Lagoa Oviedo a Bahia de las Águilas, Dominican Republic

In Search of the Immaculate Dominican Beach

brave flora
The thorny and resilient vegetation that rises from the cliffs near Cueva de Los Pescadores.
Truck on Carretera 44
An overloaded truck travels through the intricacies of road 44, in Pedernales.
sea ​​maneuvers
Guides on the translucent seafront of PN Jaragua
Caribbean Navigation
Speedboat about to enter the Caribbean Sea at Bahia de Las Águilas
Cargo “Fayal”, Cabo Rojo
The vessel belonging to the company Cementos Andinos burnt down and ran aground in Cabo Rojo.
The Chucha
Boat "La Chucha" on the Cabo Rojo beach in front of the freighter "Fayal".
Carloe and Guide
Bahia de Las Águilas Beach
View of the Bahia de Las Águilas from the observation tower installed on the sand.
Jaragua PN Scenario
Cliffs of PN Jaragua that the retreat of the Caribbean Sea left dry.
Boats in the Cueva de Los Pescadores village
Rocks at the Entrance of PN Jaragua
The limestone and cactus-laden cliffs that separate Cueva de Los Pescadores from the Bahia de Las Águilas.
Bahia de Las Águilas Beach
The gentle curve of Playa Bahia de Las Águilas, at the top of PN Jaragua.
Against all odds, one of the most unspoiled Dominican coastlines is also one of the most remote. Discovering the province of Pedernales, we are dazzled by the semi-desert Jaragua National Park and the Caribbean purity of Bahia de las Águilas.

We said goodbye to the guides Hector and Saturnino and the Interpretation Center that serves as a portal to the UNESCO Biosphere domain of Jaragua and which we had explored for hours on end. We stopped again at Colmado Alba.

There we refueled for the still long and arid journey towards the border with Haiti that we were about to complete.

Route 44 takes us from the north bank of the Oviedo Lagoon inland from Pedernales, through the upper limit of Jaragua National Park, the largest protected area in the Dominican Republic.

It's almost 1400 km2 mostly arid forest, which extends to the extreme south of the Hispaniola Island, with marine extension in two smaller offshore islands, Beata and Alto Velo.

There are small villages lost in the vastness parched by the tropical sun, such as Tres Charcos and Manuel Goya.

As we approach the border town of Pedernales, the terrain becomes whimsical. We snake among cactuses, thorny bushes and, here and there, among large limestone rocks laden with sharp edges.

Carlos, the guide and driver explains that the hostile climate, flora and terrain, the 190km dividing wall and the regular patrols of the Dominican authorities have prevented the passage of Haitian migrants to the eastern part of Hispaniola.

Not on purpose, moments later, we come across a truck loaded with an almost multicolored pyramid, made of large sacks of who knows what.

A dense network of tight ropes kept the load stacked and stable. Enough so that, at its top, three passengers can still be stretched out.

The Historic and Territorial Split Complex of the Island of Hispaniola

See them up there? They are Haitians. These passed through the customs of Pedernales. They are at work and should be back at the end of the day. But like them, many others enter on foot along narrow paths known only to them.

No matter how bad the crossing goes, it will never be worse than the life Haitians have over there.”

This current reality and the evolution of the neighboring nations of Hispaniola after the split dictated by the Dominican triumph in the Dominican Republic's War of Independence (1844-56) formed a theme that intrigued us.

At the time of the split in 1844, Dominican territory was part of greater Haiti, which had grown when 22 years earlier, Francophone Haiti had invaded the Republic of Spanish Haiti.

Until 1790, Haiti was the richest French colony in the Americas, thanks in large part to the astronomical profits generated by the export of sugar and indigo produced by hundreds of thousands of kidnapped slaves in Africa.

The winds blew beautifully for unscrupulous settlers when the ideals of the French Revolution of 1789 reached the Americas.

Haiti: the First Country in the World to Result in a Slave Revolt

Just four years later, a first slave revolt broke out in Haiti that succeeded in abolishing slavery. In this context, the settlers disbanded. They fled in great numbers to North American Louisiana territory.

Instigated by the (also financial) support of these frustrated colonists, Napoleon Bonaparte still tried to dominate the revolting forces.

His men withstood a short time of yellow fever and the ambushes of the insurgent forces of Jean-Jacques Salines, victorious to the point that, in 1804, they had proclaimed independent Haiti, the first country in the world, resulting from a slave revolt.

