriquillo, in the Dominican Republic, spreads its waters through the provinces of Bahoruco and Independencia. It is part of the Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park and the Jaragua Bahoruco Enriquillo Reserve of the Biosphere. It is what remains of an old marine channel joining together the bays of Neiba and Port-au-Prince (Haiti). The lake is located approximately 44 meters below sea level. The actual level of the lake waters varies due to strong evaporation, which is not equally offset by rain and other surface waters forming its basin.
The only island left in the lake is Isla Cabritos, which currently has an area of 18 sq. km. Two smaller islands, Barbaritas and Islita, disappeared at the end of 2011.
Lake Enriquillo has become an important tourist destination for both domestic and foreign visitors. Its fauna is different and very interesting, especially the reptiles and birds. The most prominent are the flamingo and the rhinoceros iguanas and Ricord’s iguanas. It is also the habitat of the American crocodile, an endangered species.
Near Lake Enriquillo there are many villages dedicated mainly to farming. La Descubierta is one of the best known of these villages. The National Park nearby leads to La Azufrada, and another important village is Boca de Cachón, by the shores of the lake 28 meters below sea level. It is expected that this town will be submerged in a few years due to the rise in the lake’s water level.
Lake Enriquillo is an ideal place to visit in a full day excursion. You won’t regret it.
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