Hiking Pico Duarte in the Dominican Alps: The Tallest Mountain in the Caribbean

pico duarte hike

Hiking Pico Duarte in the Dominican Republic is often overlooked by tourists who are usually more informed about our tropical country’s conventional attractions: white sand beaches, coconut palm trees, and piña coladas. And while we proudly have lots of those scenes throughout our coastlines, they’re just a tiny piece of our richly diverse topography.

The Dominican Republic is also home to deserts, rainforests, hypersaline lakes, open water caves, waterfalls, and even cold mountainous regions such as the Dominican Alps. Yes, you read that right, cold! And our pine-tree-studded. These Dominican Alps are home to the tallest mountain in the Caribbean: El Pico Duarte.

For nature lovers interested in a richer experience of the Dominican Republic (in addition to its tropical appeal) consider a hiking tour trip to Pico Duarte. Being able to reach the top of the Caribbean at el Pico Duarte is a national sense of pride for many Dominicans, and we welcome you to join us on this special journey.

I. Where is Pico Duarte? What Are the Dominican Alps?

The Dominican Republic is home to a significant amount of mountain ranges. The most well-known is the Cordillera Central range which stretches across the “heart” of the Dominican Republic for hundreds of miles, extending into the country of Haiti. Because of its cooler climate, green valleys, and mountainous tall peaks, the Cordillera Central is often referred to as the Dominican Alps.

Jose Armando Bermudez National Park is located in this range and is home to the prestigious and magnificent Pico Duarte, soaring at over 3,000 meters (10,000+ feet) in altitude. Among many other treasures, the Dominican Alps are also home to two cute mountain towns, highly cherished by local Dominicans: Constanza and Jarabacoa.

Read our complete guide on traveling to Jarabacoa & things to do in Jarabacoa, Dominican Republic.

II. Where to Sleep the Night Before Your Pico Duarte Hike

You should stay at one of the following places:

  1. If your guide allows this, you may sleep at the camp base in a tent in the park the night before your big hike. For free!
  2. Otherwise, I recommend staying at Hotel Gran Jimenoa. This stunning hotel sits by the Jimenoa River with free breakfast included. I absolutely love this hotel.
  3. For a cheaper option, consider Jarabacoa Mountain Hostel.

III. Getting to Pico Duarte: How to Get There & Which Trail to Hike

According to the region’s locals, there are at least 5 known hiking routes that lead to Pico Duarte. The most popular one is La Ciénaga which usually takes 2-3 days and is about 23 kilometers of hiking. This is also the quickest and thus the more trotted trail. 

To get to La Cienaga, you travel to the town of Manabao located 45 minutes driving from Jarabacoa. In Manabao there is an official park entrance (pictured above) where hikers begin the trail. Here you will also find the park’s office where you must pay to enter with a local park licensed guide.

If you choose this route, know that the guides do not speak English, and you must bring all things with you for this hike including food, hiking equipment, etc beforehand. Otherwise, you can do it through an organized Pico Duarte hiking tour like this one

This Cienaga route also gives you the fastest access to Valle de Tetero, a beautiful natural valley on the Yaque del Sur River. Many local Dominicans often skip Pico Duarte and instead go to Valle de Tetero to camp and relax. Valle de Tetero is on the way to Pico Duarte until a certain point (El Cruce at 1,500 meters high) where you stop advancing upwards in altitude and instead proceed horizontally for about 5 hours.

The other routes include Mata Grande, Sabaneta, Las Lagunas, and Los Corralitos. As of yet, no official information can definitively say with 100% accuracy how long these hikes are and what they comprise of.

There seem to be no government reports providing factual information for other routes. Most of it is intuitive word of mouth from the local community. But they all seem to range from 40 to 108 kilometers and 3 to 14+ days hiking. 

IV. How to Prepare for Pico Duarte & What to Pack

Physically Warm-Up & Prepare Your Body for Hiking Pico Duarte

If you don’t work out much, try to train your body for the hike at least a few weeks before with some leg strengthening, cardio, and stretches. Here are some ways to warm up and work out before a big hike by REI.

