Rugama tours in Cabarete is an ecological park with a very complete set of amenities that include a restaurant, swimming pool, tree house bungalow, small zoo and river tours. It was created and still run by an ecology professor (Ruddy) who does an outstanding job managing this ecopark.
The park offers a day pass to enjoy the river tour, the zoo and organic farm experience, plus drinks and food. We loved to experience the live animals with the kids, and got to pet a Boa Hispaniola (Chilabothrus striatus), a harmless snake of the island. There are also crocodiles, several types of birds, and native iguanas.
Being on the shores of the Yasica river, the feeling is amazing. This park has exotic plants everywhere, including orchids, Hawaiian Ginger plant, Birds of paradise (Strelitzia Reginae), Hibiscus; and many fruit plants such as mangoes, citrus, banana, dragon fruit, avocado, among others. We loved the sight of Jigueros (Crescentia cujete) which is used in so many ways for vases, lamps, musical instruments and handcrafts.
What types of rooms are available at Rugama?
The tree house bungalow at Rugama is the lodging where guests can get a great experience sleeping at the heart of this ecopark. The tree house is built high up on a second story reachable via the staircase. Built entirely of wood and thatched roof, it overlooks the best area of the park and have access to a second story terrace. Rugama is more a tour experience than an ecolodge, and those who want to venture off the beaten path in terms of organic lodging, will find this a very unique experience.
What type of food is available?
The food at Rugama consists of local dishes, including seafood. We tried rice, beans, garden salad, avocado, tostones and chicken (la bandera Dominicana); they also offer very good fish such as Mahi Mahi and Snapper, also a fish locally caught from the Yasica river. Their kitchen also does Burgers, chicken wings, French fries and club sandwiches among other dishes. Be sure to call ahead and book, they work by reservations.
ON VIDEO: RUGAMA TOURS BY MR. T
What Activities can visitors enjoy at Rugama Tours?
The location of Rugama makes it an ideal place for nature lovers to participate in eco friendly activities such as the river boat tour, paddle boarding in the river, horseback riding, the zoo experience and the organic garden. Other tours of high interest is the caves at the El Choco national park, which is a good trekking experience and includes natural, swimming underground pools. Other tours in the area can be found in this Puerto Plata travel guide.
Directions to get to Rugama Tours:
Driving to Rugama is fairly easy, when coming West to East (from Puerto Plata or Sosua) just drive all the way through Cabarete, this ecopark is about 7 kilometers from the heart of Cabarete beach. There is a sign at highway 5 on the left side by the entrance, and a short drive to Rugama`s parking area. Mobile internet signal is good here so use the Google Map below to be guided effortlessly.