Sánchez Ramírez is a province of the Dominican Republic rarely visited by travelers. However, it is a particularly interesting region, especially around the town of Cotuí. In addition, it is full of hills, making it a perfect place for hikers. If you enjoy this activity, check out our post about the best places for hiking.
Why visit the Sánchez Ramírez province?
Although at first glance, this region located in the center of the country does not necessarily seem of great tourist interest, let us tell you that these beliefs are very limited, and that it really deserves to be explored with family, friends or with your favorite person.
In fact, Sánchez Ramírez is a direct extension of the great Cibao valley, crossed by the Yuna river, in the valley of the same name. In addition, it has a succession of hills from 400 to 600 meters above sea level.
During your tour, you will feel surrounded by impressive mountains and caverns. But, more than a feeling of grandeur, travelers come to feel welcomed by nature, noticing a deep and spiritual connection with the beauty that surrounds them.
And it is that, if something attracts the attention of this province of the Dominican Republic, it is its ability to involve visitors, inviting them to enjoy the beautiful landscapes, or simply go on an adventure in one of its tourist attractions such as the Ferri from the Hatillo Dam, the hill of El Diviso, and caverns such as the Hoyo de Sanabe.
In addition to its wonders and natural monuments, Sánchez Ramírez is the scene of many cultural events, including the carnival marked by troupes such as the Platanuses and the Papeluses. In fact, its name alludes to the materials used in its costumes: dried banana shells and sheets of paper.
On the other hand, its residents are cheerful but simple people, who stand out for offering the greatest hospitality to tourists. In addition, this region is quite fertile, thanks to the fact that its lands are bathed by the waters of the Yuna River. Without a doubt, it is a very interesting tourist paradise to visit during your trip to the Caribbean country.
Top 7: What to do in the Sánchez Ramírez province?
If you are thinking of embarking on an adventure full of emotions and connections with nature, and also want to discover one of the richest areas in natural monuments in the Dominican Republic, do not miss the list of the best things to do in Sánchez Ramírez that we have prepared for you.
- Explore the town of Cotui
A trip through the province of Sánchez Ramírez would be incomplete if you do not include the town of Cotuí, the mining capital of the Sánchez Ramírez province, in the Dominican Republic. This charming town is located next to the impressive Sierra de Yamasá.
Its name comes from the old “Cotuy” or “Cotoy”, the name that the Tainos gave to the region that surrounds the town now called Pueblo Viejo, near Maimon. It is also said that they gave it this name in honor of the native Cotoy, who then ruled the region before the arrival of the Spanish.
This city is home to at least 80,000 inhabitants, and was founded in 1505, making it one of the oldest in the country. During the middle of the 16th century, the Jerónimos monks transformed the area into a mining center, taking the name of La Mejorada de Cotuí, also known as Los Mineros.
It was in 1533 that Cotuí obtained the category of town and was renamed La Mejorada Villa de Cotuí. In addition, after the earthquake of 1562, the town was moved to its current location, to the north of the Sierra de Yamasá, as it came to destroy many of the towns.
As a mining center, the region is known for its mines of iron, gold, marble, nickel, silver, and more. Currently, it continues to be a mineral exploitation zone, run by the Barrick Gold company, which exploits its deposits of nickel, Bauxite, silver and gold.
In the field of culture and tourism, Cotuí offers many really interesting places to visit that are well worth visiting, such as: the Church of the Immaculate Conception, the Hatillo Dam, the Guácaras Taínas or Sierra Prieta, of which we will give you more details later.
In addition, the Immaculate Conception Church is one of the most interesting buildings, and one of the greatest and oldest architectural beauty in the town of Cotuí, as well as being a fundamental place for residents and religious events in the town.
- Get to know the Guácaras Taínas, the most important caves in the country
The Guácaras Taínas are made up of 20 absolutely impressive caverns, located in the province of Sánchez Ramírez.
Although there are many caves in the Dominican Republic, only a few have archaeological and historical importance as strong as these, since numerous Taino images and petroglyphs dating back hundreds of years have been found inside, having incalculable archaeological value.
In addition to great cultural and historical value, the caves offer a unique beauty. Among the most popular and attractive for tourists, we have the Guácara del Comedero cave, Guácara del Lago and Hoyo de Sanabe.
The Guácara del Comedero cavern is located about 20 minutes from Comedero de Arriba, only if you walk. It is really worth taking the tour, because you will be part of a series of hieroglyphics marked on the rocky walls.
In addition, this cave has another peculiarity inside: it has labyrinth-shaped crossroads, which seem to be related to the months of the Taino calendar, according to the scientists who have worked to decipher them.
Another of the most famous caverns is Hoyo de Sanabe, which we find at the crossroads of the Hatillo dam and following a mountain path. In it, human remains of children between 12 and 14 years old have been found, for which it is believed that it was used for sacrifice in religious rituals of young people of these ages.
