Punta Cana is know for it’s gorgeous white sand beaches, but what you should know is the Dominican Republic is not just sun and sand. A short distance from Punta Cana there is another magical place, filled with mangroves, rare endangered species and channels of underground caves. The Los Haitises National Park is a national treasure, and and not so little secret.
So now that we’ve got your attention, here are three things you should know about this place:
The Lungs of the Dominican Republic
Home to the Taino Indians
The Tainos used the park’s extensive underground cave channels as their homes, literally leaving their mark with interesting pictoglyphs. There is also artwork that has that is still unidentified and thought to predate the Taino Indians; these Taino artifacts are of great historical and cultural importance to the Dominican Republic.
Most diverse flora and fauna in the DR
The is also home to some incredible wildlife, all 20 bird species endemic to the Dominican Republic live here, including species that are not found anywhere else in the country. There are also 3 different endangered species who call the park their home. The only known nesting sites of the endangered Ridgeway Hawk. The only remaining land mammals native to the island, both war on the brink of extinction, the Hispaniolan Hutia and Solenodon.
So you can see, Los Haitises is pretty awesome, and due to this general awesomeness and the Park’s cultural, and ecological importance it has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The park is open to the visitors, but only way to see it is through an organized tour. A tour of the park is a great way to If your are in Punta Cana on vacation, don’t miss a great opportunity to see another side of this beautiful island.