Remember to stretch in the mornings before each hiking day. In the evenings, give your legs massages at night before going to bed to lessen muscle soreness the next day. And remember to stay hydrated to further avoid leg cramping.

Pack the Right Hiking Gear for Pico Duarte

Investing in proper hiking gear for this trip is critical. I cannot stress this enough. Here is the bare minimum gear to pack for Pico Duarte:

  • Hiking boots: The best investment I made was getting the right hiking boots for my particular feet. If you’re on a tighter budget, my hiking mates bought these lightweight hiking boots for $50 and loved them, too!
  • Wool socks: These alpaca wool socks are perfect for absorbing moisture, letting your feet breathe, AND keeping you warm. They are also great for your feet to avoid getting blisters.
  • Backpack: Get a light day backpack like this one for you to have on the trail to carry your water, snacks, and phone (in addition to the travel backpack that goes on the mule which you will only access again at the camping site because the mules often take different routes)
  • Hiking sticks/poles (CRITICAL!): I used these hiking sticks/poles (pictured above), which are affordable yet high quality.
  • Tent (your tour organizer should provide this)
  • Tarp: Make sure your tour organizer provides this. It’s important for rainy nights or you will wake up cold and wet.
  • Sleeping bag
  • Gloves (it gets cold)
  • Hiking jacket
  • Layers 
  • An ultra-compact drone like this one for epic photos
  • Warm blanket or sleeping bag liner (it can get COLD)
  • Support from the ground such as a mat (to provide coverage from the cold floor)
  • Thermo for hot tea/coffee and water refilling
  • Water cleaning tablets if you want. But we drank from the springs and no one got sick.

Pack the Right Food to Bring for Pico Duarte

If you go with a tour group, your tour organizers should provide all the food you need for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Talk to them beforehand to make sure you guys are on the same page about every meal and what they’ll provide. But in addition to this, bring your own snacks such as nuts, dried fruits, and energy bars. Make sure you’ll get enough complex carbs, protein, and overall nutrition.

Pack Emergency Medication and Supplements

In addition to things you personally require, just in case, pack some medicine for altitude sickness medicine, common cold, allergies, asthma, muscle relaxers, blood thinners, painkillers, anti-diarrhea, antibiotics, and vitamins. Ya never know! Here are some more ideas.

Pay for the Right Pico Duarte Tour Guides and Enough Mules

Read the following section below for full details.

V. Choosing Your Pico Duarte Hiking Tour & Guide

There are several tour organizers ready to help you hike Pico Duarte, however, they are mostly third-party organizers who take a big cut from what you’re paying and then pay the local community guides less than $20 a day!!! Yikes.

Be Careful Who You Choose to Hike Up el Pico Duarte – A Personal Story

We went up Pico Duarte with someone who charged us a tiny price and offered us the world. And well… they didn’t deliver. We basically got what we paid for. The lady lied to us constantly, didn’t know the route so she couldn’t give us much trail information to prepare for. She also skipped our breakfast, lunch and on the second day tried to skip dinner!

This a big no-no, especially for such a physically demanding experience. We ended up having to scold and reprimand her during the trip. Turned out that she didn’t even bring enough food and she was severely underpaying the local camp guides! Not OK.

Make sure you go with someone who provides clear information to you ahead of time or that you clearly communicate all your expectations with your tour organizer ahead of time.

Consider the Custom Tailored + Local Pico Duarte Tour

Due to the high demand from travelers requesting my assistance from this article, we’ve begun working in collaboration with the local park-permitted guides. Together we’re providing a Pico Duarte hiking tour package including:

  • Park-mandated local tour guide
  • All of your meals (including hearty Dominican meals such as sancocho, asopao, and mangu)
  • English/Spanish translations ahead of time
  • A detailed itinerary of the trip so you have clarity beforehand (nothing like walking endlessly with no clue as to how much longer you have left).
  • A detailed packing list
  • Cargo/emergency mule
  • Equipment rentals such as tents, hiking sticks, and sleeping bags
  • FREE camping accommodation at the park base the night before

You just show up and the guides will take care of the rest. Through this method, the local guides are paid fair wages. And you don’t have to buy/bring heavy or bulky equipment like we did. If interested in this service, click here for our Pico Duarte Tours.

