Los Haitises National Park is a national park located on the remote northeast coast of the Dominican Republic that was established in 1976. It consists of a limestone karst plateau with conical hills, sinkholes and caverns, and there is a large area of mangrove forest on the coast. Other parts of the park are clad in subtropical humid forest and the area has an annual precipitation of about 2,000 mm (79 in). The park contains a number of different habitats and consequently has a great diversity of mammals and birds, including some rare species endemic to the island. Some of the caverns contain pictograms and petroglyphs. The park has become a popular ecotourism destination but the number of tourists allowed to visit is limited.
The fauna of Los Haitises is of great variety, and due to the park’s diversity of physical geographic zones, it has the greatest diversity of fauna among the protected natural areas in the country. Two endemic mammal species, the Hispaniolan hutia (Plagiodontia aedium) and the Hispaniolan solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus), are threatened with extinction.
Being a coastal and marine park, it contains a large variety of birds, including most of the species endemic to the country. These include the brown pelican or alcatraz, magnificent frigatebird, Hispaniolan amazon, barn owl, and stygian owl. Some of the bird species found in Los Haitises are not found elsewhere within the Dominican Republic.
Garza nocturna (Nycticorax nycticorax)
Los Haitises National Park is a protected virgin forest with little road access. The number of tourists allowed is limited, but since 2000 it has been a relatively popular destination for ecotourism using ecological guides from Sabana de La Mar. Haiti (singular) means highland or mountain range in the Taíno language, although the elevation of the park’s hills ranges from 30–40 m (98–131 ft). There is a multitude of caverns created by water erosion.
Most visitors arrive by sea, however, it is possible to arrive by land from the south using four wheel drive vehicles.