Boasting an average elevation of 1,200 meters (4,000 feet), Constanza is the highest altitude town in the Caribbean region. With those impressive heights come cool temperatures, rolling valleys blanketed in thick pine trees, cabins fitted with chimneys for the single digit night temperatures, and an agricultural landscape that reveals a surprising departure from the beach. Breadbasket of the country, Constanza’s vast fields of vegetables–potatoes, cabbage, corn, and carrots, among others–flowers, and even strawberries can be seen while driving around the province. Its mountainside villages boast magical views over these fields, earning Constanza nicknames like “the Switzerland of the Caribbean” and “Valle Encantado” or the Enchanted Valley.
Bordered by four large national parks, including two scientific reserves, this geographic center of the Dominican Republic is blessed with nature–from freshly harvested foods to fresh river sources, and multiple types of forests. Valle Nuevo National Park–the highest plateau in the region at approximately 1,900-2,100 meters (6,500-7,000 feet)–is home to major rivers supplying the country, not to mention ideal hiking trails amid cloud, criollo pine, and fern tree forests as well as highland plains. Over 70 species of birds thrive there, including the endangered golden swallow, and you’ll find plenty of reptiles, amphibians, and over 500 species of plants. At the Ébano Verde Scientific Reserve, chilly but fresh pools await amid an environment of precious woods and over 80 species of orchids, giant tree frogs, and lizards.
On the weekends, Constanza’s small town center bustles with bars, gourmet restaurants–enjoy fresh vegetable pizzas or strawberry shakes–and a central park that fills up with weekend visitors from Jarabacoa, Santo Domingo, and Santiago.
Temperatures year round average between 5°C-25°C (41°F-77°F). From December to March, the air gets chillier, with temperatures dropping into single digits at night, yet warming up nicely during the days. Summertime temperatures are pleasant and mid-day hours are not too warm. Pick a local guesthouse or ecolodge, rent a car, and begin your exploration. Tour farms where you can purchase homemade fruit marmalades. Go birding at Valle Nuevo National Park, or hiking in the Tetero Valley. Hop on a horseback ride to El Divino Niño–Constanza’s beautiful version of a Christ the Redeemer statue. Mountain bike your way around farm roads. Venture to the highest altitude Aguas Blancas waterfall. Along the way, stand on any hilltop in Constanza to take in the magnificent mountain and farm scenery. You might just feel like you’re hearing the sound of music.
The Cibao International Airport (STI) in Santiago is the closest gateway to Constanza, located approximately two hours north.