Welcome to Constanza Dominican Republic.
It’s hard to imagine, but at the highest elevations in the DR, it can snow! In fact, it did just last week. This mountainous region of the DR, in a cute agriculture town called Constanza has some of the most beautiful scenery on the island. Upon arrival, you’ll have to do a double-take to make sure that you’re in the Caribbean and not in Switzerland. Constanza, (1150 metres above sea level), is a popular travel spot for Dominicans and tourists who want to get away from tropical temperatures (I know, all of you who are cold in Canada are thinking, “why would you want to leave tropical temps?”); but sometimes it’s nice to feel the cool air and experience a different kind of environment. The weather forecast this week shows lows of 9 Celsius!
We traveled to Constanza a few weeks ago (we missed the snow by one week – darn!!) for a weekend getaway with friends. We stayed at a lovely hotel which featured normal rooms, but also quaint mountainside villas. It was very strange to leave the hot and humid coast, drive for three hours, then up, up, up, over winding mountain roads to end in chilly mountain air! You could see your breath – quite strange on a tropical island. We even had a fireplace in the villa – and used it! The area reminded me of the Okanagan region of British Columbia: the same size mountains and agriculture everywhere. It really did seem like a Canadian summer vacation – there were tent trailers and a campground, even a giant bonfire at night!
Constanza is nestled in the most fertile valley in the Caribbean and is known for growing fruits and vegetables, and also tropical flowers. The nearby scientific reserve of Ebano Verde is the stronghold of the widest variety of flora and fauna of Hispaniola.
The mountains surrounding the valley of Constanza are covered in Hispaniolan Pine, really making it seem like a BC forest. Other local attractions are the White Waters Falls (said to be the largest in the Greater Antilles), Piedras Letradas (Inscribed stone) a shallow cave containing scores of Taino Indian petroglyphs; and Valle Nuevo protected area. You can also go rafting, mountain biking, or canyoning.
Constanza is home to an unusual combination of ethnic groups, having been an area settled by numerous Spanish and Japanese immigrant workers encouraged to come to the Dominican Republic during the dictatorship of Trujillo. Now some two or three generations on their presence is still substantial in the area and provides the town.
It is a wonderful place to go for a weekend getaway. Watch a short video showing the scenery of Constanza:
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