The following article is in collaboration with Go Dominican Republic. As always, all opinions are my own.
Jarabacoa is a region that sits right in middle of Dominican Republic. With its tropical climate and high elevation thanks to the Central Mountain Range, it has some of the most mild temperatures in the country, causing it to be dubbed The City of Everlasting Spring. Here, you’ll find rivers, mountains, and jungle, making it a perfect spot for an adventure vacation. From paragliding to rafting and more, here are just a few thrilling activities you can find in Jarabacoa to get your heart pumping.
I’ll admit, I was terrified to try paragliding. But it actually wasn’t bad at all! If you can handle high-thrill activities like ziplining, you’ll be fine paragliding. Flying Tony made all my paragliding dreams come true, so I highly recommend to book with him. We soared high above Jarabacoa, and it was magical! We could even see waterfalls down below.
Pro tip: you can bring your phone or camera with you (I have a crossbody strap for my Canon 5D MK IV so I brought it up with me), just make sure to have some sort of attachment so you don’t drop it. For the best shots, I recommend bringing a GoPro with a long selfie stick. I mean, just look at Hailey Miller’s shot below if you don’t believe me!
I’ve been whitewater rafting all over the world, and this was one of the best times I’ve ever had doing it! The water level at the time was pretty low on the Yaque del Norte river, but that just made it all the more thrilling. There were several large drops – you will get soaked! For maximum comfort while rafting, I recommend getting a pair of water shoes like these. For our rafting tour, we used Rancho Baiguate, and it included both breakfast and dinner.
Hike Ébano Verde Scientific Reserve
While this hike wasn’t too challenging physically as it was mostly downhill, it was a struggle because of the slippery and muddy trail and large steps you have to go down the whole way. Make sure you’re dressed appropriately for this 8km one-way hike, with good hiking shoes and plenty of water, and be prepared to get muddy. I think everyone in our group fell in the mud at least once because of how slippery the trail is. I personally wouldn’t attempt it in the rain because of the mud, but that’s up to you and your hiking skill level. It’s well worth it though for the jungle views and the natural pool, El Arroyazo, that you reach at the end. Bring your swimsuit and go swimming!
Please note: there are two entrances for the reserve. The first is marked by a sign at the highest point of the Carretera de Casabito and is called the Casabito entrance. You’ll need a 4WD vehicle and have pre-arranged access with the reserve to have the gate opened for you. The second entrance is the main entrance and has primary access to the Fernando Aquino Visitor Center. It is as you descend the mountain and right after the second bridge, El Arroyazo. You can also arrange guided tours with the Fundación Ébano Verde at the Fernando Dominguez Visitor Center, which is located at the end of the trail near the waterfall.
Swim at a Waterfall
Jarabacoa is home to the longest river in the Caribbean, Yaque del Norte, meaning there are lots of great places to chase waterfalls. Three wonderful waterfalls to visit include Salto Baiguate (pictured below) and the two waterfalls dubbed Salto de Jimenoa I and Santo Jimeona II. Fun fact, Salto Jimenoa Uno is where the opening scene of Jurassic Park was filmed. Make sure to wear appropriate shoes to hike down in, and bring your swimsuit so you can swim in the pools as the base of the waterfalls.
Ready Set Jet Set’s original blog post: https://www.readysetjetset.net/travel/jarabacoa-dominican-republic-adventure-guide