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GuanAventuras
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Writer01 wrote a review Mar. 2016
Washington DC, District of Columbia28 contributions6 helpful votes
I spent four to five days with Guanaventuras - a local cooperative based in beautiful La Cienaga, in Barahona province. They offer affordable tours–in areas they know super well because the guides grew up in this region, including the well known sites (larimar mines, caves, etc). They also offer homestays (with a room and en suite bath), and take you into their community. There's no better way to immerse! Please consider booking tours with them first –it's affordable, fun and your dollars go directly to support the cooperative and help the community remain sustainable!
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Date of experience: October 2015
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Kikimaniek wrote a review May 2013
Aruba75 contributions38 helpful votes
Me and my husband booked a tour with them to Cueva de la Virgen. This is a cave in the middle of the jungle. we got there on the back of a motorcycle, a drive through the jungle. This was great already, what an experience. From the starting point of the tour you walk through the jungle, where Aurelio (our guide) showed us all kinds of plants and birds and picked up fruit which we could eat. How about eating fresh fruit from the jungle?? The walk was great and the cave also. We stood in the waterfall in the cave, which was very special. Aurelio told us the stories of the caves and why it is called the cave of the virgin. All in all a great experience. Back at the office we also bought some selfmade marmelade, made with banana and passionfruit: recommended also! you can also buy earrings/necklaces made out of wood etc. they looked really nice, we didn't bought any though. We booked here because we stayed in Los Patos and all other tours start from Barahona. It was also a lot cheaper than the tours starting in Barahona, which is also great ofcourse. And you support the local community buy doing the tours here!
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Date of experience: July 2012
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amycarol111 wrote a review Jul. 2011
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic6 contributions18 helpful votes
GuanAventuras is located in La Cienaga west of Barahona. It is a cooperative run by Dominican men and women who share the proceeds. The prices were very affordable, especially compared to the other tour company in the area. Our family did two tours with GuanAventuras in June. The first was a hike to la Cueva de la Virgen -- about a 3 hour round trip which included a hike through dense tropical forest (shady and no mosquitos!). Our guide, Aurelio, pointed out Barancoli birds and tropical plants to us. About half of the hike was in the water, including some climbs up short, rushing waterfalls. My boys, ages 8 & 11, didn't have any problems with the hike. We ended at a waterfall in a cave where we could swim in the cool, refreshing water. This part involved one difficult climb up a five-foot waterfall, but the guide helped push me & the kids up! It was so beautiful and peaceful. After the hike we had a delicious Dominican meal prepared by some of the women in the coop. We also bought handmade jewelry and tropical fruit jelly from them. Two days later we went on the Larimar Mine tour. This was an incredible experience seeing the world's only larimar mine in action. The guides drove us in their 4x4 truck up a treacherous road. At the top we were able to walk around the mine premises and watch as the workers used buckets and pulleys to remove rock from the mine. This is not a touristy site at all - it felt like we were back in time to the gold rushes in the US, as the miners were covered in dirt and dust, and had constructed tin shacks around the holes into the mine. Apparently the EU is building a very modern tunnel and facilities that will probably change the look of the mine forever in the future. The guide gave us a lot of insight into how the miners work and their lives. We were able to purchase raw larimar rock from some of the miners. (Larimar is a blue stone unique to the DR and used in jewelry.) The guides speak Spanish and a little bit of English. It may be difficult if you don't speak any Spanish, particularly for the mine tour. They also offer other tours in the area, such as Bahia de Las Aguilas. I highly recommend these tours and love that they benefit the local community.
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Date of experience: June 2011
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