Perched at an altitude of 529 meters (1,736 feet), this scenic mountain resort town is a favorite escape of Santiago and Santo Domingo city dwellers. They flock here in search of cool temperatures, fresh rivers, and sweeping green landscapes flanked by dense pine forests and coffee-producing mountains. An eco-tourism hub easily accessed via modern highways, Jarabacoa–meaning “place of waters” in Taino–boasts a variety of charming accommodations, from riverside ranches and eco-lodges to luxury vacation villas perched in the mountains.
Most adventurous travelers who reach this unique side of the country arrive on a quest to conquer the tallest peak in the Caribbean: Pico Duarte, standing 3,087 meters (10,125 feet) inside the Armando Bermúdez and José del Carmen Ramírez national parks, reigning over the Cordillera Central mountain range. From this mighty summit flows the Río Yaque del Norte, the longest river in the DR, running through the heart of this Cibao region like its lifeline. Along with at least six additional rivers sourced here, including their tributaries, this is a world of waterfalls and outdoor water adventures: go river rafting, tubing, canyoning and rappelling down Salto Baiguate, hiking to the Salto de Jimenoa falls, or swimming at La Cortina and La Confluencia, two recreational parks fed by fresh pools.