Be Weary of the “VIP” Packages

Many of the $1,000/per person tour packages on the internet basically hire these same local guides to do all the work but pay them a sliver (less than $20 a day). And there is no such thing as a “VIP” route up the mountain. That’s also a tourist-aimed marketing scheme. I met the “VIP” travelers, they hiked, ate, and slept the same way everyone else did.

Pay For the Get Extra Mules

Your tour guide must provide you with mules in your tour package. MULES are a MUST and required by park regulations. They saved our behinds in ways I can’t express. Especially when that terrible tour organizer wasn’t feeding us.

You will need enough mules to carry your things and extra mules to ride, in case you are hit with exhaustion or an injury.

Communicate Your Needs Ahead of Time!

Make sure you communicate your sleeping/meal expectations and that you know the exact itinerary. Like everywhere else, different countries have different cultures/ways of communicating and expressing expectations. So when it comes to business, do not assume that they will predict what you consider your “basic” needs. For food, you must communicate exactly what type of food you expect and when ahead of time. This is pivotal!

VI. The Trail Experience: What to Expect When Hiking Pico Duarte

The following information that I am providing is GOLD. I couldn’t find this timeline anywhere and the uncertainty of time sense/distance length was frustrating for us at times. So save/write the following information down for when you’re hiking Pico Duarte! A lot of the information online and in-person about this Dominican Republic hike is contradicting, so I am providing the information by what the signs I saw on the actual trail said.

DAY 1 of Pico Duarte Hike

We spent the night in Santiago and at the crack of dawn drove to Manabao. It was so dark and foggy as we drove through a cliff that at times had many of us screaming during the drive. We arrived at the hiking base sleep-deprived and already exhausted.

I STRONGLY suggest hikers spend the night in Jarabacoa (or in the camp base) to get a full night’s sleep before your hike. Jarabacoa is also a cute mountain town with lots to do! I recommend staying at Hotel Gran Jimenoa.

1. Starting Point: Manabao/Cienaga Base Camp

Upon arriving at Manabao, travelers will meet the local guides, fill their water bottles from the natural spring all around the base, use the bathrooms, and pack their belongings onto the mules which are sent ahead. From here we began our 3-day round-trip journey to Pico Duarte, passing the following marked “stops” along the way.

2. Los Tablones

The hike begins smoothly with beautiful river streams along the way. The hardest part is a little bit of mud here and there. We almost thought “this is a piece of cake!”

  • Distance: 4.2 km from Base Camp to Los Tablones

3. Alto la Cottora

Here is where the stair master fun begins. But only briefly. The trail is mostly flat even though we were slowly hiking upwards in altitude. The real challenge of this hike was how long it took to get to each breakpoint.

On this first day, we hiked for 10 hours. Imagine walking up a mountain for 10 hours with little break time? And now imagine every break you take is extra time you’re adding how long it will take you to finish.

The first day is the longest and the hardest. But it’s literally almost all downhill from there. Make sure you get proper sleep and a good breakfast for this day. 

For less experienced hikers, you might want to split this hike into 4 days so that you can divide the first day in half. Or yanno, get proper sleep and quality tour organizers!

  • Distance: 3.8 km from Los Tablones to Alto de la Cotorra

4. La Laguna (1.7km)

This was the first real stopping point with a wooden but wall-less cabin where many gathered to take their medicine and eat lunch/snacks. Here hikers can refill their water bottles by the spring-water hose (pictured above).

By this point, we’d hiked 9.6 kilometers. No one could tell us how much time or distance was left. They just knew that we were barely halfway there. This is the point where we knew we’d gotten ourselves into something that was starting to feel endless.

