Los Haitises National Park
Nature Reserve Tour

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Los Haitises National Park
Nature Reserve & Taino Petroglyphs

Encompassing 83-square miles, Los Haitises National Park located on the opposite side of Samana Bay on the Samana Peninsula, contains the country’s largest mangrove coastline.  

The shoreline mangrove reserve and interior rain forest, both regarded as among the most important reserves in the Caribbean.

The park is a popular tour by boat as it  travels into coves and bays, and past unusual rocky mound-like formations with their frigate bird rookeries. You might also spot Hispaniola parrots, owls or gannets.

You'd be incredibly fortunate to see either a solenodonte, a native insectivorous animal mammal that is one of the rarest mammals on earth or a hutia, a rodent that grows up to 2 feet long.

Of special interest are 3 caves containing Taino Indian rock art including pictographs and petroglyphs. No one can enter the park without a certified guide.

The tour normally leaves from El Portillo unless cruise ships have arranged for special tour boats. Independent travelers can arrange through their hotels but pay with a credit card so you can demand a refund from the tour company (or contest the charge) if your tour was as bad as mine.

It was not as advertised. We spent almost no time in the park itself but were diverted  elsewhere. I made the mistake of paying cash to a Samana City tour agency and they were not interested in trying to help me get my money back. 

The average temperature in Los Haitises is a humid 77 F with frequent rainfall in the park’s 2 major zones of wet forest and subtropical rainforest.

Tip: Bring lightweight rain gear for just in case. If the weather looks threatening and you want to postpone your tour do so. During bad weather, the wave action crossing Samana Bay can be dangerous unless you're not in a large craft.

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