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Guided Tours OUTDOOR ADVENTURES! Caribbean
Hostel in Dominican Republic, Caribbean
Property Details of Dominican Republic Hostel
4 Days, 3nights - Off Road
Price $ 249.00US per person, includes accommodations, breakfast, lunch, and evening meal, Bike and guide. Round trip airport transportation, Santiago airport.
Dates: open 2004 open 2005
Day 1:This trip begins with First day arrive at the ranch explore Los Quemados a small town, located in the central mountains, get acquainted with ranch and fellow travelers. Then a short bike ride, waterfront dinner, BQ, and campfire. Then bed down at your waterfront campsite, or in your own private room.
Day 2: Breakfast and then start your breath-taking off-road biking trip to El Chorro (this track includes crossing this river 14 times!). You will have plenty of time to stop, have your lunch and take many dips. Then continue to the town of Bonao. Tour our city of Bonao, and then head back to the ranch for, volleyball, water front dinner and campfire. Then bed down at your waterfront campsite, or in your own private room
Breakfast and then start your breath-taking hiking trip.
Lunch will be served. Swimming at Charco Bonito.
Return to ranch for your waterfront Dinner, campfire, dancing, and swimming.
Then bed down at your waterfront campsite, or in your own private room.
In Search of Charco Bonito
The magic of the forest lies in its infinite promise of discovery. Above, below, and all around, one?s senses are electrified by this mysterious enclosed world. It was only 2 hours I spent in the Central Mountain forests near Bonao, Dominican Republic, but I emerged exhausted due to a complete sensory overload.
We set off in search of Charco Bonito, a waterfall in the thickly forested valleys beyond Los Quemados. Before anything else, we had to negotiate the crossing of the wide, fast flowing Rio Yuma. Although the water only reached up to my kneecaps, its deceptive currents made me sway like a staggering drunk, much to the mirth of some kids on the bank. So with dignity slightly impaired, we began to step steeply into the forest.
As climates go, few are as hospitable year round as this one. Every crop, fruit and root worth growing simply thrives here. As a result the mountain absorbs you with the sweet fragrance of life; fruits maturing and flowers blossoming. Birds and insects grow heady feasting on fallen pods of cacao. While walking we are able to gather succulent guava or chinola fruit almost bursting the branches with their goodness. Although the sun is directly above the canopy, the dewy leaves keep us constantly refreshed as we brush against them.
For a good 20 minutes we can hear the churning of Charco Bonito in the distance, yet its location is so well concealed one could easily miss it. Through ever thickening vegetation we are drawn frantically like starving children towards the water source. And when we arrive no one is disappointed. Charco Bonito turns out to lie in a wonderful clandestine glade, an enchanting respite from the claustrophobia of the forest.
5 Days, 4nights - Off Road
Price $ 329.00US per person, includes accommodations, breakfast, lunch, and evening meal, Bike and guide. Round trip airport transportation, Santiago airport.
Breakfast and then start your breath-taking tour to the Village of the Dam you jump into the jeep and off-you go up our road to the village of the dams. You then start your hiking to adventure.
The dramatic views along this stretch will be inspiring, as we wind our way along the range before plunging down to our river destination. You will have plenty of time to stop, have your lunch and take many dips. Then head back to the ranch for, volleyball, water front dinner and campfire. Then bed down at your waterfront campsite, or in your own private room.
Wild Times in the Village of the Dam
Exploring the Dominican Campo
Dams so fine you'd think Mother Nature made 'em
A wise sage once remarked that it was better to travel than to arrive. This thought held me as I set off on a trek to a trio of man-made dams around Rio Blanco, a mountain village near Bonao, for I had never felt the romance of dam-spotting.
The road up to Rio Blanco was full of weird and wonderful distractions, just as well because the grueling two-hour hike made my legs feel like they?d been fed through a rolling machine. Precious little traffic allows me to appreciate the hummingbirds busy at work in the morning shade, and to enjoy the dazzling surroundings.
A conveyor belt of local characters drift past me in all manner of guises and thrift store clothes. A little blonde albino girl cutting guavas with a machete. A pair of wild-eyed identical twins with barely a tooth between them. A skinny gentleman whose dangling pipe and candy striped jacket give him the strange air of an extra from a British seaside movie. It?s all very exhilarating until I?m stopped by a woman with short curly hair and a steady neurotic stare. We exchange a few pleasantries then she starts to play with me.