So I caved and asked to take a break on a mule. By seeing me, the skinniest person hopping on a mule others decided it wasn’t a shameful admission and joined. I don’t know why people think skinny equals fit.

  • Distance: 1.7 km Alto la Cotorra to La Laguna.

5. El Cruce

El Cruce is where hikers interested in Valle de Tetero will veer off from. From this point on I would get on and off the mule to switch it up and take breaks or share it with others. And then the mule would get dangerously close to a cliff and we would all hilariously find the energy to start walking again.

  • Distance: 0.6 km La Laguna to El Cruce.

6. Aguita Fria

Here in Aguita Fria is where you can really start to see a whole different topography and ambiance. It’s a beautiful mountain valley with olive-green pastures, skinny pine trees, and a cold river stream that runs through the area giving it its name. The area is imbued with foggy clouds and tall patches of grass that make it all look almost eerie. This flatter patch of land is also where helicopters can land in the case of emergencies. 

  • Distance: 3 km El Cruce to Aguita Fria

7. Descanso Alto de la Vela

On this cliff-side walk, the trail is littered with palm-sized rocks. It’s only a 2.7 kilometers hike but the uneven ground can slow you down, especially if you have weaker ankles. However, this path also offers some of the most scenic mountain views of the entire hike. 

  • Distance: 2.0 km from Aguita Fria to Descanso Alto de la Vela
  • Altitude: 2,680 meters

8. Sleeping in Comparticion

This is the official camping site where all hikers come together from the same Manabao/Cienaga trail. Here you’ll find a large and shared cabin for sleeping and camping fire “stoves.” At the bottom beyond some bushes is a river where campers can bath.

However, the water is freezing ice cold– which some argued would be good for muscle soreness. I think it definitely helped my muscles but at the cost of waking up the next day with a sore throat and runny nose. I would avoid the cold water and just use wet wipes or a wet rag with warmed water to “bath” yourself. At night we all ate homemade asopao (Dominican stew), shared some wine, and were so exhausted we fell asleep pretty early.

  • Distance: 4 km from Aguita Fria to Comparticion

DAY 2: Pico Duarte Hike

9. Waking Up in Comparticion

The next morning, we were woken up by the screeches of our tour guide rushing us like a wailing banshee. I limped out of my tent, my muscles extremely sore, to see the sunrise over the mountains. Even the muscles on my arms hurt from using the hiking poles.

But after moving around I was able to continue going. I couldn’t believe how adaptable the human body can be!

We had some oatmeal and did some stretching before starting the last leg of our hike up the rest of the mountain approximately 5 hours to Pico Duarte.

10. Valle de Lilis

This is the first stop on the last leg up to Pico Duarte and the coldest. I saw some travelers from other 7+ day-long trails popping out of the woods and converging with us here. The area from here on up is covered with pine trees and other plants normally found in North America or other chillier regions around the world.

By a fireplace, I saw a girl shaking from what seemed like some sort of hypothermia? She was covered with aluminum/plastic foil with a doctor hugging her for warmth and had to be sent back down. Other folks, much younger and older than us seemed fine and full of stamina.

As it began to drizzle, we took out our umbrellas sat there munching on snacks, hydrating, and waiting for the others.

  • Distance: 3.8 km from Comparticion to Valle de Lilis
  • Altitude: 2,950 meters

11. Pico Duarte!

Reaching the top of this mountain was emotional for us. Most of us these days rarely hike or go camping, living sedentary industrial lifestyles. Especially in big cities. So for us to reach the top, filled us with an almost out-of-this-world sense of accomplishment.

The views from above were completely covered in a cloud so we were not able to see the mountain views. The irony is that all my life I’ve wanted to physically walk into and above a cloud. So when I got to the top and had nothing to see but white clouds; I couldn’t help but smile!

