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Lago Enriquillo, Dominican Republic

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Lago Enriquillo is a protected area in the southwest portion of the Dominican Republic. The largest landlocked water body in the Caribbean, the lake is surrounded by semiarid vegetation of dry forest and plantations of coconut and mango, making Lago Enriquillo a secluded and pictoresque place. But beware! It is also the only habitat of the American crocodile (Cocodrylus acutus) in the Dominican Republic.

Named after Enriqullo, a 16th-century Taino rebel who resisted Spanish rule (read more about the history of the Dominican Republic), Lago Enriquillo is recognized as one of the key ecological tourist attraction in the DR. With natural springs of curative sulfur, natural reefs, an astounding variety of wildlife (it’s easy to crocodile watch from the safety of boats), and a pleasant natural setting.

With an area of 265 square kilometers (102 sq mi) and a depth of up to 29 meters, Lago Enriquillo has a water level almost 40 meters below sea level, making it the lowest point in the Caribbean. The lake has no natural outlet, so it has developed a high level of salinity. The saltwater lake contains three beautiful islands: Isla Barbarita, Islita, and Isla Cabritos. Cabritos is home to a variety of reptiles (iguanas and crocodiles), birds (herons, flamecos and seagulls), cacti, mangroves and trunks of petrified wood.

A 60km road circumnavigates the lake, and a drive around this perimeter makes for a pleasant way to experience this Dominican Republic attraction.

Video from the Dominican Tourism Board exploring Lago Enriquillo:

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