Visiting Oviedo Lagoon

The Oviedo Lagoon´s Guides Association (AGUINAOVI) offers nature-based tours with trained local guides.  The guides work with experienced local captains in the most suitable boats to enjoy this beautiful salt-water lake in Jaragua National Park, Dominican Republic.   

Surrounded by mangroves, palm groves, dunes and beaches, Oviedo Lagoon is one of the best sites for watching aquatic and low-land birds of the Dominican Republic.  Close to 150 species have been reported in this area.

Oviedo Lagoon (Laguna de Oviedo in Spanish) is famous for its flamingo viewing opportunities. These lovely birds visit every year from other countries in the region. The best viewing time is the northern hemisphere winter months, but some of them stay year-round.  

The lagoon is long and narrow, occupying roughly 28 square kilometers, and contains a series of small cays or rocky outcrops where many birds nest in the summer months. One cay even has its own Rhinoceros iguana population!   The lagoon also has its own endemic fish species, the Oviedo pupfish (Cyprinodon nichollsi).

Oviedo Lagoon is separated from the Caribbean sea by a narrow stretch of land with long sandy beaches on the sea-side.  There, marine turtles nest, especially leatherback sea turtles during the spring months. To get there, the hike goes through one of the best preserved coastal forests in the Caribbean, including a dwarf forest of the rare fan palm or guano (Thrynax radiata). 

Day trips offered by AGUINAOVI

Take a stroll along the northeastern shore of the lagoon, starting from the Visitor´s Center at El Cajuil, heading towards Caño Escobí.  Watch out for heavy mud during rainy periods. 

Duration: 20-30 minutes

COST: $1500 Dominican pesos

flamingo stroll

This day trip includes a boat ride to the most probable viewing sites for flamingos and other waterfowl. This is usually around Caño Escobín and Los Pichiriles sites, on the northern part of the lagoon. .

Duration: 1 hour

COST: $3000 dominican pesos

(5 persons max.)

flamingo express

(“Medio tour”)

The so-called “tour completo” or full tour includes a visit to the southern cays of the lagoon a stop at Cayo Iguana and a stop at one of the most popular flamingo viewing sites. 

  Duration: 2-2:30 horas

COSTO: RD$4000 

(5 persons max.)

flamingos &iguanas

(“Tour completo”)

This boat trip goes across the lagoon to visit the scenic Mosquea beach, where marine turtles lay their eggs.  During the leatherback turtle nesting season (March-July) parkrangers relocate threatened nests of these amazing reptiles.  To get there, a short (20 minute) walk is required. Nesting occurs at night, but it is possible to coordinate with park rangers  nestling releases (if available).

Duration: 2-2:30 hours

COST: $2500 Dominican pesos

Mosquea BEACH

This boat trip takes you to the El Guanal archaeological site, where the original, first settlers of Hispaniola left numerous petroglyphs on a rocky outcrop.  Para llegar ahí, a short (10 minute walk) is required. The best flamingo viewing sites are also near by. A beautiful coastal forest can be enjoyed on this terrestrial part of the tour. 

 

Duration: 1.5 hours

COST: $3500 Dominican pesos

TAÍno heritage

This boat tip takes you to Cayo Mondesí, (one of the lagoon´s many cays) where a natural freshwater spring surfaces and there are two nice beaches.  You can also enjoy very scenic views of the lagoon and its unique vegetation.  All of this is part of Jaragua National Park. 

 

 

 

Duration: 3  hours

COST: $2500 Dominican pesos

mondesí cay

Learn about the recent history of El Cajuil and Oviedo villages through a walk towards the ruins of the old town of Oviedo, on the shores of the lagoon. The old town was destroyed by hurricane Ines in 1966. This expedition includes bird watching and native flora viewing opportunities. Can be done on boat (one or two way) or walking. 

 

Duration: 3 – 3.5 hours

COST: $2500 Dominican pesos

old oviedo


Other guided services in the area by AGUINAOVI

Visit one of the last natural, and arguably the most beautiful beach in the Dominican Republic, part of Jaragua National Park.   

Full day at the beach

COST: $2000  Dominican pesos

Night turtle watching  (6pm – 6am, depending when turtles emerge, ocassional, only between April-June) 

COST: $6,500  Dominican pesos

This service assumes the visitor has a mode of transportation and can pick up/drop guide from and to El Cajuil (one hour by car). 

bahía de las aguilas

 

Visit this impressive, 700-meter deep depression of Sierra de Bahoruco´s limestone terrain in the midst of the endemic Hispaniolan pine forests of Sierra de Bahoruco´s National Park 

Duration: 4 hours approx.

COST: $2000 Dominican pesos

*This service assumes the visitor has a mode of transportation and can pick up/drop guide from and to El Cajuil (one hour by car). 

HOYO DE PELEMPITO

*These day trips benefit local guides, captains and boat owners from  El Cajuil,  and Oviedo, in the Oviedo Municipality. When you ask for a shorter, discounted trip, the boat use and captain fee as well as fuel costs remain the same for getting to the flamingo viewing area, or even higher if you request more a more speedy tour (as outboard engines consume more gas). In such cases the guide ends up losing the most.

. .


Meet AGUINAOVI nature guides

(in alphabetical order)

Dichoso Carrasco

Celular/Whatsapp +1 (849) 816-6499

 

 

Luis Manuel Cuevas (Chí)

Presidente, AGUINAOVI

Celular/Whatsapp +1 809-704-8914

 

Pablo Féliz

Soy de El Cajuil , estudio la carrera de Biología en la UASD y soy técnico de Grupo Jaragua. Vivo en Santo Domingo y además de guía, apoyo la organización de excursiones a la laguna .  

pablo.feliz@grupojaragua.org.do 

Celular/Whatsapp es (829) 889-7586

Merbin González (Pedrín) 

Celular/Whatsapp +1 829 305-1686

Euris González

Celular/Whatsapp +1 (829) 943-2572

Ana Silvia Jiménez 

Celular/Whatsapp +1 (809) 6017979

Juan Carlos Jiménez (Héctor)

Celular/Whatsapp +1 (809) 6017979

Francisco Saldaña

Celular/Whatsapp +1 (829) 808-8924

 

 

Yoselis Sánchez (Paquita) 

Celular+1 (849) 624-4576

Saturnino Santana (Nino) 

Celular/Whatsapp +1 (829) 810-7989

 

Luquita Santana (Chino)

Celular +1 (809) 829-3948

 

 

Milagro Pérez (Moreno)

Celular/Whatsapp +1 (829) 864-9757

Padre Pérez 

Celular +1 (829) 677-1998

Ramón Pérez 

Celular/Whatsapp +1 (829) 861-0694


Meet the lagoon´s captains, boat owners and park staff

(in alphabetical order)

Manuel Abila (Rodrigo)

 

Belkis Alexandra Feliz

Héctor Jiménez (Begó)

 

José Miguel Mesa (Guey)

Domingo Pérez (Mingo)

Presidente Asociación de Boteros de la Laguna

Miguel Rivera (Moro)

Alejandro Santana (Mingo Antonia)

Esmeilin Urváez

(boletería Parque Nacional Jaragua)


How to get there

Oviedo Lagoon is a short distance off the Barahona-Pedernales highway (no. 44) on the Oviedo Municipality, Pedernales Province, Dominican Republic. The closest community is El Cajuil, located on the lagoon´s northwest shore.  

Fotografía de las aves: Rafael Arvelo