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Biking and Hiking
Cabarete, backed by forested mountains, is the perfect starting point for outdoor adventures. You can have a spectacular mountain-biking adventure for a half or full day through the interior of the Dominican Republic. A 3,000-foot downhill ride on winding mountain roads can be great fun for all levels of athletes. A guided ride that includes a support vehicle makes the trip safer, and may help to alleviate the anxiety of the less experienced biker. Things look different from atop a bicycle seat; it's an exhilarating way to get into the heart of the country and learn about Dominican culture and vegetation, biking through Dominican villages, refreshing yourself with tropical fruits, and taking an invigorating swim in the Jamao River.
Hiking is another way to get in touch with the Dominican countryside. You can explore one of the newest national parks in the country, El Choco, an incredible 77 square mi of jungle, lagoons, caves, forests, and open backcountry outside Cabarete.
The more adventurous might want to make the cascade hike to the 27 Waterfalls of Damajagua, although this nontechnical climb is quite physically demanding, and you must be able to swim. You'll face a labyrinth of tunnels, caves, and natural pools. Watersliding and jumping down rock formations can be challenging, but will give you a sense of pride when it's over.
Iguana Mama. Iguana Mama's offerings include mountain bike tours that will take you along the coastal flats or test your mettle on steep climbs in the mountains. Downhill bike rides—which include a taxi up to the foothills, breakfast, and lunch—cost $99 for a full-day trip, $70 for a half-day trip without lunch. Advanced rides, on and off road, are $55 to $95.
Other half- and full-day trips—which range in price from $89 to $195—include hiking, swimming, climbing up and jumping off various waterfalls, rapelling, and natural waterslides. Guided day hikes cost $35 to $75; a three-day hike to the Caribbean's tallest peak, Pico Duarte in Jarabacoa, is $450. This well-established, safety-oriented company also offers horseback riding on the beach of Cabarete and in the countryside (from $45 for two hours), white-water rafting, ecotours, and lots of other adventure sports. Calle Principal 74, Cabarete, 57000. 809/571-0908, 809/571-0228, or 809/654-2325. www.iguanamama.com.
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