Posted by: Anni Orekh | January 29, 2010

Hoyo de Pelempito (Pelempito Drop) Pedernales, Dominican Republic

Parque Nacional Sierra de Baoruco/Hoyo de Pelempito national park

 Hoyo de Pelempito is a depression on the ground and part of Parque Nacional Sierra de Bahoruco. The Hoyo de Pelempito is a hole, is a low valley on a height of 1500 altitude. This valley extends to a length of 7,5 km. and in the broadest place the distance amounts to 4.8 km.

A perfect retreat area of wild pigs and horses one can likewise see pulling to Hawk their circles here, Papagaien lives in the spruce forests and to the 450 endemic plants kinds was counted here.   The didactic exhibition course loads walking  to a digesting  in.

There’s 3 theories as to how this was formed:

1) A meteorite was the culprit.

2) That the Pedernales Peninsula was an island and Mother Earth pushed it upwards and towards the mainland. Although this theory isn’t quite accepted, there’s evidence to that in Lago Enriquillo area, plus that the Drop was covered by sea water before.

3) The most accepted theory is that a big cave plummeted to the ground because the rocks are very permeable and the underground water got thru and, well, you’ll see the rest.

In my personal opinion, while the Drop is gorgeous, what I think is more interesting is the way to get there. You’ll get to see how the vegetation changes from dry to semi humid forests, and you’ll feel the temperature change (we went from 25-30 C to about 20 C). Not to be missed are the rock formations on the way, where there’s a lot of bauxite (see the pics on my transportation and local customs tips).

Once up there, there are some paths for walking and tree and bird watching, and at the visitors center there’s signs with information about the formation of the Drop as well as the birds and plants that can be observed (for now only in Spanish).

This national park, together with Parque Nacional Jaragua, are declared part of the Biosphere Reserve and Patrimony of the Humankind by UNESCO.

There’s an admission fee to enter the national park but I don’t know how much it is because it was covered by our tour. When visiting this national park, you must:

– NOT exceed the maximum speed of 25 kph
– NOT hunt the birds and other animals that live there
– NOT drink alcoholic beverages
– NOT smoke
– NOT play music loudly
– NOT litter.

Bauxite mines

On the road to the Drop, you’ll see some rock formations on the left side of the road. Those formations, which give the place the nickname “The Grand Canyon of the Caribbean“, are mines where Alcoa (Aluminum Company of America) used to mine bauxite, which is an important “ingredient” to make aluminum. At some point further along the road, they also tried replanting trees and made “levels” or as we call it in Spanish “terrazas”- nothing ever grew there.

For More Information Contact:
Eunice Berroa/Maria Garcia
Ministry of Mission Communications
416.244.3699/ 416.887.5069/647.448.2052

For further stay or  eco-tours  information and reservations, please call  647.448.2052 or keep reading our blog

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