As for the Guácara del Lago cavern, also known as the Cueva de las Golondrinas, it is a natural monument located in the Hatillo Dam, which can only be reached by canoe. Likewise, we find many petroglyphs on its interior walls.
- Visit the Hatillo Dam and get to know the largest freshwater lake in the Caribbean
The Hatillo Dam is located in the town of the same name. It is a hydraulic dam supplied by the Yuna River, and other tributaries, such as the Camú and Jima rivers, as well as other streams, such as the Blanco, Hato Viejo, Yuboa, Masipedro, and Las Avispas rivers, just 6 km to the southwest. from the town of Cotuí.
It was built in 1984, and is currently an important source of income for the area, especially for fishermen. Upon arrival, you will see a retaining wall 1.8 km long, and a beautiful panoramic view of the dam.
It is worth traveling those few kilometers to get to see the Hatillo Dam, as it also has the largest freshwater lake in the Caribbean. And it is that, despite the fact that it is a sparsely inhabited area, its construction was the result of the community effort of its residents.
The dam has a capacity of 710 million cubic meters, an area of 22 km2 and a maximum length of 15 km, making it the largest freshwater lake in the Caribbean. In it, we find a great variety of fish species, from catfish, frogfish, to Baku.
In addition, its surroundings have other attractions, such as restaurants, and green areas to watch the sunset and a pleasant panoramic view of Sánchez Ramírez, have a picnic, and spend quality time and rest among the locals, who have a great appreciation for this space.
- Go on an excursion in the Sierra Prieta
The Sierra Prieta is a set of large mountains, which can reach 300 meters above sea level. It usually receives hundreds of tourists and hikers who are passionate about the world of extreme sports, to practice everything from hiking to mountain biking.
In addition, its landscapes are a real delight for those who dare to climb its steep mountains. Also, it houses a wall thousands of years old, where you can discover numerous existing petroglyphs from before the arrival of the European colonizers.
- Take a walk through Villa La Mata
Another of the places to visit in the Sánchez Ramírez province is the municipality of Villa La Mata. It is a very young community, which began to populate with Dominicans from a small place on the highway, between the communities of La Vega and Cotuí. Its name is due to the mango tree, used by the inhabitants to tie up their goats.
Later, in the 20th century, this population had a great economic boost, through its large production of rice, thanks to the incorporation of irrigation channels. As a consequence, its inhabitants began to receive many migrants in search of growth opportunities.
Getting to know this community is a source of inspiration and a real pleasure, since you will be able to explore its green fields, and take part in its numerous economic activities, from agriculture to livestock.
In addition, you will find many cocoa, citrus and tobacco plantations, national products in great international demand. Likewise, the production of milk and meat are other of the main economic sources of the residents. Some of them offer guided tours and cocoa tours to learn about the production process and enjoy this rich delicacy.
- Take an excursion with Ferri de Cotuí
We cannot stop talking about the Ferri de Hatillo. It is an excursion service for those who want to know the Artificial Lake of the Hatillo Dam. It is one of the most exciting and enriching things to do in this province, and it usually attracts many tourists who venture to discover this area of the Dominican Republic.
In fact, they have been offering this excursion service to national and international travelers for more than 18 years. Within the service, visitors will be able to enjoy excellent typical food of the region, drinks, music, games of dominoes and other entertainment, so that the entire trip is very pleasant and pleasant.
The tour lasts one hour, and in this type, hikers will be able to see the largest island that houses the lake. During the exploration, you will be able to observe many endemic and migratory birds, and impressive landscapes in a virgin state. On the other hand, if you want to do your own fishing, you can bring your own tools, like a rod!
The excursion service is available 365 days a year, and at any time of the day. However, most travelers take advantage of 1 in the afternoon to enjoy the sunset. When groups of at least 10 people sign up, the team is in charge of preparing a rich buffet.
- The Diviso Hill
To finish this list of the best things to do in the province of Sánchez Ramírez, you cannot miss the Loma del Diviso, which is a perfect place to live an authentic and exciting adventure. It is located about 500 meters above sea level in the Hernando Alonzo community of the municipality of Villa La Mata.
To get to La Loma, you must go through the municipality of Fantino, then to Comedero Arriba, until you reach the community of Hernando Alonzo. It is here where we find the mountainous group. The route is easy to follow, and, in addition, when you reach the top, you will be able to enjoy a great view of the town, Cotuí and San Francisco de Macorís.
During your visit, you cannot miss the crops of cocoa, coffee and other national products so appreciated in other parts of the world. In addition, it is a great opportunity to try authentic and unique flavors of the Caribbean, such as a rich and steaming coffee.
As we can see, the province of Sánchez Ramírez offers a different experience for travelers. Away from the fun and crystalline waters offered by the beaches of this Caribbean country, it offers an enveloping beauty for adventurous spirits seeking a bit of relaxation amid calm, melodious waters and stunning landscapes.
In addition, good food is the order of the day, as is the connection with its enthusiastic and hospitable inhabitants. If you have some time in your travel itinerary, be sure to take advantage of the opportunity to get to know this wonderful province!