The other day I decided to join our hotel guest, Rayno on an amazing 44km mountain biking tour through the El Choco National park. This tour was offered by Iguana Mama – a tour operator that I use to book all adventure tours for guests at Extreme Hotel.
At 8am, we made our way to Iguana Mama where we met our tour guide Alejandro. As I sat drinking my coffee I watched him set up our primo mountain bikes. Checking our breaks, tires, gears, I felt reassured that both my guide and my bike were going to get me around the mountain in one piece.
El Choco National Park:
We started by riding a few kilometers towards Sosua to the entrance of the Park. The first part of the ride was fairly easy and nice. We passed some pastures and local Dominican farmers. As we got higher into the hills, we rode through an amazing area that was full of mansions and ranches. Perfectly manicured lawns and gardens with spectacular views, this is where the upper class lives.
Finally Alejandro prepped us for the trek – he gave us a brief rundown of what to expect for hills: Big, short, steep, long, hard, challenging. Slow and steady is what I’m thinking. They weren’t lying when they said that this was a challenging tour – I definitely had to dig deep sometimes and go to my happy place, but Alejandro always made a point to let us have breaks when we needed to catch our breath and also appreciate the amazing views.
Standing on top of the El Choco mountain range, we could see from Cabarete to Nagua. Peppered with smaller bays, you can get a good lay of the coast and an appreciation for the diversity of the terrain. We could view all the peaks and valleys, grassy plains and thick jungles around us.
When we finally started descending the hills, we rode through some smaller villages. Surrounded by wonderful communities. We said “hola” to kids playing and women hanging laundry. It was a special glimpse into these peaceful community lives.
When the three of us eventually made it out of the El Choco National Park, we were near the Yassica river 15km east of Caberete. By that time my arms felt numb from all the bouncing down the mountain and cruising on the road was a nice change. About half way back we stopped for some fresh coconut water before the final leg back to Cabarete.
This was truly an awesome trip! It took us three and half hours and that was said to be a good time. We were all fairly fit people so I only recommend this trip to those that are used to feeling the burn in your thighs and enjoying it. If you want a similar experience, but would prefer a more relaxed tour, Iguana Mama offers other tours that are more leg friendly.
My recommendation: if you want to take some time away from the beach and check out what else Cabarete has to offer, do a bike ride! It’s a fantastic way to get in some culture and adventure, and see what gems are hiding inland.
Until next time!