Years ago, the BeachCorps Beach Bum visited Bahia Las Aguilas. Wow. This hidden treasure of the southern region of Pedernales is nestled in the Jaragua National Park. Many believe Bahia Las Aguilas is the largest and nothing less than the most gorgeous beach in the country. The beach is accessible by motorboat from the fishing village of La Cueva. During the 20-minute boat ride you can admire the deserted landscapes of the Jaragua National Park and watch an impressive variety of migratory and endemic birds. This park is the most protected wildlife and flora reserve on the island. Perhaps because it is part of a national park the Beach is remarkably clean.
So it is with heavy heart we read that there are plans to build 15,000 rooms there. Run to see Bahia de las Aguilas before they build 15,000 hotel rooms! And yet, in truth, we have to say we're not too surprised. The Pedernales region desperately needs jobs as one of the poorest areas of the country. It's easy for foreigners to sit back and say "Don't develop" when we may visit once or twice in a lifetime. It's quite another situation for locals who see their young people leaving or even falling into the dangers of the drug trade.
So if it's likely that a hotel will be built, it's important that it be done right. It's important that the hotel be built to be sustainable given the lack of water resources in the area. It's critical that a proper solid waste and sewer system be developed before the first hotel A/C unit is turned on. It's critical that the hotel support, not undermine, the rest of the national park. Look at the bottom photo. If they build a nice hotel away from the beach on the little cliff that encircles the pristine beach, they will have created one of the most beautiful beach resorts in the world. When you are on the beach, you really can't see what is on top of the cliffs, so a hotel that doesn't rise too high would still give you a feeling of isolation. Make those fat tourists walk the extra 100 yards! It will be good for them!
The BeachCorps Beach Bum!
The BeachCorps Beach Bum loves great vacations and great volunteer work!