It’s hard to believe that we’re still talking about the Caribbean, but we are! This place with temperatures that drop to freezing is only a three hour drive away from the most beautiful beaches on the island. It once more demonstrates the fascinating and unbelievable diversity in the Dominican Republic. “Sun, beach and mountains” would be a perfect slogan. The coldest temperatures occur in the dry season, otherwise we would also have snow – unique for the Caribbean.
But where exactly is this place where you need heavy clothing even in the summer months? We are talking about “Parque Nacional Valle Nuevo”, which is located at an average height of over 8,000 feet and is part of the Cordillera Central, the central mountain range of the island of Hispaniola. At this altitude you would expect to find barren high-alpine vegetation, but the Dominican Republic surprises you with lush meadows, dense coniferous forests and a varying countryside with spectacular views.
You won’t need the hats and gloves if you choose to explore this lovely area during the day, however right after sunset, the Cordillera Central will present its chilly side and temperatures drop quickly. That’s not necessarily a reason to go back to the beach as there is a charming hotel which can claim the title ‘Highest hotel in the Caribbean’. It features cozy wooden chalets which fit right in to this beautiful and unforgettable setting. It’s a bit rustic, but you’ll have a barbecue, a fireplace, warmly-equipped beds and hot showers. Just imagine having an air-chilled beer and a delicious self-made dinner while sitting in the comfortable rocking chairs on the porch of your chalet with gorgeous views of the Cordillera Central. The next day you could be back on the picture-perfect Caribbean beach. Only the Dominican Republic offers you this kind of variety.