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It definitely sounds weird: you are travelling through the Caribbean which is famous for its sunshine and tropical temperatures, but you still need to pack long pants, a proper coat and maybe even gloves and a winter hat. Thick warm bedding is a must and in the morning you look forward to a nice hot shower. What is this unusual place where none of the usual Caribbean expectations apply?

 

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.

Parque Nacional Valle Nuevo is located between Constanza and San Jose de Ocoa, approximately 3 hours away from both Santo Domingo and the North Coast with Puerto Plata and Cabarete. Thanks to the well-maintained gravel road through the national park you can explore this fantastic scenery with your own rental car. The entrance fee for the park is 100 Peso, which is only about $2 (as of August 2015). The only accommodation in the park is Villa Pajon, which is located at an altitude of approximately 8,000 feet. These rustic and cozy wooden chalets can be booked directly through WICKED Travel. As Villa Pajon does not have a restaurant on-site we will provide you with a delicious dinner prepared by our award-winning MI CORAZON catering – let us surprise you!

You want to have these fantastic experiences as well and take stunning pictures which will impress all your family and friends? Ask us for your personalized tour to Parque Nacional Valle Nuevo – your trip to paradise!

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