Los Haiteses Nationalpark
Trip Start May 14, 2002
3Trip End May 28, 2002
Map your own trip!
Show trip route
The tourboat was docked in Sanchez - an eternal 30 minute bus ride from our resort. Once again the windy roads got me nausceous before having stepped on the boat. Our busdriver stopped at an overlook and we thoroughly enjoyed the view over the jungles and the the ocean in the distance.
Once we arrived in Sanchez we had to climb aboard a speedboat and took off towards Los Haitises - a quick 20 minute ride - too long for someone nausceous.
The park is estimated to be a mere 50 million years old and was formed by volcanic eruptions. The islands are solid rock formations, but some trees still manage to grow on them even without dirt on the ground. Roots simply work their way through the rock and are able to live off the humidity. I wish my plants at home would do that!
Lots and lots of pelicans use the islands as breeding grounds, which is the reason why a lot of snakes also call this place home.
I was completely surprised and dumbfound when I first saw the mangrove jungles. Suddenly in the middle of the ocean I spotted a forrest - in the water. These trees really grow in the middle of the water. Mature trees drop a seeds into the water, which then grows from the bottom of the ocean up. They grow very rapidly too - one meter per year. The roots stick out of the water and are covered in shells & crabs.
There are quite some caves in the park - we saw a total of 5 - the ones you could walk or drive into. We decided to leave the diving to the fishes, but for the adventurous tourists amongst us there are some that are accessible through diving only.
A long time ago the islands and caves were populated by native indians, you can still see paintings and carvings on the walls.
Nowadays only bats live here. A variety of shark species used to roam the waters around the islands, but the natives munched them all up. "Only" hammerheads sharks and dogfishes are left. Once the tourguide mentioned this little tidbit my feet immediately moved away from the edge and stayed there for the rest of the trip. Swimming ~ though offered ~ was out of question.
Wild orchids are part of the national flag and Domenicans are very proud of them, you can find some of those on the islands as well. At the end of the tour we had to get back to the mainland. Needless to say that I did not look forward to another speedboat ride, but even I could not have imagined a ride from hell. It all made sense afterwards "Please bring a second shirt" and "All backpacks are stowed under deck". I knew what was coming when they started to hand out raincoats- nausea was going to come back and this time with vengence.
The boat took off like crazy and I was unable to get a sinle orienting glimpse throughout the whole ride. Evertime I tried to open my eyes I caught another wave of saltwater and it burns! Ready to throw up and wet from head to toe we finally arrived in Sanchez where a nice breaze just kept on blowing. We were shivering like dogs. I did not feel very good and the serpentine road back to the hotel finally did it. I barely made it to our room...
But anyway - I really think you should go :)