Martinico Saltadero rivers are two of the best eco tours we recommend to venture off the beaten path in Sosua. We include them in the river tour series that begin with the Sosua river, which is practically in town; then the Bella Vista river in Maranata, easy to get to with paved roads. Martinico takes about 30 more minutes by dirt road, best done with a Jeep or SUV as some of the road is too rough for a sedan.
We drove up the road through farmland deep into a region called Madre Vieja, where small villages welcome the visitor with a few sparsely scattered spots to get a refreshment or food. Cows and horses are the main stock, also chicken, gobblers and pigs. The natural landscape of this area offers mountain vistas like no other place, and there is electricity for as far as we could drive. Phone signal died halfway, so satellite would be the only choice.
Martinico River Photo Gallery
When we reached the Martinico a nice woman selling snacks welcomed us and helped us set up camp to fix our sandwiches and drinks; she has mamajuana bottles, beer and lays for sale. There is also a sort of cafeteria restaurant next to the river where ATV tours stop for a more varied menu.
The Martinico is beautiful, it has a blue/green hue and sits surrounded by tall, mature trees with plenty of lush green plants around it, quite favored by nature. There are decent sized fish in its waters, meaning it is not polluted. The depth varies from 1 foot to about 25 feet; swimmers can jump from a higher ground.
Saltadero River Photo Gallery
To reach the Saltadero we drove about 25 more minutes, taking the first right past Martinico river, then another right turn until we found the first left and drove forward towards a river bank past a new eco village project being built nearby and a great looking farm you can`t miss.
At the river bank you need to drive through a creek with pebble stones, any SUV can do it. Then drive about 300 meters until you find a steep where the wooden staircase leads down to the Saltadero waterfall.
This tour requires climbing down a long staircase made of branch wood, easy to go down but tiresome for the physically unfit when coming back up. The view past the Gazebo reveals a hidden treasure of the North Dominican Republic: A waterfall guarding a natural pool in the middle of pristine lands, hidden from civilization. We can only imagine what Taino people worshiped here.
The Hydroelectric Dam
Just 7 minutes past Martinico we were told about another great spot for photos, the dam over the Yasica. This is a concrete dam 40 m high with a regulated flow of 12.2 m3/sec and a total reservoir volume of 105 MMC. The contribution area of the dam site is 197 km2.
The hydroelectric project has two turbines at the foot of the dam with a combined power of 14,000 KW and an annual generation of 31 million KW. The area to be irrigated is approximately 4,000 ha (63,600 acres) which is served by a counter reservoir located downstream of the dam.
The reservoir also supplies drinking water to Sabaneta de Yásica, Sosua, Puerto Plata; also controls flooding on the upper Jamao highway and the lower area of the river. This is the reason it is forbidden to use it as a personal pool, we could only take photos and enjoy the sightseeing.
The dam is a great visit between the Martinico Saltadero rivers, please follow the local rules and do not leave anything behind when visiting this area as it is the main water supply, there are guards there to make sure nobody breaks the rules. This tour to Martinico Saltadero rivers can also be done with ATVs, available in Sosua via several concierge and tour operators including the Sosua Villa Rentals concierge service.