Loma Guaconejo is managed by the Secretary of the Environment and Natural Resources and the Society for the Integral Development of the Northeast (SODIN). Visitors will find an appealing walk in humid broadleaf and riparian forests. Birdwatchers may hope to see a variety of forest birds, including Hispaniolan Emerald, Hispaniolan Trogon, Antillean Piculet, and Hispaniolan Spindalis. Between November and May, there is also a significant population of the Bicknell’s Thrush. Other Neotropical migratory birds also winter here, including Black-throated Blue Warbler, Ovenbird, Worm-eating Warbler, and Louisiana Waterthrush along the rivers.
The shortest trail at Loma Guaconejo is the entrance trail to the Cuesta Colorada Ecotourism and Environmental Capacity Centre. Here one follows the Río Helechal through a variety of early successional and forested habitats. More interesting would be to take one of several longer hikes into the heart of the scientific reserve, including one that leaves from a newly-constructed park guard outpost, or caseta, above the town of La Paloma. This must be accessed via a locked gate through permission from SODIN. The trail passes through good secondary forest and primary forest in the Reserve’s core.
- Address: SODIN has their office in Nagua at Calle Colón 92
- Telephone: 809-584-2747
- E-mail: [email protected]
Scaly-naped Pigeon, Ruddy Quail- Dove, Hispaniolan Parakeet, Hispaniolan Parrot, Hispaniolan Nightjar, Hispaniolan Emerald, Hispaniolan Trogon, Antillean Piculet, Hispaniolan Pewee, Rufous- throated Solitaire, Bicknell’s Thrush, Worm- eating Warbler, Louisiana Waterthrush, Hispaniolan Spindalis
Loma Guaconejo is easily reached from Samaná by driving west on the main coastal highway, the C-5. From Santo Domingo the C-5 is reached via a new toll road. From Santo Domingo, head east towards Las Americas International Airport. Before arriving at the airport, look for a turnoff on the left for Samaná. This road enters a short tunnel, and then a second left turn takes you onto the marginal road. Almost immediately there is a right turn which is the entrance to the new toll road. Continuing on the toll road you will pass a series of exits as well as the southern edge of Los Haitises National Park.
At the terminus of the toll road, turn left (west) on the C-5 highway. Stay left at several forks in the road as you enter Nagua while following signs for San Francisco, Cotui and Santo Domingo. The last of these is only 16.9 km (10.5 miles) from the end of the toll road and will put you on Highway 132 and headed south. Once on Highway 132, it is only 9.8 km (6.1 miles) to the Cruce del Papayo.
About 9.6 km (6.0 miles) south of Nagua and 500 m from the bridge over the Río Helechal is the intersection in Los Pajones known as the Cruce del Papayo. By turning to the right, in 4 km (2.5 miles) you will arrive at La Peonía. From here on the banks of the Río Helechal there are various routes to walk to the Cuesta Colorada Ecotourism and Environmental Capacity Centre (Centro Ecoturistico Cuesta Colorada) or to the guard house which is located in the Toro Palomo sector. This trail is about 1.5 km (0.9 mile) long, and from there a variety of trails enter the interior of the reserve.