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Planning a Palm Trip to Dominican Republic


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I am planning a palm trip to Dominican Republic for 5-6 days around Presidents Day next February. Is anyone else interested in coming?


The guide will be a gentleman named Leonel Mera, who is a local palm expert and grower. He does not want to charge anything for his guide services, but he does insist that the itinerary include a trip to his ranch where he grows an incredible selection of rare palms from all over the world.


I am working with Leonel to come up with an exact itinerary, but it will most likely be flying into Santiago (where Leonel lives), visiting his palm collection, and then taking a rental vehicle to the South West of the country where a great deal of the habitats of the palm species are located, including: (Psueophoenix vinifera and ekmanii, Coccothrinax boschiana, ekmanii, montana, scoparia, and spissa, and Reinhardtia paiewonskiana, etc.), also visiting a breathtaking beach called Bahia de Las Aguilas that is part of a national park with Coccothrinax ekmanii and Psuedophoenix ekmanii. Then returning to the capital, Santo Domingo to fly back.


We will be staying in cheap local bed and breakfast places. The only costs of the trip will be accommodation, food, and splitting the costs of the rental vehicle.


I was thinking of planning the trip around Presidents Day Weekend, but nothing is set in stone yet, if needed we can change the dates slightly to accommodate people’s needs, so long as it is around that winter period when it is not so hot and the chance of rain is at its lowest.


If anyone is interested then send me a PM, and let me know of any particular palms you would like to see. I think the max would be 4 people so we can all fit in the rental vehicle with Leonel. Here’s some photos from the area:

Leonel Mera at his palm garden:




Coccothrinax boschiana in habitat:



Pseudophoenix vinifera in habitat:


Coccothrinax ekmanii growing over the clear waters of Bahia de las Aguilas:


Coccothrinax spissa in Bani:


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Can't tag along but wold like to see some more pictures of the new Sabal Species (Sabal antillensis) if you get around to it. :greenthumb:



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Sounds like a great trip! Unfortunately I already have travel commitments for February. DR is on my list not only for palms, but diving/snorkeling too. 

Kim Cyr

Between the beach and the bays, Point Loma, San Diego, California USA
and on a 300 year-old lava flow, Pahoa, Hawaii, 1/4 mile from the 2018 flow
All characters  in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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  • 1 month later...

I have been talking to Leonel a little more and we have formulated a much more concrete itinerary: 6 days total. The plan would be to fly into Santiago (where Leonel lives) on either February 13th or 15th (on the 14th the flight is lot more pricey). And from there the following itinerary:

Day 1: Arrive at Santiago airport in the morning, rent a 4x4. Meet Leonel and visit his ranch and rare palm collection, then drive down to Bani on the south coast, spend the night in Bani.

Day 2: Around the area of Bani and Azua visit Coccothrinax spissa, Coccothrinax Boschiana, Copernicia berteroana, and Psuedophoenix vinifera. then drive to Pedernales. Night in Pedernales.

Day 3: Spend the morning seeing Psuedophoenix ekmanni in Jaragua National Park, then lunch and the afternoon in Bahia de Las Aguilas to see the beautiful beach and Coccothrinax ekamanni growing on the cliffs over the sea. Another night in Pedernales.

Day 4: Drive back towards Barahona and on the southside of the Sierra de Bahoruco Mountains we will see Coccothrinax scoparia, Coccothrinax montana, and Reinhardtia paiewonskiana. Night in Barahona.

Day 5: Drive to Jimani, on the North side of the Sierra de Bahoruco we will see thousands of huge Psuedophoenix vinifera. Then drive back towards Bani and either stay the night in Bani or Santo Domingo.

Day 6: Drive to Santo Domingo airport return the rental vehicle and fly back.


So far it is just me and one other PalmTalk member that is interested in going. So there would be room in the rental vehicle for at least 1 or 2 more people. PM me if you are interested.


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  • 3 years later...

Corvian,  check the date on the top of each response.

Welcome to Palmtalk !  :)

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San Francisco, California

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