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Rain forests, bizarre crows, and whales in the Dominican Republic

Monday, May 8th, 2017

When the Spanish first landed on the island they referred to as “Hispaniola”, rain forests covered much of its northern parts. Were those conquistadors to come back to life and make another landing on the northern shores of the Dominican Republic, they would certainly be surprised at the extent to which the jungle has been replaced by cattle pasture. Just about the only place where things would have looked the same as 500 years ago on the northern part of the island is at Los Haitises National Park.

Saved from being converted into more munching grounds for cows and acres of oil palms by merit of its challenging limestone karst terrain, the park protects a wide variety of rare plants and animals endemic to Hispaniola. Access is mostly by boat although trails can be hiked for several kilometers across humid, hilly ground to reach its borders. Both means of entering the park can be arranged at the lodging option that is closest to its borders, a place called Parasio Caño Hondo. This eco-friendly lodge has a stream running right through the middle of its grounds and is located near patches of rain forest that harbor a good selection of local flora and fauna.

Another curious aspect of this lodge are the endemic White-necked Crows that pop in to look for food scraps around the bar and outdoor dining areas. Unlike crow species in Europe and North America, these island birds do not get along well with deforestation. They have disappeared from Puerto Rico and have become uncommon in Hispaniola (the only other place where they still occur). Paraiso Caño Hondo and the nearby national park have become the easiest places to see this strange bird in action. Whereas the familiar crows of the north tend to be dull black and make “caw”-like sounds, these crows are a beautiful glossy blue-black color, have reddish eyes, and make bizarre gurgling and squawking noises like a parrot!

For visitors to the area who aren’t into rain forest hikes, there are petroglyph decorated caves in the area as well as excellent whale-watching opportunities in nearby waters from December to April when the entire North Atlantic population of Humpback Whales visit the area to breed.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Relax in the Celestun Biosphere

Friday, April 28th, 2017
Garza-tigre, Celestun Biosphere Reserve

Garza-tigre, Celestun Biosphere Reserve

Ever wonder about that point where the sun meets the sea on the horizon? Some people don’t have to wonder. They go there. It’s a place called The Celestun Biosphere Reserve in the Yucatan, Mexico. It’s a place where sun and sea fuse into a meld of rare and beautiful flora and fauna, mouth watering food and ultimate relaxation.

To take in the Celestun Biosphere Reserve, book a stay at the Hotel Eco Paraiso, a place that caters to eco-conscience living, rediscovering your inner self and a high quality and simplicity in its services.

Stay in and take a yoga class or experience what Hotel Eco Paraiso considers it’s avant-garde approach to personalized service, those simple touches like a heart made of shells in the inner garden of your bungalow or your name outlined in the sand on the beach outside your room.

Choose to explore and you’ll find some of the most spectacular wildlife. Celestun Biosphere Reserve is known for it’s flamingos but you’ll also find some of the rarest species of animals like the Bare-Throated Tiger Heron, with plumage which resembles the color and streaks of tigers. The pattern helps conceal the heron in the mangrove forests that are abundant in the Yucatan. But you’ll also see other rare birds like the Yucatan Wren, the Yucatan Bobwhite, the Black Catbird, and the Boat-billed Heron to name just a few.

You can also feel good about staying at The Hotel Eco Paraiso knowing it is considered a pioneer in the area of sustainable tourism because of it’s ecological methods of running its operation like solid and liquid separation, re-usage of water using biological filters and employing composting and organic gardening practices.

Find your inner self at Hotel Eco Paraiso on the Celestun Biosphere Reserve. Visit their website to get started.

Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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