Those who dream of visiting the Dominican Republic immediately think of the incredibly beautiful white beaches, tropical temperatures and amazingly clear blue waters. And while all of that is true, there is so much more. A must visit when you are in the DR is Jarabacoa. Read along and discover our favourite activities.
Jobs fill your pockets, but adventures fill your soul
Land of waters
Jarabacoa lies about two hours and a half drive from Santo Domingo (or an hour and a quarter from Santiago De Los Caballeros). It is a town in the province La Vega, known for its strawberries, coffee and its wide variety of flowers. It’s name means literally Land of waters. Which is not a bad name considering the fact that Jarabacoa is surrounded by four major rivers: Yaque del Norte, Jimenoa, Guanajuma and Baiguate. These rivers are the longest in the Caribbean (Yaque del Norte has a length of about 300 km). Locals call it “City of Eternal Spring”. Due to its tropical location and high elevation (about 525m above sea level) its average temperature is about 22°C throughout the year.
Not surprisingly, Jarabacoa is much visited for water activities such as river rafting, mountain biking, rappelling mountain trekking. Another very popular activity is canyoning, using a variety of techniques such as walking, scrambling, climbing, jumping, …. In Jarabacao canyoning is mainly practiced alongside the impressive Salto de Jimenoa and Baiguate waterfalls.
One of the activities we enjoyed immensely during our visit to Jarabacoa is paragliding. For this you have to drive from the center of the village twenty minutes, into the mountains. At the very top of the mountain, the adventure begins.
Under the guidance of your own personal pilot, you will be explained exactly what to do. There are a number of safety measures that should not be overlooked, but it is not very complicated.
Once you and your pilot are attached to each other, the parachutes are ready and it’s time for the big jump. From the top of the mountain and with a small run-up you will jump together into the depths.
A second later you are floating above with an incredible view of the mountains, the waterfalls and the village. An extraordinary experience that words can hardly describe.
Become a pilot yourself
We were able to experience this under the guidance of the Flying Tony team, one of the pioneers of paragliding in the Dominican Republic.
He was introduced to the sport more than twenty years ago when he made his first jump together with a Frenchman visiting the Dominican Republic. In love with the feeling, he decided to become a paragliding pilot himself. Since 2002, he has made more than 4500 tandem flights.
“I jump at least once every day, weather permitting.
Sometimes I even jump several times in one day.
It never gets old.”
He now shares his passion for paragliding with his large team and has trained many other pilots over the years. Highly recommended for those who want to become a paragliding pilot themselves.
Fancy visiting Jarabacoa yourself? Then we do recommend you rent a car. Driving in the Dominican Republic takes some getting used to, but is not so bad! A little extra adventure can’t hurt, can it?