In 1956, the deforestation across the border in Haiti was already bad enough to compel the Dominican government to create this 766 sq km national park, in an attempt to stop something similar from happening to the forests here. The park is a riot of biodiversity: old growth trees, many endemic to the island, include Hispaniolan pine, ebony, Pale Magnolia and mahogany. Fauna also abound, including wild hogs, butterflies and enough warblers to make birdwatchers drool.
Most people who climb Pico Duarte set off from trailheads in this park. Pay the entrance fee at the ranger station in La Ciénaga de Manabao.