?I had a few problems with a boy once? I smashed him up with a stick?.. do you think that?s bad??
?Well?. I don?t really know the reasons why you did it..?
?So I could crush him up and drink him like fruit juice?
Terrified I bound on trying not to look like I?m running, hoping for some sign of human life around the corner.
For much of the time though it is head down and grit out the steeply zigzagging trail. Around every scenic corner in the road a new waterfall appears giving me refreshment and willpower to plough on. I collapse ungracefully upon finally reaching the center of Blanco, ready to be swept away by the broom of a local housemaid.
In true Dominican style, community life in and around Blanco unfolds out on the street. This gives the strange passing foreigner a rare privilege of seeing and joining in the timeless pastimes of the campo, such as the drying of coffee and cacao out on the doorstep.
The innate friendliness of the locals will soon shine through their initial surprise at seeing a stranger in this little visited area. It is enchanting to see little brown bodies splashing and laughing under roadside waterfalls. Or to receive a wave from beautifully preserved old man rocking away on the porch of his powder blue wooden shack.
The pastel colors of the houses and the vibrant wildflowers perfectly compliment the deep green backdrop. Indeed the landscape appears largely unaffected by the introduction of the dams fifteen years ago. An old timer, Heladio, accompanies me for the final stretch, and explains that before construction began, the road to from here to Bonao was a mere mule trail. A 77 year old farmer, he recalls how the French owned dams have brought more commerce to the region, as well as creating jobs for the local people.
The three dams turn out to be strikingly different in character. Of course it is impressive how such an ambitious project was undertaken in an area of such awkward accessibility. But what surprised me more was the physical beauty of the reservoirs. Standing atop Presa Arroyón and gazing into the emerald waters of the flooded valley, I felt that the view rivaled any of Mother Nature?s work in the Dominican Republic. To arrive here, though jaded and delirious after hours of strenuous walking, was just as rewarding as the journey.
I walked back with Heladio and told him how happy and surprised I was to find the dams to be so picturesque. Whether he thought I was crazy or not, his knowing smile put me at peace. In front of us a small boy was trying with difficulty to shepherd a pair of piglets. A scene of delightful rural serenity. ?My great grandson?, murmured Heladio, beaming at the boy. It could easily have been him, seventy years previously, or a moment from countless generations before that. I hitched a ride with a choking truck back to Bonao, although it might as well have been a time machine taking me back into the twenty first century.
7 Days, 6 nights - Off Road
Price $ 409.00US per person, includes accommodations, breakfast, lunch, and evening meal, Bike and guide. Round trip airport transportation, Santiago airport.
Day 5, 6.
Breakfast then start on your 2 day tour to the Tiano cave, there you will camp out at the cave,
The Taino Indians were the original inhabitants of the Dominican Republic.
VISIONS OF QUISQUEYA
It first struck me as I gazed from the window of the plane. The island below, small and innocuous on the in-flight map, immediately came alive with the sharp contours of her mountainous terrain. Little huts and smallholdings, daubed in exotic shades of blue and pink, appeared like tiny pinheads on a map - and I felt a rush of excitement that this island still belonged to nature. In that split second a craving for adventure was instilled - I could not wait to plunge into the mysteries of those jagged emerald ridges and the plummeting gorges, almost black in the shadows. The stately name of "Dominican Republic" seemed a little inappropriate to describe what I saw. This imposing sight was more evocative of Quisqueya, the name by which the Taino Indians had known the island before the Spanish took it from them.
Seizing my first chance to get off the highway, I found myself in the sparse Cordillera Central west of Bonao. I had literally reached the end of the road - the last hurricane had torn it away to leave a knife-edge precipice. From there a mule track led us up into the hills. We were in search of a cave several hours away containing Taino art.
To begin with we ascended a zigzagging trail through shaded pine forest. To breathe the delicious fragrance of these altitudes is like stepping into a different world from the musky aromas of the tropical maritime climate of the coast. Pine, orange, limoncillo, and eucalyptus - it?s a heady cocktail and one that I took in until my lungs were ready to burst.
Once you get to above 2500 meters, the temperature is either hot or cold, with little midground. During our ascent onto the ridge, the cloudy skies favored us, but on arriving at the top the prickly heat of the sun made itself known. The mid-morning sun fell gloriously upon the lost valleys. In the spring the leaves of the omnipresent Framboyan tree turn a deep, vivid orange. Local belief has it that this timely occurence is to remind Christians of the blood shed by Jesús Christ at this time. The effect is a unique spectacle as the mountains are banded by floral stripes the color of orange bell peppers.
