Located two hours away (*by car) from both the southern and northern coasts, La Vega is not typically what a visitor to the Dominican Republic would be expecting from a locale that is commonly associated with scenery of a more tropical nature. Pine groves abound, a lovely, lush green comprises the scenery - a definite change from the white sand beaches and blue waters at either of the coasts. La Vega is commonly referred to by locals as "Olympic city" due to the large number of athletes who call the area home.
During the month of February, the La Vega citizens celebrate Carnival in La Vega, a colorful festival that features the "diablos cojuelos", or "mischievous devils" - performers in large, ornate masks representing dragons, demons and other animals.
The two most notable townships in the central region are Constanza and Jarabacoa; both are recognized for their adventure and eco-tourism and as such are very popular destinations for those seeking something outside of the usual tourist type of activities - if you want to go mountain biking, canyoning, horseback riding, etc., look no further.
Constanza is a scenic village whose general landscape is more akin to Switzerland than the Dominican Republic. Pine trees dot the landscape; summer cabins and boutique hotels provide accommodation for visitors and colorful fruits, vegetables and flowers line the valley. Four thousand feet above sea level and nearly 20 miles across, Constanza is a hidden paradise in a region already considered by many to be paradise itself. Do not miss any opportunity you are afforded to try the local cuisine as it is at once unique, exotic, strangely familiar and thoroughly satisfying.
Often regarded as the birthplace of Dominican ecotourism, Jarabacoa is home to three rivers (*Jimenoa, Baiguate, Yaque Del Norte) and plenty of adventure! Tubing and rafting are available for those who love the water; for even greater thrills, try rappelling down the bi-level rapids. If the notion of white water adventure leaves you cold, try horseback tours through the pine forest or mountain biking instead. Jarabacoa is also the entry way to the central Cordillera, a range of peaks so tall (*two miles above sea level) they are often referred to as the "Dominican Alps".
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