The Jardín Botánico Nacional Dr. Rafael Moscoso, or National Botanical Garden, the largest in the Caribbean, is located in the northern part of Santo Domingo.
The 200 hectare botanical garden is a quiet oasis in this busy city, and is a great place to encounter the common birds of the country, including a number of endemic species. As such, we frequently use the garden as an introduction to Dominican birds.
An early morning walk of 2-3 hours through wooded areas, stream-side habitats, and open palm savannas will offer opportunities for seeing many interesting birds.
In addition, with a series of easily walked trails, the botanical garden is a pleasant place to see many plants that are native or endemic to Hispaniola.
The garden includes a wide variety of exhibit areas, including gardens devoted to aquatic plants, bromeliads, ferns and tree ferns, palms, orchids, cacti and succulents, medicinal and aromatic herbs, and endemic plants.
Because Hispaniola is richly endowed with plants and an extraordinarily high level of endemism, the Botanical Garden is indeed a showcase for biodiversity and conservation.
Beyond the broadly distributed species such as the Vervain Hummingbird, Broad-billed Tody, Hispaniolan Woodpecker, Bananaquit, Black-crowned Palm-Tanager, and Yellow-faced Grassquit, this is also an excellent site for seeing the reclusive Limpkin, and the threatened West-Indian Whistling Duck and Hispaniolan Parakeet.
Enjoy the Botanical Gardens and their birds, but please keep the impacts of heavy traffic to a minimum by staying on the marked paths only.
The West Indian whistling duck