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.
Amboseli National Park, Mount Kilimanjaro, Normatior Hill
Amboseli National Park, Kenya

A Gift from the Kilimanjaro

The first European to venture into these Masai haunts was stunned by what he found. And even today, large herds of elephants and other herbivores roam the pastures irrigated by the snow of Africa's biggest mountain.
Thorong Pedi to High Camp, Annapurna Circuit, Nepal, Lone Walker
Annapurna (circuit)
Annapurna Circuit: 12th - Thorong Phedi a High camp

The Prelude to the Supreme Crossing

This section of the Annapurna Circuit is only 1km away, but in less than two hours it takes you from 4450m to 4850m and to the entrance to the great canyon. Sleeping in High Camp is a test of resistance to Mountain Evil that not everyone passes.
Treasures, Las Vegas, Nevada, City of Sin and Forgiveness
Architecture & Design
Las Vegas, USA

Where sin is always forgiven

Projected from the Mojave Desert like a neon mirage, the North American capital of gaming and entertainment is experienced as a gamble in the dark. Lush and addictive, Vegas neither learns nor regrets.
Passengers, scenic flights-Southern Alps, New Zealand
Aoraki / Mount Cook, New Zealand

The Aeronautical Conquest of the Southern Alps

In 1955, pilot Harry Wigley created a system for taking off and landing on asphalt or snow. Since then, his company has unveiled, from the air, some of the greatest scenery in Oceania.
Ceremonies and Festivities
Look-alikes, Actors and Extras

Make-believe stars

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São Tomé, city, São Tomé and Príncipe, alley of the Fort
Sao Tome (city), São Tomé and Principe

The Capital of the Santomean Tropics

Founded by the Portuguese, in 1485, São Tomé prospered for centuries, like the city because of the goods in and out of the homonymous island. The archipelago's independence confirmed it as the busy capital that we trod, always sweating.
Cocoa, Chocolate, Sao Tome Principe, Agua Izé farm
São Tomé and Principe

Cocoa Roças, Corallo and the Chocolate Factory

At the beginning of the century. In the XNUMXth century, São Tomé and Príncipe generated more cocoa than any other territory. Thanks to the dedication of some entrepreneurs, production survives and the two islands taste like the best chocolate.
coast, fjord, Seydisfjordur, Iceland
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.
4th of July Fireworks-Seward, Alaska, United States
Seward, Alaska

The Longest 4th of July

The independence of the United States is celebrated, in Seward, Alaska, in a modest way. Even so, the 4th of July and its celebration seem to have no end.
Young people walk the main street in Chame, Nepal
Annapurna Circuit: 1th - Pokhara a ChameNepal

Finally, on the way

After several days of preparation in Pokhara, we left towards the Himalayas. The walking route only starts in Chame, at 2670 meters of altitude, with the snowy peaks of the Annapurna mountain range already in sight. Until then, we complete a painful but necessary road preamble to its subtropical base.
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Honiara e Gizo, Solomon Islands

The Profaned Temple of the Solomon Islands

A Spanish navigator baptized them, eager for riches like those of the biblical king. Ravaged by World War II, conflicts and natural disasters, the Solomon Islands are far from prosperity.
ice tunnel, black gold route, Valdez, Alaska, USA
Got2Globe Photo Portfolio
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Sensations vs Impressions

Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mayan History, heads of Kukulkan, El Castillo
Chichen Itza, Yucatan, Mexico

On the Edge of the Cenote, at the Heart of the Mayan Civilization

Between the XNUMXth and XNUMXth centuries AD, Chichen Itza stood out as the most important city in the Yucatan Peninsula and the vast Mayan Empire. If the Spanish Conquest precipitated its decline and abandonment, modern history has consecrated its ruins a World Heritage Site and a Wonder of the World.
Streymoy island, Faroe Islands, Tjornuvik, Giant and Witch
streymoy, Faroe Islands