Up here we saw some pretty unique plants that I’d never seen before like the one pictured below. If you love plant biology and studying nature, bring a local biologist or nature specialist with you for a more informational guided hike!

We spent the rest of the day relaxing by the campsite in La Comparticion meeting other travelers and sharing stories. The following night was extremely cold. Some of us even woke up with head colds because on top of the cold climate, it was also wet and rainy. It is critical that you pack for the cold and possibly rainy weather.

  • Distance: 1.2-1.8 km from Valle de Lilis to Pico Duarte
  • Altitude: 3,087 meters

12. Resting + Second Night in Comparticion

We were back in the camp base by lunchtime. It was nice to sit around with others and relax by the campfire. At this point, more experienced hikers will walk all the way back down to Manabao and go home. Most people, however, rest up and do the walk back the next day.

DAY 3: Pico Duarte Hike

We ended up leaving our inefficient tour organizer and took one of the local guides and two mules down with us. This was my favorite day of the hike because it was peaceful at our own pace. In fact, when we left that tour organizer, the skies cleared up and a rainbow appeared above us.

Ensure that your tour organizer communicates time milestones and pace with you ahead of time, otherwise you may either feel rushed or like you’re always waiting for others.

We hiked down from La Comparticion to Manabao this day and it was a piece of cake compared to the first day. The weather was also sunnier and warmer. From Manabao our guide linked us with his friend who drove us back to Jarabacoa.

VII. Final Thoughts on Hiking Pico Duarte

Reaching the top of Pico Duarte was a special and long-time goal of mine. As someone with an autoimmune disease where my body is constantly limiting itself, I wanted to be able to feel and prove to myself that I could do this, even if it required some personalized adjustments. I pushed my limits (carefully and without hurting myself) in gratifying ways while strengthening my endurance and finding out more about myself, my body, and one of my ancestral lands. I look back at the hike with pride and a sense of accomplishment.

Would I do it again? Yes, but with the right tour guides!

IX. Pin Me for Later!

Pico Duarte image with text "Hiking Pico Duarte in the Dominican Republic".

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51 thoughts on “Hiking Pico Duarte in the Dominican Alps: The Tallest Mountain in the Caribbean

  1. cassie says:

    You had me completely hooked for the entire read. I loved your narration and honesty. Wow. I really, really want to go and do this. But isn’t it a shame your guide couldn’t have been better. I’m sorry. We’ve had similarly crap guides around the world. I’m glad you left her.

    • Isabelle says:

      Thanks, Cassie! That means a lot 🙂

      If you ever come to DR let me know. Maybe we can do our own group hike for chill hikers/nature lovers! 🙂

  2. Jane says:

    I enjoyed reading this! I’m getting ready to do some serious trekking so it’s nice to read about both the good and the not so good!

  3. Jane says:

    I enjoyed reading this! I’m getting ready to do some serious trekking so it’s nice to read about both the good and the not so good!

    • Anonymous says:

      Good read. I enjoy the pictures also but the words were put together flawlessly, thanks. I been wanting to climb by myself, how much would you estimate they would charge a single person?

    • Gary says:

      Im also planning on hiking Pico Duarte this year. Need any information on which airport to fly into and best way to get to Jarabacoa.

  4. Isaac A. says:

    This climb sounds awesome. Congrats on surviving it, and with an autoimmune disease too that sounds like a lot! The scenery of the mountains looks awesome. Reminds me of scenery I get in my head whenever I read some high fantasy books like The Hobbit or Lord of The Rings. Great shots Isabelle!

    • Isabelle says:

      Thank you! It wasn’t easy. But preparation was EVERYTHING! Also, those mules were like angels. I highly recommend people with disabilities invest in their own emergency back up mule!

  5. Eli says:

    Thank you for the informative post. I’m going to Pico Duarte in July and contacted one of the local guides you recommended. Hoping for a July 9th start. Wish me luck!

      • ELI says:

        Thanks Isabelle. The hike was amazing and definitely recommending to everyone I meet now. Thanks again for all the info. I ended up talking to Gendry and Victor (they’re brothers!) and using Gendry as a guide because of how responsive he was on WhatsApp.

