Lying between the mountains and the sea, the fishing village of Los Patos, 2.4 miles from Paraiso and 24.8 miles from Barahona, in the south-west of the Dominican Republic, is home to the Rio Los Patos, one of the smallest rivers in the world, in the most protected region of the Dominican Republic. Still difficult to access, at more than 124 miles (a 3.5h drive) south-west of the capital Santo Domingo, the region of Barahona, which is on the border of Haiti, is the poorest but also the best preserved region in the Dominican Republic. Get ready to spend hours on the road, standing on the back of a pick-up and regularly bending down to avoid the branches in the bumpy tracks of the jungle, not to mention crossing rivers. In short, the 'Camel Trophy' in its heyday. That's right, Barahona still isn't crossed by a highway and it's better this way! After two hours of being on the road, you will arrive at the La Mamie coffee plantation, perched 900m above sea level and absolutely worthy of an adventure movie! Here you can enjoy some good local coffee and admire the fabulous panorama embracing the jungle covered mountains and the sea.
Few tourists come here, which means you are more likely to encounter the local population. You may cross paths with cows in the streets of a village, attend a cock-fight, witness a voodoo ritual, or see children swimming in the the smallest river in the world, which flows into the Caribbean Sea.
Take advantage of the heavenly El Patos beach: it's not every day that you will have the opportunity to swim in the mouth of a river. With its white sand and clear water you will find it hard not to go for a dip. An idyllic spot where you can also have a drink and a bite to eat at the bar restaurant after taking a swim. Also to be seen in the area: Caleton beach.
Looking for an adventure? Ask Joel, the owner of the La Mamie River Beach House, to take you to his La Mamie coffee plantation, perched 900m above sea level in the hills of Paraiso. After spending 45 minutes in a pick-up (or one hour on the back of a mule) driving on a bumpy trail and crossing a few rivers Camel Trophy-style, you will be rewarded with a magnificent view from the valley to the Caribbean Sea. It is here that Joel, a native of the Principality of Andorra, has been producing 100% organic Arabica coffee since August 2008. In tribute to his late mother, La Mamie is actually an affectionate nickname for women in the country. It can be given to a mother, a sister, an aunt, a niece, a grandmother and even a mother-in-law.
Remember to protect yourself against mosquitoes. A light raincoat will come in handy during the rainy season. You will have to take long bumpy roads to visit certain sites, such as the La Mamie coffee plantation or the Cloud Forest Community in Cachote. Apart from a few exceptions (Casa Bonita, Pirates of the Caribbean), the hotels in the region do not offer a lot of comfort. It is possible to find lodging with locals in different communities.
The rainy season starts in June and ends in November.
When it comes to dining, head to the small restaurant at the edge of the Rio Los Patos, where the river flows into the Caribbean Sea. Here you can eat all day long facing the clear water and envying the children swimming in the river. Whet your appetite with some lemon or cherry juice. You will have the opportunity to try the coffee from La Mamie, cultivated by the owner of the La Mamie River Beach House hotel.
Coffee from La Mamie, 100% organic Arabica coffee.