From Santo Domingo we follow the southern cost to Barahona where we will see some of of the hot spots of this region. We will visit el Balneario San Rafael/Villa Miriam and los Patos de Barahona, passing the Parque Eólico los Cocos on our way, spend one night in Pedernales and go to the famous Bahia de las Aguilas in Jaragua National Park with the sunrise, and finish off in la Mina de Larimar.
Barahona, also known as Santa Cruz de Barahona, is the main city of the Barahona Province, a three hours drive from Santo Domingo in the southwest of the Dominican Republic. The deep southwest of the Dominican Republic, dubbed “El Sur Profundo,” is geographically far from the country’s primary tourist destinations – but those who get closer will find that remoteness has its perks: the most biodiverse reserve and parks in the country, multiple surfing beaches, fresh water cascades turned natural recreational swimming pools and plantations producing some of the country’s finest coffee. Barahona is also known for being the only place where the rare larimar stone can be found, so it’s no wonder this region has also earned the nickname “Pearl of the South” or “La Perla del Sur”.
Before its discovery by Europeans, the area belonged to the Native Taino chiefdom of Jaragua, ruled by Bohechío. The current name of the province and city is derived from the surname of the first Spaniards who came to the area, some of these Spaniards were also from the town of Baraona in Spain and named it in honor of their town of origin. The Spaniards spread throughout the territory and designated places with their names. Francisco de Barahona, Gabriel Barahona, Luis de Barahona and Juan de Barahona arrived on the first and second voyages of Christopher Columbus in the 1490s.
Between 1916 and 1924, the American presence in the province influenced the planting of cane and the construction of the hacienda, making it the centre of sugar production in the DR. Barahona has since then developed a diversified economy that combines agriculture, mining and tourism, with an industrial port, an airport and a free zone dedicated to textile production.
The region is known for its production of cane, green plantains, coffee, fruits and vegetables. The main product in the municipality is a very good coffee ("Barahona Type Coffee"), grown in the mountains of Eastern Bahoruco. In livestock, the fattening of cattle and goats for meat, sale of leather and the growing milk production predominate, in mining the extraction of larimar, marble, plaster, alabaster, mineral salt and construction materials, are also among the main activities of Barahona.