Mount Isabel de Torres
If you’re up for a scenic adventure, you might consider taking a day trip out of Cabarete to hike up Mount Isabel de Torres!
The mountain stands at 793m (2,600ft) above sea level in a national park just southwest of Puerto Plata, which is less than 30 minutes’ drive west of Cabarete. While most people only go straight to the top, the whole area is a beautiful protected nature reserve and worth a look around.
Not up for a sweaty hike? It’s all good, you can jump on the only cable car in the Caribbean and ride all the way to the mountain top.
The views from the top are stunning. The unspoiled Dominican greenery, the city of Puerto Plata, tropical beaches, the ocean, a giant statue of Christ the Redeemer. Some pretty botanical gardens, too.
Keep your eyes pealed for hidden treasures up on the mountain. There are many obscured caves, with streams and natural springs that flow through the mountain. Bright tropical flowers grow wild and there are plenty of species to spot from the thriving animal life. Go on, explore!
There are some homely Dominican restaurants around the area, so don’t worry about making a proper trip of it.
History Lesson on the Mount
The open-armed Christ the Redeemer statue was mounted on an old dome-shaped fortress in 1970.
The fortress had been built to defend the city against intruders, as an early alert for potential threats. It was designed to blend into the mountain: its domed roof would be covered in grass to camouflage the fortress, and make it look like a plain old hill.
It didn’t all go according to plan for President Trujillo, though, as the lookout didn’t really work. Frequent cloud and fog in the region meant that visibility was low, taking the ‘look’ out of ‘lookout’. The fortress was soon out of action.
It was a brainwave from architect Cristian Martínez to turn the failed defense project into a tourist attraction with a cable car ride. The panoramic views from the top could still be appreciated, if not for military strategic purposes. Construction began in 1972 under President Joaquin Balaguer.
The cable car structure was finished in 1974, and opened in July 1975 after several months of test runs. It was a pretty big deal as a Caribbean nation had never embarked on such a project before.
The cable car, ‘El Telerifico’ in Spanish, is thus a major point of national pride for the Dominican Republic.
The botanical gardens were developed in 1973 by a engineer called Benjamín Paewonsky.
Exploring the area
Cabarete has so much to offer, it sometimes feels like you could be entertained here forever. With the watersports, beaches and lively, rum-fuelled party spirit, you probably could.
But, taking a day trip to explore a little wider can give you a fuller insight into Dominican life and the variety of natural beauty on the island.
Talk to our friendly concierge staff at eXtreme. They have all the local knowledge to help you with arrangements for your day out of town.