The self-determination and freedom that followed did not generate enough prosperity. Far from it. Henceforth, without the enlightened but oppressive economic guideline for the settlers, Haiti only deteriorated.

Peoples who had everything to be one and the same, separated forever.

If, in 1790, it was considered the wealthiest French colony in the Americas, at the time of our tour of the Dominican Republic, it remained, alone and abandoned, in the position of the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere.

Unexpectedly, we also found ourselves victims of the vulnerability and instability in which we had long lived.

Incursion into Haiti Failed, More Time in Southwest Dominican Republic

As we passed a small tourist fair taking place in Puerto Plata, we visited the stands of two Haitian companies that organized tours to unmissable places in the Pearl of the Antilles.

We agreed that, in a few days, they would guide us on one of their itineraries. We keep in touch.

The more days that passed, the more the wave of demonstrations, riots and violence caused, first, by the increase in fuel prices, worsened.

Therefore, due to its dramatic unavailability, which led the Haitian people, led by the opposition, to demand the resignation of President Jovenel Moise, in order to end widespread corruption and give way to politicians who would enable the establishment of programs with genuine social concerns .

Until we left the Dominican Republic for a long journey to the bottom of the Lesser Antilles stepping stone, nothing had been resolved. The hosts recognized that we would take too many risks.

With the Haiti project postponed to the next opportunity, we spent some additional time in the alternative southwest of the Barahona and Pedernales regions. Where Carlos, a real Dominican, continued to lead us.

Cabo Rojo: Semi-Lost Corner and Brazier of the Dominican Republic

Hundreds of meanders followed, still and always, through the green but thorny and rough landscape of Jaragua. We left behind Monte Llano and the Las Abejas and Romeo Francés Ecological Pools, crystalline springs that spring from the limestone depths of the area.

A few kilometers later, the 44 road it merges with the Cabo Rojo perpendicular. On the map, only this hushed and ocher promontory separated us from our final destination.

On the other hand, through a road domain of sandier than beaten earth, we skimmed the western end of the local domestic airport, a pharaonic work, if we take into account the almost zero airflow that it sustains.

Then, still in a surreal and desolate Caribbean backwater scenario, we come across the equally or more inactive Porto de Cabo Rojo.

The sun walked by its zenith. When we leave the van, the dry heat oppresses us far more than we were counting. In addition to being imminent, the swell of the Caribbean Sea sounded urgent to us.

The Stranded Tragedy of the “Fayal” Freighter

We were already dreaming of a delicious dive when Carlos tells us the reason why we had stopped there. “See that monster? No one is going to get him out of there anytime soon.”

It referred to the “fayal” a cargo ship from Cementos Andinos Dominicano which, at the time of the tragedy that ran aground, had been at anchor for more than a year by court order.

Because, in August 2017, without the crew at that time, a furious fire broke out on board, which the Ministry of the Environment and the Dominican Republic's Navy were anxious to control.

At that time, the port of Cabo Rojo was inoperative due to damage caused by some of the cyclones that, from time to time, devastate Hispaniola.

We contemplate the freighter trapped by the shallow, greenish seabed, its aged and rusty corpse contrasting with the coral whiteness of the sand and the festive painting of a small boat in dry dock, “La Chucha”.

We continue along the Cueva Los Pescadores road to the long La Cueva Beach.

La Cueva de Los Pescadores Beach, a Short Preamble to the Final Destination

Carlos parks in a village that grouped together some restaurants, inns and operational headquarters of companies that provided visitors with incursions to the top coast of the Jaragua National Park.

The driver leaves us in the hands of Wilson, local guide and helmsman of the boat we are rushing to board.

"It's too beautiful, let's go quickly because there are some heavy clouds coming from the horizon to here." justifies us with the reason for his experience.

We set sail. We leave behind the Poblado de la Cueva de los Pescadores, so called because, in times prior to tourism, a fishing community inhabited caves excavated there by erosion.

In a flash, the sand disappears.

We navigate along the foot of these jagged cliffs from which sprout more cactuses and thorny bushes. We skirted a final boulder crowned by a small tightrope walker tree.

Bahia de Las Águilas: 8km of Caribbean Beach and Pure Nature

On the other side, we enter Jaragua National Park and a bathing haven as far as the eye can see, with no sign of civilization.

Wilson makes us disembark in the middle of the cove, known as Bahia de Las Águilas.

