In recent years, the desire for active holidays or, at any rate, holidays that combine sport and movement with relaxation and escapism, has been growing steadily. Cycling is one of the stars of this trend and cycling, in all its forms, is increasingly popular and sought after, so much so that it is also an option considered when choosing a destination for a trip, whether with family or friends.
And, thus, destinations traditionally considered paradises for ‘sun and sea’ holidays turn out to be ideal destinations for tourists on two wheels. Among these, in the heart of the Caribbean, is the Dominican Republic, which offers numerous opportunities to cycle to discover some of the island’s most beautiful natural areas and to participate in international events and competitions. Those with a passion for cycling can in fact visit the Dominican Republic from a different point of view and, moreover, in a sustainable manner.
Discovering the country on a mountain bike
Seven are the ideal areas for MBT excursions that are suggested by the Dominican Republic Tourism Office on the dedicated page of its website: territories that offer routes along scenic mountain trails, within protected natural areas, around villages rich in tradition.
Mountain bikes, as well as all equipment, are available all year round in major tourist resorts or through tour operators specialising in active holidays, who also offer expert bike guides
Ideal for mountain biking adventures is the Barahona area in the south-west of the country, where you can immerse yourself in lush greenery along forest trails and mountain roads that lead to caves of striking beauty and coffee plantations.
MTB enthusiasts will find kilometres of dirt roads in the countryside in Cabarete, particularly along the old El Choco highway, and trails within the 78-square-kilometre protected area of the El Choco National Park. It is possible to be accompanied along the many trails in the area with various levels of difficulty, including the challenging 50 km enduro route.
The winding, traffic-free roads and plantations in the highlands of the central region of the Dominican Republic, from Jarabacoa to Constanza, are also ideal for mountain biking excursions.
In Constanza, you can cycle to discover certain neighbourhoods such as the Colonia Japonesa, or along the path leading to the agricultural community of El Valle. You can also enjoy exciting excursions on two wheels in the Valle Nuevo National Park, which, besides being home to 500 different plant species, 138 of which are endemic, offers excellent opportunities for birdwatching. Another excursion not to be missed is to the Aguas Blancas waterfall which, at 83 metres, is one of the highest in the Caribbean.
In Jarabacoa, on the other hand, you can cycle to the area’s waterfalls, to the park on the banks of the La Confluencia river or simply along picturesque neighbourhoods such as Pinar Dorado, surrounded by green expanses and the imposing peaks of the Cordillera Central.
Also worth mentioning is the Cotubanamá National Park in Bayahibe, in the south-east of the Dominican Republic, 30 km from the well-known beach resort of La Romana. Surrounded by white sandy beaches, it boasts a series of green paths leading to several caves – some decorated with ancient examples of rock art – in which water springs can be found.
Those in Santo Domingo, on the other hand, can tackle by MTB the Haunted House of Higuero, a 24-kilometre intermediate level circular route.