Dominican Republic Day Five: A Boat Ride Down the Cano Hondo River To The San Lorenzo Bay
After breakfast on Sunday morning, I met our guide Wilfred and four other guests at the Altos de Cano Hondo hotel for a boat tour Los Haitises National Park. We drove about a mile to the entrance to the National Park where we boarded a small boat for a short ride down the Cano Hondo River to the San Lorenzo Bay.
The banks of the Cano Hondo River and much of the shoreline of the park are overgrown with thick forest of mangrove trees.
The park has the most diverse species of mangrove trees in the Caribbean region including red and white mangroves. We learned how they must live in salt water and how they grow and reproduce.
We saw birds wading along the shore of the Cano Hondo River including blue and great herons but I was unable to photograph them. Our boat soon entered the blue waters of the San Lorenzo Bay.
Here we saw some of the steep, jagged limestone hills and cliff and were given a lecture on how they were formed.
The boat took us passed an abandoned railroad line. We learned about it’s history and saw terns and pelican roosting on the old piers that supported the railroad tracks.
I was excited to see, flying overhead a couple of magnificent frigatebirds.
I was even more excited to see female frigate birds roosting in trees on a small rocky island in the bay.
I love seeing these birds when I visit Florida and other sub-tropical regions. I have seen them soaring high overhead on many hikes in beautiful warm places I have visited. I have never seen one perched in a tree before.
It was a beautiful site. They are beautiful birds.
There were also a few more mundane brown pelicans roosting in the trees.
And we saw this immature little blue heron perched on a rock. I learned their feathers are white for their first year.
Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs of the birds we saw on our boat ride in Los Haitises. Dominican Republic Day Five Los Haitises birds October 24 2021.
We continued our boat ride in the bay and entered another inlet lined with mangrove trees.
Here we disembarked our boat and I learned we were going to explore the Line Caves, named after the the old railroad line which ended here.
Our guide told us these massive limestone caves hide pirates in the 16th and 17th centuries. And for maybe a thousand years before that were used by the native Taino people, indigenous natives of the Caribbean, who lived in this area, and used the caves as shelter from storms, hurricanes, food storage and for religious ceremonies.
The caves were fascinating .We entered the caves and found sunlight filtering a large openings in the ceiling of the massive rock structures. It was unexpected, amazing and beautiful.
We were give an informative presentation by our guide Wilfred on the native people, the caves and their uses.
We also were shown the many pictographs that the Taino people drew on the walls of the caves from 500 to 1000 years ago.
We saw crude, but so informative and wonderful drawings of monkeys,
shamans with masks and given explanations on how they were associated with the culture and daily lives of the native people. I was in awe at seeing these drawings and being in some of the sacred sites of these now extinct people. I again wondered what the native people were thinking when they drew them.
I was thrilled with this unexpected visit. We left the cave as larger tour groups arrived, boarded our boat, and proceeded to the Sand Cave. There was a beach here where many local residents can picnic with a permit.
Of course, it is only accessible by boat.
We toured these caves which also used by the Taino people for the same purposes as the Line Cave.
Here there was a stone pictoglyph which I was allowed to examine and touch. This was a truly remarkable experience.
We left the caves around noon and took a speedy boat ride back to the park entrance
. This last minute boat ride was amazing and one of the highlights of my trip. I spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing in my room, taking in the spectacular view of the bay I just visited, and editing the beautiful photos from my morning boat adventure. It was already a good day, and visit. in the Dominican Republic. Here is a link to a gallery with some more photographs from our boat ride in Los Haitises National Park. Dominican Republic Day Five Los Haitises boat ride October 24 2021.
What induces you, oh man, to depart from your home in town, to leave parents and friends, and go to the countryside over mountains and valleys, if it is not for the beauty of the world of nature? Leonardo da Vinci
Great photos!!! Truely enjoyable!
Hey Jean thanks for the comment and sorry for the late response So busy but this blog is my first love I will have snow when i get back I hear yuck