Pico Duarte Trip Report (#8254)
- Signed By: Dave Wilhelm
- Date submitted: August 26, 2002
We spent a number of years cruising the Caribbean on our 45' ketch. Since we enjoy hiking and have bagged a number of high points throughout the world, we of course had to climb Pico Duarte, the highest point in the Caribbean.
We were anchored in Luperon and persuaded 6 other fellow cruisers (from 4 other boats) to join us. We hired a gua-gua (minibus taxi) to take us the approximately 100 mile journey up to the trail head at the park headquarters. We spent the night there and set out the next morning. Did the usual trek - Day 1 up to the mountain camp, Day 2 to the summit and back to the mountain camp, Day 3 back down to the park headquarters. We again spent the night there, then the following morning the taxi driver picked us up and we returned to Luperon. A wonderful 5 day trip.
We had great weather and a wonderful view from the summit. We are avid birders and added a number of new birds to our life list during the trek including hummingbirds, todies (which look like hummingbirds on steroids), tanagers, and elaenias.
It was quite wonderful to go from palm trees and tropical humidity along the coast up to cool, crisp nights and pine trees in the Cordillera Central. During the trip up and back, it is easy to see and appreciate the vertical zonation of flora and fauna.
A word of caution: the mountain camp is overrun with rats. Most of our group pitched tents (or created some kind of enclosure) inside the building so they or their food wouldn't be bothered at night. However, with the noise of all of the rats running around it was nearly impossible to sleep.