Jaragua National Park
Dominican Republic Southwest
At more than 560 square miles in the southwest region of Barahona, Jaragua not only is the largest of the national parks but also has one of the country’s largest bird populations.
These include more than 130 species, 10 of which are endemic and half aquatic. Surprising since parts of the park receive so little rainfall and are desert-like with a dry, thorn-forest and lots of cacti.
Oviedo Lagoon has the largest population of pink flamingos but there is never any guarantee of finding them unless you find someone to take you into the lagoon by boat.
The park also a large number of caverns with pre-Columbian pictographs, petroglyphs and 11 species of resident bats.
One animal in particular to seek out is the endemic Jaragua gecko, a tiny reptile measuring only 1.6 centimeters long and not discovered until 1998.
Jaragua National Park’s main office is east of the town of Oviedo. There are no tourist facilities or guided tours.
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