Loma Isabel de Torres, Puerto Plata


Basic Statistics

  • Trail difficulty: 1-2
  • Reserve hours: 8:00 AM – 3:30 PM
  • Entrance fee: RD$200 for the cable car ride

Site Description

Loma Isabel de Torres is another of the Dominican Republic’s national parks. At 793 m above sea level, the park is reached by the only aerial tramway in the Caribbean. The top of the mountain features a botanical garden and a replica of the famous Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The park protects a 2,330 ha segment of mid-elevation forest habitat, and easily accessible trails offer outstanding views of the city and the coastline below. Trails are also maintained that lead up or down the mountain so longer walks are possible for the birder who would like to explore the landscape further.

Though this is one of the country’s smallest national parks, it’s also one of the most visited since it’s so close to some of these main north coast resort areas. Visitors looking for a spectacular view should arrive early as later in the day clouds frequently build up and obscure the view.

Access

Leave Santo Domingo on the Autopista Duarte, the main road to the north. After passing through Santiago and Navarette, the turn for Puerto Plata is well marked at a major intersection. After crossing the coastal range, take the main road east into the city of Puerto Plata. Look for the entrance to the cable car (teleférico) on the right. From elsewhere the entrance is at the western end of town off of the Circunvalación Sur. This is reached by taking the left-hand fork at the large rotunda on the east side of Puerto Plata, then following the Circunvalación Sur through town. Look for a commercial style billboard (not a green and white highway sign) on the south side of the road directing you to the teleférico. The well signed entrance road leads to a large parking area and ticket office. The cable car leaves frequently and will take you to the top where there are restrooms and a small restaurant.

Target Species

Plain Pigeon, Hispaniolan Parrot, Hispaniolan Lizard- Cuckoo, Antillean Nighthawk, Antillean Palm- Swift, Antillean Mango, Vervain Hummingbird, Broad- billed Tody, Hispaniolan Woodpecker, Black- whiskered Vireo, Palmchat, Bananaquit, Black- crowned Palm- Tanager

Birding Areas

The most popular way to the top is by cable car (teleférico), though steep hiking trails are also available. At the summit the trails are flat and it is easy to walk around and explore the botanical gardens and birds.

Visitors choosing to walk longer and explore the area in more depth can hike up the mountain, a strenuous climb that can be done solo or with a tour guide. For solo hikers, there is a trail which follows under the cable car lines to the midway tower where it turns right to follow the ridgeline to the top. This route may take 2-3 hours.


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Catch up on past issues of Caribbean Birdwatch, a feature in Liat's Zing magazine that highlights the region's birding hotspots.

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