Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco (8 a.m.–5 p.m. daily, US$1.50) covers over 800 square kilometers of protected and mostly mountainous land. This hard-to-traverse park is home to 1,268 different plant species including 166 orchid species, nearly 55 percent of the total found in the Dominican Republic . The vegetation survives in a variety of climates from dry forest at sea level to humid rainforest up in the mountains. The pines, broad-leafed forest, and mixed forest are home to 49 species of birds, including the Hispaniolan lizard cuckoo, Hispaniolan trogon, the stolid flycatcher, and the white-necked crow.
It was here in these mountains that the great Taíno chief Enriquillo led battles in defiance to the Spanish encroachment. For nearly 14 years, the natives kept the conquistadors at bay, and in 1533, the Spanish decided to back down and made peace with the cacique, making him, to this day, a celebrated figure in the history of the republic.
Without a motorcycle or four-wheel-drive, this park is virtually impossible to explore, making camping impossible as well.
From Highway 44, at the Cabo Rojo intersection, turn north (away from Bahía de las Águilas ) and drive for about an hour. Or if you’re coming from Barahona , take Highway 46 to Duverge, where you’ll then turn south on a pretty terrible road to Puerto Escondido; the ranger station is on the first right. There are no guides at Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco.
A day trip to this area is best (if Barahona is your base camp). There are no hotels.