Not because these birds abound there, but because of the way that blessed coastline boasts, when seen from the air.

“Have fun friends! When you want me to come pick you up, call Carlos.”, Wilson says goodbye and thus leaves us as the only users of that irreproachable seaside.

We detected a hidden wooden tower at the bottom of the sand. We went up to its top floor.

From there, we contemplate the extreme contrast of the Caribbean. The thorny green immensity of Jaragua, delimited by the indented line of the cliffs.

And the rival, the emerald-turquoise Caribbean Sea that has long banished them. We were aware of how much, since the 70s, the tourism tsunami had altered the Dominican Republic's natural and tropical landscapes.

Until sunset forced us to return, we enjoyed that landscape as if it were the only one in old Hispaniola.

Samaná PeninsulaLos Haitises National Park Dominican Republic

From the Samaná Peninsula to the Dominican Haitises

In the northeast corner of the Dominican Republic, where Caribbean nature still triumphs, we face an Atlantic much more vigorous than expected in these parts. There we ride on a communal basis to the famous Limón waterfall, cross the bay of Samaná and penetrate the remote and exuberant “land of the mountains” that encloses it.
Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic

The Dominican Home Silver

Puerto Plata resulted from the abandonment of La Isabela, the second attempt at a Hispanic colony in the Americas. Almost half a millennium after Columbus's landing, it inaugurated the nation's inexorable tourist phenomenon. In a lightning passage through the province, we see how the sea, the mountains, the people and the Caribbean sun keep it shining.
Oviedo Lagoon, Dominican Republic

The (very alive) Dominican Republic Dead Sea

The hypersalinity of the Laguna de Oviedo fluctuates depending on evaporation and water supplied by rain and the flow coming from the neighboring mountain range of Bahoruco. The natives of the region estimate that, as a rule, it has three times the level of sea salt. There, we discover prolific colonies of flamingos and iguanas, among many other species that make up one of the most exuberant ecosystems on the island of Hispaniola.
Barahona, Dominican Republic

The Bathing Dominican Republic of Barahona

Saturday after Saturday, the southwest corner of the Dominican Republic goes into decompression mode. Little by little, its seductive beaches and lagoons welcome a tide of euphoric people who indulge in a peculiar rumbear amphibian.
Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Virgin Gorda's Divine "Caribbeans"

Discovering the Virgin Islands, we disembark on a tropical and seductive seaside dotted with huge granite boulders. The Baths seem straight out of the Seychelles but they are one of the most exuberant marine scenery in the Caribbean.
Guadalupe, French Antilles

Guadeloupe: a Delicious Caribbean, in a Counter Butterfly-Effect

Guadeloupe is shaped like a moth. A trip around this Antille is enough to understand why the population is governed by the motto Pas Ni Problem and raises the minimum of waves, despite the many setbacks.
Fort-de-France, Martinique

Freedom, Bipolarity and Tropicality

The capital of Martinique confirms a fascinating Caribbean extension of French territory. There, the relations between the colonists and the natives descended from slaves still give rise to small revolutions.
Saint-Pierre, Martinique

The City that Arose from the Ashes

In 1900, the economic capital of the Antilles was envied for its Parisian sophistication, until the Pelée volcano charred and buried it. More than a century later, Saint-Pierre is still regenerating.
Sainte-Luce, Martinique

The Nostalgic Projectionist

From 1954 to 1983, Gérard Pierre screened many of the famous films arriving in Martinique. 30 years after the closing of the room in which he worked, it was still difficult for this nostalgic native to change his reel.
Martinique, French Antilles

The Armpit Baguette Caribbean

We move around Martinique as freely as the Euro and the tricolor flags fly supreme. But this piece of France is volcanic and lush. Lies in the insular heart of the Americas and has a delicious taste of Africa.
Soufriere, Saint Lucia

The Great Pyramids of the Antilles

Perched above a lush coastline, the twin peaks Pitons are the hallmark of Saint Lucia. They have become so iconic that they have a place in the highest notes of East Caribbean Dollars. Right next door, residents of the former capital Soufrière know how precious their sight is.
hippopotami, chobe national park, botswana
Chobe NP, Botswana

Chobe: A River on the Border of Life with Death

Chobe marks the divide between Botswana and three of its neighboring countries, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia. But its capricious bed has a far more crucial function than this political delimitation.
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 5th- Ngawal-BragaNepal

Towards the Nepalese Braga

We spent another morning of glorious weather discovering Ngawal. There is a short journey towards Manang, the main town on the way to the zenith of the Annapurna circuit. We stayed for Braga (Braka). The hamlet would soon prove to be one of its most unforgettable places.
Bay Watch cabin, Miami beach, beach, Florida, United States,
Architecture & Design
Miami beach, USA

The Beach of All Vanities

Few coastlines concentrate, at the same time, so much heat and displays of fame, wealth and glory. Located in the far southeast of the USA, Miami Beach is accessed by six bridges that connect it to the rest of Florida. It is manifestly meager for the number of souls who desire it.