So the path rises and drops over one of those pristine emerald ridges i?d seen from the window of the plane. I learned later that going up is the easy part, so it pays to drink up the endless mountain vistas while you can. Breaking the piercing silence, my companion began recounting the myths that the people of the area still adhere to. About the benevolent and malevolent Indian spirits who roam the hills. Precious little must have changed since this area was first settled more than five hundred years ago by desperate Tainos fleeing the bitter backlash of Columbus? initially peaceful overtures. World and Dominican history has traditionally made it understood that the Tainos were all but exterminated by brutal repression. However, in recent years, genetic tests have showed that the number of those who resisted the genocide was much higher than earlier thought. No Spaniard in his right mind would have followed the runaways into these parts. So it was that runaway communities made this difficult terrain there new home, farming the steep slopes in their timeless way. For a group supposedly extinct 100 years after the discovery of Hispaniola, their influence remains a profound and proud one on the language, culture and identity of Dominicans today.
We arrive drained at the cave, a strange and giant boulder that juts out of the mountainside in a worrying insecure fashion. On the vast shadowed flipside are some impressive carvings in remarkable condition. Taino art styles have become a particular favorite of mine. Known for their comunal use of hallucenogenic plants, the Taino artists were clearly more into impressionism than realism. The favorite subjects here is the head, with a kaleidoscope of facial expressions from deeply tortured to deeply narcotised.
And onwards the mountain trails lead, crossing streams and winding through valleys. It would be a nice place to camp. But we decided, with leaden legs and empty stomachs, to head back to Blanco.
Going down was another story. A battle not to slip on your ass along trails littered with dry, loose gravel. Comedy tumbles are frequent, with arms searching for balance in an exagerrated windmill style. At times it is pretty edgy, tose dark shadows beneath seem to have no definite end to them. Bringing a rather black sense of humor to our plight, my companion leads us past a gravestone poised dramatically on a cliff edge at a sharp corner of the trail.
?A man riding home drunk one night... he never made it,? my guide informs. Awed by this image of the mountain taking the life of the drunken horseman I fall into silent reverance for the rest of the descent.
These remote hills remain an untouched monument, a ghostly museum of the Taino race. For us today it is peaceful - the pleasing whisper of the long grass and the hush of distant waterfalls desperately crashing to the valley floor. But close your eyes and it is easy to see this place strike an eerie terror into the heart on a less welcoming day.
Local Area DetailsBonao, Los Quemados a small town, located in the central mountains that has many arts and crafts, good restaurants at cheap prices 2 to 3.00US for a meal, cheap transportation to and from all cites
Bonao is an extraordinary destination:
Check these sites below:
BONAO TRAVEL TIPS
BONAO PHOTO GALLERY
Guided Tours OUTDOOR ADVENTURES! Caribbean Property Information
|Location:||Bonao, Dominican Republic, Caribbean|
|This Property Sleeps:||50|
|Minimum Price Per Night:||$5 (Currency Converter)|
|Maximum Price Per Night:||$25|
|Nearest Airport:||Santiago, Dominican Republic (airport code STI).|
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| Our Commitment
Rancho Wendy is committed to offering extraordinary off-the-beaten-path adventures that fulfill your dreams. For over 14 years we have carefully created and fine-tuned our hiking, biking, horseback riding, and multi-sport vacations in the Dominican Republic, a place we call home.
Our guides' intimate knowledge of Bonao and its region guarantees you an enriching outdoors experience.
Rancho Wendy first priority is serving your needs. Our desire to exceed your expectations is carried into all aspects of our trips -- from planning each day's activities and providing personalized service to ensuring your comfort and safety. Though you may not be aware of what happens behind the scenes, we are certain you will have a comforting sense of being well cared for. Whatever the activity, we go the extra mile to deliver an unforgettable experience.
Fantastic mountains, biking, hiking, water sports, outdoor sports, many waterfalls, exploring for caves, horseback riding, outdoor BBQ?s, Great night life.
Property Features * Has a Pool
* Close to a golf course
* Close to a Beach
* Pets are allowed
* Children are allowed
Contact Information for Guided Tours OUTDOOR ADVENTURES! Caribbean
It is completely free to send an enquiry! Use this opportunity and email the owner below to ask as many questions as you wish about this Hostel in Dominican Republic.
Hostel in Dominican Republic, Caribbean