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Rancho Baiguate

Pinar Dorado, Jarabacoa 41000, Dominican Republic

Stay and White Water Raft in the Foothills of Pico Duarte

This was my favorite part of a 10-day vacation during hurricane season in the Dominican Republic. My friend and I stayed at Rancho Baiguate, a full-service eco-adventure travel outfit in the foothills of Pico Duarte. We took full advantage of its rustic amenities and made it our home base for activities including white water rafting, hiking to waterfalls, and horseback riding to name a few.

While September may not be the best time to visit, we were lucky that our white water rafting tour did not get flooded (especially since a "mild" storm came in that night). The tour included travelers coming from the touristy beach towns of Punta Cana and Cabarete.

Our horse back ride was...bruise-causing.... Our young guides seemed slightly more interested in quickly getting the ride over with and when I couldn't get my steed to speed up, we were told to keep up or we'd have to turn around. Needless to say, once my horse got the picture, there were a few times when we were trotting or galloping, I'm not sure which, my behind was slapping against the seat against my will and I was worried I might fall into the river next to us.

Back at the Rancho, the food was simple but, good and plentiful. And, during our limited downtime, we could wander the grounds admiring the amazing flower and bird arrays.