Mountains of Fire

More or less prominent ruptures in the earth's crust, volcanoes can prove to be as exuberant as they are capricious. Some of its eruptions are gentle, others prove annihilating.
good buddhist advice
Ceremonies and Festivities
Chiang Mai, Thailand

300 Wats of Spiritual and Cultural Energy

Thais call every Buddhist temple wat and their northern capital has them in obvious abundance. Delivered to successive events held between shrines, Chiang Mai is never quite disconnected.
Sydney, Australia's exemplary criminal city, Harbor Bridge
Sydney, Australia

From the Exile of Criminals to an Exemplary City

The first of the Australian colonies was built by exiled inmates. Today, Sydney's Aussies boast former convicts of their family tree and pride themselves on the cosmopolitan prosperity of the megalopolis they inhabit.
young saleswoman, nation, bread, uzbekistan
Fergana Valley, Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan, The Nation That Does Not Lack Bread

Few countries employ cereals like Uzbekistan. In this republic of Central Asia, bread plays a vital and social role. The Uzbeks produce it and consume it with devotion and in abundance.
Conversation between photocopies, Inari, Babel Parliament of the Sami Lapland Nation, Finland
Inari, Finland

The Babel Parliament of the Sami Nation

The Sami Nation comprises four countries, which ingest into the lives of their peoples. In the parliament of Inari, in various dialects, the Sami govern themselves as they can.

Man: an Ever Tested Species

It's in our genes. For the pleasure of participating, for titles, honor or money, competitions give meaning to the world. Some are more eccentric than others.
Plane landing, Maho beach, Sint Maarten
Maho Beach, Sint Maarten

The Jet-powered Caribbean Beach

At first glance, Princess Juliana International Airport appears to be just another one in the vast Caribbean. Successive landings skimming Maho beach that precedes its runway, jet take-offs that distort the faces of bathers and project them into the sea, make it a special case.
Martian Scenery of the White Desert, Egypt
White Desert, Egypt

The Egyptian Shortcut to Mars

At a time when conquering the solar system's neighbor has become an obsession, an eastern section of the Sahara Desert is home to a vast related landscape. Instead of the estimated 150 to 300 days to reach Mars, we took off from Cairo and, in just over three hours, we took our first steps into the Oasis of Bahariya. All around, almost everything makes us feel about the longed-for Red Planet.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
Got2Globe Portfolio

Sensations vs Impressions

The Little-Big Senglea II
Senglea, Malta

An Overcrowded Malta

At the turn of the 8.000th century, Senglea housed 0.2 inhabitants in 2 km3.000, a European record, today, it has “only” XNUMX neighborhood Christians. It is the smallest, most overcrowded and genuine of the Maltese cities.
improvised bank
Ibo Island, Mozambique

Island of a Gone Mozambique

It was fortified in 1791 by the Portuguese who expelled the Arabs from the Quirimbas and seized their trade routes. It became the 2nd Portuguese outpost on the east coast of Africa and later the capital of the province of Cabo Delgado, Mozambique. With the end of the slave trade at the turn of the XNUMXth century and the passage from the capital to Porto Amélia, Ibo Island found itself in the fascinating backwater in which it is located.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
Winter White
Seydisfjordur, Iceland

From the Art of Fishing to the Fishing of Art

When shipowners from Reykjavik bought the Seydisfjordur fishing fleet, the village had to adapt. Today, it captures Dieter Roth's art disciples and other bohemian and creative souls.
Couple visiting Mikhaylovskoe, village where writer Alexander Pushkin had a home
Saint Petersburg e Mikhaylovkoe, Russia

The Writer Who Succumbed to His Own Plot

Alexander Pushkin is hailed by many as the greatest Russian poet and the founder of modern Russian literature. But Pushkin also dictated an almost tragicomic epilogue to his prolific life.
Balestrand townhouse, Norway
Balestrand, Norway