        We did Pico Duarte and Valle de Tetero on the way back, all in a 4 day trip.

        If I had to do it again I would probably be more hands-on about the food. I brought snacks and let the guide make all culinary decisions for meals and realized after seeing other groups’ food that he was not the best at this. Let’s just say I had enough bowls of empty rice 🙂

        • Isabelle says:

          Yes! They’re brothers 🙂 How was Gendry’s services?

          Sorry to hear about the food. I am still working with him on how to provide better service. I went ahead and told him about this feedback and providing ample amounts of better and hearty meals going forward. They’re new to doing it directly so they’re still learning. He says he understands now. I think you were his first direct client! Any other suggestions please let me know so I can tell him, he says he wants to improve!

          Thank you for the feedback! <3

        • Eli says:

          Hi Eli, my name’s also Eli! I’m thinking about doing the hike in late July/early August, how was the weather? I know that’s one of the warmer, more humid times of the year, was it still cold and wet on the hike?

  6. Helena Shipman says:

    Hi Isabelle, thank you for your post, which was really informative and so interesting to read. We are coming to DR in January 2018 and would love to do this hike. I have a couple of questions about logistics – is there anywhere to leave your main luggage in Manabao or Jarabacoa? We are coming to DR for 2.5 weeks, so we might have more stuff than is practical to bring on a hike. Also, is it possible to rent hiking poles etc locally? And finally, if there are only 2 of us, do you still recommend speaking to one of the guides you suggested? Thank you in advance!

    • ELI says:

      Helena, will let Isabelle answer as she knows more but I just got back from a 4 day hike which was only me and my friend and we had the same questions:

      1) We used ones of the guides listed here for the trip and all worked well. Recommend being very clear with guide about what meals would looks like and make sure they include more than just empty carbs.

      2) We had extra luggage and we left it with the main guard at the main park office at base camp. Our guide recommend we do so and that it would be safe and all was there when we got back. Don’t want to overgeneralize but our experience with that worked out well.

      • Helena says:

        Thanks so much Eli! That’s really helpful. Would you mind telling me how much it cost you both all together? Isabelle’s post says she paid $130 per day for her guide, but I wondered if that includes mules/food etc.

          • Helena says:

            Hi Isabelle, thanks for checking in! We haven’t been yet – our trip is January 2019 (I’m just very excited and getting all the info early!). Will let you know how it goes once we have done it, all your advice and information has been a great help so far.

      • Isabelle says:

        Yes you have to be extremely clear about food expectations. Good to know. How much did they charge you per person?

    • Isabelle says:

      I might be able to connect you with some other people doing these types of trips. Can you message me on FB? @dominicanabroad so that I can tag all those accounts for you? Will update this article when I’m back with the additional resources.

  7. Anonymous says:

    I reached out to 3 different guides directly and they quoted me between $150-$200 per person for the 2 of us. I ended up choosing Gendry who was on the pricier side with $200). It included mules, food, tents/sleeping bags, and an extra day to go to Valle de Tetero.

    Side note: I also inquired with a local tour company in Jarabacoa that came recommended by a friend. They’re called Desde el Medio Tours. They quoted me DOP $12,500 which was not too different from direct guide price but I still ended up going with Gendry. May be worth talking to them too: we met another group along the hike that used them and they were really happy with them and seemed to include better food, equipment and first night accommodation in Jarabacoa. I didn’t choose them because of price but looking back may not have been bad.

    • Isabelle says:

      So those other agencies that charge you $12,500 DOP, are taking 95% of that money and giving the guides like $20 for the entire trip. Choose ethically. You can go directly with Yendri from $200-$400 (depending on the # of ppl, etc) who I connect everyone to if you speak Spanish. Otherwise, if you need a translator and other travel planning/logistics, we help plan the trip for you for $350-$500 (depending on the number of people). Cheers!

