See ancient petroglyphs and face-like symbols cut into the cliffs near Enriquillo Lake’s gorgeous shores.
Take a moment while exploring Enriquillo Lake to see ancient inscriptions at Las Caritas. This archeological site features carvings of faces cut into the cliff-face centuries ago by indigenous islanders. Learn about this tribe of Taino Indians, discover curious patterns in the rock and enjoy views of the lake and surrounds.
Las Caritas, which literally translates to “The Faces,” was discovered following the European colonization of the island of Hispaniola. Visit Las Caritas today and learn about its alternative moniker, Trono de Enriquillo (“Enriquillo’s Throne”), which derives from the legendary Taino leader who used this cliff-face as a headquarters.
Take the marked walking trail to reach the cliff, which is located north of Enriquillo Lake. Photograph the strange and intriguing patterns that protect the memory of these ancient Indians in weathered stone. Photograph dramatic ocher scenery and rock arches that dot the landscape.
Enjoy scenic vistas of the lake. Look for local rhinoceros iguanas that warm themselves on rocky outcrops in the midday sun. Ask locals for a tour of Isla Cabritos, an island in the lake’s center. Operators charge a small fee for the boat trip, which gives you the chance to spot crocodiles and wild birds that call the island home.
Visit with a tour guide to learn more about the area and find the best swimming holes. These English-speaking guides often have a good knowledge of the area’s natural and human history.
For lunch, drive to a nearby village and try a local market. La Descuberita to the west offers a few quaint bars, while the larger Neyba in the east provides restaurant meals.
Las Caritas is a 1-hour drive northwest from Barahona, a city on the Dominican Republic’s south coast. The walking trail to the cliff-face is a little steep, but manageable for most ages and fitness levels. The site is free to see; however, tours will charge fees.