Balestrand: A Life Among the Fjords

Villages on the slopes of the gorges of Norway are common. Balestrand is at the entrance to three. Its settings stand out in such a way that they have attracted famous painters and continue to seduce intrigued travelers.
Mother Armenia Statue, Yerevan, Armenia
Yerevan, Armenia

A Capital between East and West

Heiress of the Soviet civilization, aligned with the great Russia, Armenia allows itself to be seduced by the most democratic and sophisticated ways of Western Europe. In recent times, the two worlds have collided in the streets of your capital. From popular and political dispute, Yerevan will dictate the new course of the nation.
Chã das Caldeiras to Mosteiros, Fogo Island, Cape Verde
Natural Parks
Chã das Caldeiras a Mosteiros, Fogo Island, Cape Verde

Chã das Caldeiras to Mosteiros: descent through the Ends of Fogo

With the Cape Verde summit conquered, we sleep and recover in Chã das Caldeiras, in communion with some of the lives at the mercy of the volcano. The next morning, we started the return to the capital São Filipe, 11 km down the road to Mosteiros.
Moai, Rano Raraku, Easter Island, Rapa Nui, Chile
UNESCO World Heritage
Rapa Nui - Easter Island, Chile

Under the Moais Watchful Eye

Rapa Nui was discovered by Europeans on Easter Day 1722. But if the Christian name Easter Island makes sense, the civilization that colonized it by observant moais remains shrouded in mystery.
View from the top of Mount Vaea and the tomb, Vailima village, Robert Louis Stevenson, Upolu, Samoa
Upolu, Samoa

Stevenson's Treasure Island

At age 30, the Scottish writer began looking for a place to save him from his cursed body. In Upolu and the Samoans, he found a welcoming refuge to which he gave his heart and soul.
Bather rescue in Boucan Canot, Reunion Island
Reunion Island

The Bathing Melodrama of Reunion

Not all tropical coastlines are pleasurable and refreshing retreats. Beaten by violent surf, undermined by treacherous currents and, worse, the scene of the most frequent shark attacks on the face of the Earth, that of the Reunion Island he fails to grant his bathers the peace and delight they crave from him.
The Crucifixion in Helsinki
Helsinki, Finland

A Frigid-Scholarly Via Crucis

When Holy Week arrives, Helsinki shows its belief. Despite the freezing cold, little dressed actors star in a sophisticated re-enactment of Via Crucis through streets full of spectators.
On Rails
On Rails

Train Travel: The World Best on Rails

No way to travel is as repetitive and enriching as going on rails. Climb aboard these disparate carriages and trains and enjoy the best scenery in the world on Rails.
In elevator kimono, Osaka, Japan
Osaka, Japan

In the Company of Mayu

Japanese nightlife is a multi-faceted, multi-billion business. In Osaka, an enigmatic couchsurfing hostess welcomes us, somewhere between the geisha and the luxury escort.
Visitors at Talisay Ruins, Negros Island, Philippines
Daily life
Talisay City, Philippines

Monument to a Luso-Philippine Love

At the end of the 11th century, Mariano Lacson, a Filipino farmer, and Maria Braga, a Portuguese woman from Macau, fell in love and got married. During the pregnancy of what would be her 2th child, Maria succumbed to a fall. Destroyed, Mariano built a mansion in his honor. In the midst of World War II, the mansion was set on fire, but the elegant ruins that endured perpetuate their tragic relationship.
Gorongosa National Park, Mozambique, Wildlife, lions
NP Gorongosa, Mozambique

The Wild Heart of Mozambique shows Signs of Life

Gorongosa was home to one of the most exuberant ecosystems in Africa, but from 1980 to 1992 it succumbed to the Civil War waged between FRELIMO and RENAMO. Greg Carr, Voice Mail's millionaire inventor received a message from the Mozambican ambassador to the UN challenging him to support Mozambique. For the good of the country and humanity, Carr pledged to resurrect the stunning national park that the Portuguese colonial government had created there.
Napali Coast and Waimea Canyon, Kauai, Hawaii Wrinkles
Scenic Flights
napali coast, Hawaii

Hawaii's Dazzling Wrinkles

Kauai is the greenest and rainiest island in the Hawaiian archipelago. It is also the oldest. As we explore its Napalo Coast by land, sea and air, we are amazed to see how the passage of millennia has only favored it.