  8. Kristen T. says:

    We went through Isabelle last week and it was an incredible experience. The Dominican food was DELICIOUS (and hearty) and our guides were so kind and sweet and helpful. We don’t speak Spanish so it was great having Isabelle plan everything for us in detail including the transfer to and from our Jarabacoa hotel. The total cost was $250 per person + $40 for the car ride transfer (divided by the 4 of us) and $50/night for the hotel. Book ahead of time since our first choice hotel was sold out!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Very helpful and informative information. I climbed Pico Duarte few years ago. It took me 17 hours. It was an unforgettable experience. Thanks

  10. Anonymous says:

    Really good read! I’m hoping to do it this year, probably in October. Do you reckon this is a good time to do it? Thanks

  11. Helena says:

    We went through Isabelle a couple of weeks ago and did the hike, which was incredible. Going through Isabelle was the best decision we made: she organised an English speaking guide for us who was lovely and picked us up at our hotel, the food was delicious, they had all the necessary camping gear etc. Everything ran smoothly, and they even managed to accomodate us last minute (at the top of the mountain!) when we decided to condense the three day hike into two! A fantastic experience, we would highly recommend Isabelle’s package (which I should add is half the price of the tours listed in Lonely Planet!).

  12. Jennifer Storm Nelson says:

    I loved reading this! I lived in the DR between 1991-1994 and hiked Pico Duarte twice. This brought back so many memories! What time of year did you hike? We hiked it in July, so even though it was cold at the top, your experience sounds much colder! I loved the fresh streams, and the valley was the icing on the cake! So relaxing to lay around on the rocks in the stream after a hard week of hiking. It was a long time ago, but there was a family living in the valley, I got to milk their cow! Thanks for sharing this great write-up, I’m homesick for the DR again!

  13. Marina says:

    Why this trail was so tiresome? Just because of the elevation gain, or much of mud, or smth else? Can an experienced hiker with the ultralight gear make it in 2 days?

    • Isabelle says:

      Yes – an experienced hiker can do it in 2 days. Tiresome because most people sit in an office all day and aren’t use to hiking up for 7-10 hours the first day + 8 the second day + 7-10 down the last day.

      • Shawn Rankin says:

        Hey 2 of us interested in hikin pico Jan 8 or so. Can you be of assistance? Is this a good time to go? We will be traveling from La Romana thanks!!!

  14. Jean-Baptiste says:

    Thanks for all the information.
    This (and DR in general) might be a possibility as our 10 days Peru trek just got cancelled.
    Do you know if the trek is doable without guide/mules or if this is mandatory as per park regulation? (we are experienced and fit)

  15. Joshua C says:

    Great write up Isabelle!

    Do you know if it is still possible to do this hike or if it’s closed for COVID? I will be in DR in April, but I know some activities like overnight hikes aren’t allowed due to COVID risks.

    Thanks for the very informative blog!

  16. Michael says:

    Hi! Is the hike currently still available and recommended (considering corona and safety etc)? Also, are there certain months in which the views are more likely to be sunny? We are thinking about going at the end of this month. I would also like to know if it is possible to join a bigger group (we are only with 2)?


    • Isabelle says:

      Yes, it’s available. It’s all outdoors. As for the weather that is WILDLY unpredictable in the Caribbean. The best time to avoid the clouds when you’re going to see the view, is VERY VERY early in the morning. That means leaving before sunset on day two to see the views at the very top. I can’t help you with the big groups right now, sorry. Private tours only due to Covid restrictions.

      • Michael says:

        Ah alright, thanks a lot for your help! I’ll make a booking then for two people :). Do you think it is possible to discuss with the guide to leave early on day 2? And I just have to send an email to you? [email protected]?

  17. Thomas Halsaver says:

    I done Pico Duarte in February of 1997. It was one of the best experiences of my life. Seeing how the poor people lived opened my eyes about a lot of things. The only thing I can add is be prepared for mud. It literally sucked the soles off my boots. But it was worth it!

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