Pausing a moment to reflect on what my experience in Jarabacoa meant to me causes me to desire more time to muse for it’s near impossible to have to squish it all into one box of text -the sights, the smells, the sensations- that this village offered me. Yet, I desire to share these feelings so that others, too, can experience Jarabacoa, at least a little, like I did.
As a traveler, there are sights in Jarabacoa that no man-made lens can ever do justice with. For instance, how the sun is able to catch the mist off of Salto de Jimenoa so that it takes one’s breath away, the winding rivers that make their way to and fro around Jarabacoa’s countryside, and the mountainous lush forest-green background that accompanies a visitor everywhere he or she travels. Jarabacoa offers sites that appear completely natural, as if each visitor is stepping into areas that have never been touched before.
When one maneuvers their way throughout the landscape of Jarabacoa, they encounter various smells. For example, the earthy odor that comes from fields of chayotes, coffee, and bananas, the intense aroma of pine tree resin that traverses its way throughout the town and countryside, and the refreshing scent that greets a person most mornings— that can only be a result of a gentle rain the night before. The fragrances found within Jarabacoa are like no other.
The sensations that Jarabacoa offers is what keeps travelers coming back — whether it’s the memory of tasting one of its delicatessens, from Caribbean organic coffee to fried chicken from a local stand, or the experience one had while riding on the back of a moped or even a horse through the village’s busy streets, or even the pleasant hospitality of its residents.
To summarize my time in Jarabacoa, Miriam Beard once said it well: “Certainly, travel is more than the seeing of sights; it is a change that goes on, deep and permanent, in the ideas of living.” You will see for yourself – Jarabacoa is a place to its own – a village that can only be experienced, not just read about.