Pine Trees Along The Road to El Hoyo de Pelempito
Last time I left you we just had visited the most beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic: Bahía de las Aguilas but on the way back to Santo Domingo we decided to make a little side trip to, well..., a big hole in the Dominican Republic. El Hoyo de Pelempito or Pelempito's Hole is a big gorge located around 35 miles east of Pedernales. It's not a famous landmark mainly because it's difficult to get there but it's well worth visiting. The last 6 miles you really need a 4WD or you won't make it up the mountain to the entrance of the park at 4,000 feet above sea level.
We set off into the desert and it was clear really soon that we wouldn't see many tourists. The roads were long and empty. The dirt was red and we were surrounded by the typical vegetation that we saw on our way to Bahia de las Aguilas. Cacti, succulents and low bushes and trees.
As we went on we even spotted an occasional iguana. Too bad they don't like to have their picture taken and since I don't use zoom lenses you have to take my word for it that they're there. Slowly and as we started to go up the mountain, the vegetation changed drastically again. Desert vegetation made room for pine trees and other mountain trees. Temperature dropped every mile and the hot desert wind changed to a heavenly cool breeze. The smell of pine was in the air and for a moment it felt like we were in Europe.
Before we left, the hotel owner warned us that we needed a 4WD and that wasn't a lie. The last six miles took almost an hour and we met only one fellow adventurer that crossed us on the narrow mountain road. When we finally arrived, there was nobody there. Now, that's how we like it.
We walked the last part of the trail and soon we arrived at the view point looking over El Hoyo de Pelempito. The wind was roaring up there and the cabin, built on the edge of a cliff, was creaking and moving but the view was stunning. Pelempito's Hole surrounded by 2,000 feet high mountain walls was well worth the visit.
How to visit El Hoyo de Pelempito and Bahía de las Aguilas
From Santo Domingo it is possible to visit El Hoyo de Pelempito in one day but that's not recommended. The best way is to combine it with Bahía de las Aguilas and stay for the night in Pedernales which is close to Pelempito.
This is how we did it:
From Santo Domingo to Paraíso. We stayed for one night in a little hotel but you could drive to Bahía de las Aguilas in one go. It takes around 6 hours so leave early!
In a few hours from Paraíso to Bahía de las Aguilas where we spent the whole afternoon swimming in the most surreal blue crystal clear water. Around 5pm we left for Pedernales where we spent the night and ate in a nice local restaurant.
We visited Pelempito's Hole on the way back to Santo Domingo. We left early in the morning and it took us around 2 hours to reach Pelempito. You need a 4WD! By nightfall we arrived back in the Santo Domingo.