With a surface area of 808 square kilometers, of which 402 are on-land and 388 are in the marine section, including the island of Saona, of Quarternary origin, the Parque Nacional del Este in the Dominican Republic is one of the largest protected natural zones in the country and, as a result, one of the most fascinating trips that you can have the pleasure of experiencing during your vacations. Declared a Natural Park in 1975, the visitor will find butterflies of a thousand colors, a natural bonsai forest, more than 500 plant species – the vast majority of them indigenous – and more than 100 species of bird. With such a spectacle, it is a must-visit.
With a tropical, humid climate and a temperature which varies between 25 and 29 degrees centigrade, more than 30% of the country’s reptiles, over 20% of the amphibians, 50% of the birds and 52% of the mammals live in the park.
Among the animals, one of the greatest attractions is what is known as the flying flowers, butterflies so-called due to the magnificent combinations of colors on their wings, and of which there are a total of 65 different species. Furthermore, it is possible to see the manatee, one of the most fascinating marine mammals and in danger of extinction.
On the other hand, the so-called dwarf forest is one of the most visited areas. A stretch of vegetation where the natural bonsais do not exceed a meter and a half in height, in which you will feel as if you are exploring a forest created for children. But we must not forget the caverns formed due to the limestone formation of the park’s geology, some of them decorated with pictographs and petroglyphs from the pre-Hispanic era, as they were populated by indigenous people for many generations.
The coastal-marine ecosystems are, in turn, fascinating representations of mangrove swamps, seagrass beds and coral reefs, which will not leave any visitor who opts to explore beyond terra firma unmoved. You can gaze at hundreds of species of fish, coral, seaweed and other marine animals in their natural habitat without the influence of urban or industrial zones in the surrounding area.
For any kind of information and visits, there is a reception center where the staff deal with excursions within the park, as well as the permanent exhibition, in which you will find plants, insects, butterflies and many indigenous objects.
Must-visit: Sanoa Island Within the Parque Nacional del Este you will find one of the best beaches in the Dominican Republic, with white sand and perfect waters.
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