Lake Enriquillo: Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park (Dominican Republic)

Lake Enriquillo: Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park (Dominican Republic)

Fri, 05/20/2022 - 20:58

Lake Enriquillo is a hypersaline lake located in the southwestern region of the Dominican Republic. Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park comprise the lake and the island at its center. Las Caritas is a collection of Indian inscriptions in a rock formation.

Lake Enriquillo

Lake Enriquillo (Lago Enriquillo) is a hypersaline lake located in the southwestern region of the Dominican Republic. It is the largest lake in the Dominican Republic, the island of Hispaniola and the entire Caribbean region.

With saline levels surpassing that of ocean water, the lake is approximately 37 km (23 mi) long and up to 18 km (11 mi)wide. Its surface is the lowest point in the West Indies, at 44 m (144 ft) below sea level.

It is part of the Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park and the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve.

The lake's water level varies because of a combination of storm-driven precipitation events and the region's high evaporation rate. Salinity in the lake can vary between 33 parts per thousand (comparable to seawater) and over 100 parts per thousand (hypersaline).

Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park

Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos National Park comprises Lago Enriquillo and Isla Cabritos, the island at its center. The island, with an area of ​​2,600 ha (6,400 acres), is elongated from east to west.

Vegetation on Cabritos Island consists of dry and thorny tropical forests, which is typical of the low rainfall and high-temperature climate which hardly varies throughout the year.

Fauna includes numerous reptiles, including the American crocodile as well as Ricord's and rhinoceros iguana. The island is also home to nearly 100 tropical bird species, including the heron and the flamingo.

Las Caritas

Las Caritas ("The faces") is a collection of Indian inscriptions in a rock formation looking out over Lake Enriquillo. The place is also called the Trono de Enriquillo ("Enriquillo's throne") because it is said the Taíno leader Enriquillo used to camp here during his rebellion.

Very little is known about the meaning of the figures. Much of the rock here is petrified coral, a remnant of the time the entire area was under the sea.