Los Haitises National Park in the Dominican Republic turned out to be an incredible coastal maze of cliffs and coves and caves, all dripping with vines and hidden by deep mangrove swamps. We spent two and a half days there, alone in the park, swinging from coconut trees and jumping off cliffs and climbing caves.
The park, we found, was best explored by dinghy. Without fear of grounding, we could race up the mangrove rivers and search out the secret, jungle shrouded lagoons. Trails led inland to crumbling cave mouths, like Mayan tombs gaping in the leaf litter of the jungle floor, all waiting to be wriggled through. Bats and owls and towering stalagmites awaited.
Long before I'd eaten enough coconut, or tired of tracing the park's endless coastal meandering, the weather on the Mona Passage began to improve. We weighed anchor in the pre-dawn light and reached back across the bay to Samana to prepare for Puerto Rico.