Up Streymoy, drawn to the Island of Currents

We leave the capital Torshavn heading north. We crossed from Vestmanna to the east coast of Streymoy. Until we reach the northern end of Tjornuvík, we are dazzled again and again by the verdant eccentricity of the largest Faroese island.
Northern Lights, Laponia, Rovaniemi, Finland, Fire Fox
Winter White
Lapland, Finland

In Search of the Fire Fox

Unique to the heights of the Earth are the northern or southern auroras, light phenomena generated by solar explosions. You Sami natives from Lapland they believed it to be a fiery fox that spread sparkles in the sky. Whatever they are, not even the nearly 30 degrees below zero that were felt in the far north of Finland could deter us from admiring them.
Visitors to Ernest Hemingway's Home, Key West, Florida, United States
Key West, United States

Hemingway's Caribbean Playground

Effusive as ever, Ernest Hemingway called Key West "the best place I've ever been...". In the tropical depths of the contiguous US, he found evasion and crazy, drunken fun. And the inspiration to write with intensity to match.
El Tatio Geisers, Atacama, Chile, Between ice and heat
El Tatio, Chile

El Tatio Geysers – Between the Ice and the Heat of the Atacama

Surrounded by supreme volcanoes, the geothermal field of El Tatio, in the Atacama Desert it appears as a Dantesque mirage of sulfur and steam at an icy 4200 m altitude. Its geysers and fumaroles attract hordes of 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.
Joshua Tree National Park, California, United States,
Natural Parks
PN Joshua Tree, California, United States

The Arms stretched out to Heaven of the PN Joshua Tree

Arriving in the extreme south of California, we are amazed by the countless Joshua trees that sprout from the Mojave and Colorado deserts. Like the Mormon settlers who named them, we cross and praise these inhospitable settings of the North American Far West.
khinalik, Azerbaijan Caucasus village, Khinalig
UNESCO World Heritage
Chinalig, Azerbaijan

The Village at the Top of Azerbaijan

Set in the rugged, icy 2300 meters of the Great Caucasus, the Khinalig people are just one of several minorities in the region. It has remained isolated for millennia. Until, in 2006, a road made it accessible to the old Soviet Ladas.
Earp brothers look-alikes and friend Doc Holliday in Tombstone, USA
tombstone, USA

Tombstone: the City Too Hard to Die

Silver veins discovered at the end of the XNUMXth century made Tombstone a prosperous and conflictive mining center on the frontier of the United States to Mexico. Lawrence Kasdan, Kurt Russell, Kevin Costner and other Hollywood directors and actors made famous the Earp brothers and the bloodthirsty duel of “OK Corral”. The Tombstone, which, over time, has claimed so many lives, is about to last.
Goa, India

To Goa, Quickly and in Strength

A sudden longing for Indo-Portuguese tropical heritage makes us travel in various transports but almost non-stop, from Lisbon to the famous Anjuna beach. Only there, at great cost, were we able to rest.
Pilgrims at the top, Mount Sinai, Egypt
Mount Sinai, Egypt

Strength in the Legs, Faith in God

Moses received the Ten Commandments on the summit of Mount Sinai and revealed them to the people of Israel. Today, hundreds of pilgrims climb, every night, the 4000 steps of that painful but mystical ascent.
Back in the sun. San Francisco Cable Cars, Life Ups and Downs
On Rails
San Francisco, USA

San Francisco Cable Cars: A Life of Highs and Lows

A macabre wagon accident inspired the San Francisco cable car saga. Today, these relics work as a charm operation in the city of fog, but they also have their risks.
A kind of portal
Little Havana, USA

Little Havana of the Nonconformists

Over the decades and until today, thousands of Cubans have crossed the Florida Straits in search of the land of freedom and opportunity. With the US a mere 145 km away, many have gone no further. His Little Havana in Miami is today the most emblematic neighborhood of the Cuban diaspora.
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.
Crocodiles, Queensland Tropical Australia Wild
Cairns to Cape Tribulation, Australia

Tropical Queensland: An Australia Too Wild

Cyclones and floods are just the meteorological expression of Queensland's tropical harshness. When it's not the weather, it's the deadly fauna of the region that keeps its inhabitants on their toes.
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.