Valle Nuevo and the Pyramid, a delight for the senses

Valle Nuevo Park, in Constanza, La Vega province, has a special charm for those who visit it. It has something magical that connects people with nature and the mysticism of La Pirámide monument, the main point of attraction.

That sensation begins in its journey, with elements such as the exuberant landscape (full of pine forests and other plants), the majestic mountains with their combination of different shades of green, and the vegetable and fruit plantations on the sidewalks of the road leading to the area.

The Juan Bautista Perez Rancier National Park, its real name, protected area and where the Pyramid is located, has an altitude of 2,250 meters and has become a very visited area by Dominicans and foreigners, especially since winter arrives, due to the drop in temperature it experiences, even reaching several degrees below zero, on some occasions.

This happened recently on January 24, 2024, when it was at -10 degrees Celsius, the lowest in two decades.

The reduction of the temperature is one of the attractions for visitors, who come to the place to feel the cold, which allows them to wear winter clothes, something unusual in a tropical country like the RD.

In fact, wearing coats, boots, scarves and gloves is part of the experience of visiting Valle Nuevo.

The place and the experience

Constanza is located 141.2 kilometers from Santo Domingo. The distance from the town to Valle Nuevo is 44.7 kilometers along the Antonio Duvergé highway, which connects the towns of San José de Ocoa and Constanza. The approximate time to get there is 1 hour and 44 minutes.

Pirámide Valle NuevoAlthough there are other routes, the park is usually reached by the Constanza, Jarabacoa and San José de Ocoa roads. These roads are in perfect condition, but the route to Valle Nuevo requires vehicles with traction because it is not paved and has some holes and slopes.

Hikers arrive in vehicles, groups of cyclists and others hiking. People also arrive in motors, although in smaller numbers.

You can stay for more than a day in tents for a more extreme experience, but you must have a permit from the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and observe the rules established to protect the area.

Arriving to the area is not so difficult, just a little uncomfortable because the road is not in good condition at some points, but once you are there, the charm of the park makes you forget the small difficulties experienced on the way and you immediately connect with an environment that is totally natural.

In addition, the delight of looking at the landscape does not allow to perceive the discomfort.

Breathing the pure and cold air of the area revitalizes hikers who open their arms to feel it more intensely.

Going early in the morning is the most advisable to be able to enjoy the fog that is usually present at that time and the frost that falls on the plants from the early morning. Wearing warm clothes is very important, especially if you are camping, since temperatures drop a lot in the early morning.

You should also bring food, because there are no stores in the area.

Those who like to do rally-type adventure tourism or simply drive around in 4×4 vehicles use this route to cross or descend to the town of Constanza and continue on to Jarabacoa, La Vega province.

Low temperatures

The drop in temperature, which usually oscillates between 5, 7 and 11 degrees in the early morning hours, causes the smallest plants to be covered in frost and a dense fog in the early hours of the morning.

This allows you to enjoy the cold weather, which has become a reason to visit this tourist destination.

In the area there is a large house that houses the Scientific Research Center of the Ministry of Environment and other smaller houses.

The main house is home to four guards who are in charge of taking care of the area. They live there and rotate every week.

This house is behind the pyramid and a 15 minute walk away there is a small stream, whose waters sometimes freeze.

Hot tea on the way

On the way to Valle Nuevo, there are several shops selling hot tea. Drinking the beverage in the middle of the fog in the early hours of the day is like a tradition of visitors. It also comforts and warms the body.

The tea is usually genribre, chamomile, canelilla or a combination of the last two spices. A plastic cup costs DR$10. They also sell coffee and cookies. The sale of strawberries is also common along the route.

It is normal to see vehicles stopped at these tarantines selling the hot drink. It is also common to see people warming their hands with air puffs, then put on their coats and scarves and watch the horizon with admiration.

Origin of the Pyramid The monument, whose name is Pyramid Cyclopean, consists of four structures (quadrisected) made of stone blocks in the form of cones.

The Pyramid was built by the architect and engineer Julio Hernandez Santelises. The structure forms inside a cross and its dimensions are the same in all its parts.

It is said that it was sculpted by Spanish artisans as a token of gratitude for the completion of the construction of the San José de Ocoa-Constanza highway in 1958, the year of its inauguration, according to historian Constancio Cassá in his book Valle Nuevo: El parque Juan B Pérez Rancier y su Altiplano.

Details of Valle Nuevo

Valle Nuevo Park was declared a scientific reserve in 1983 and a National Park in 1996. It is open 24 hours a day.

It is of great importance for the country because it is the source of dozens of rivers, among the most important are Nizao, Yuna, Blanco, Ocoa, Las Cuevas, Rio Grande, Tireo and Constanza.

In the park region, 66 species of birds, 48 species of butterflies, 29 species of reptiles and 17 species of amphibians have been reported.

“Among the mammals, the presence of the hutia (Plagiodontia aedium) and the solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus), two species considered threatened with extinction, stand out.

In terms of flora, the communities related to the park make use of 157 species of flora; 31 edible, 111 medicinal, 20 ornamental, 13 for construction, seven for lena, six for aromatic plants, and two for woodworking.

Rules for being in the park

No smoking
The use of weapons of any kind is not allowed.
No littering
No feeding animals
No painting rocks, plants or structures
Walk carefully
Respect the guides and park rangers
Do not remove plants
Do not take animals
Do not make noise

Source: Mitur.gob.do

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