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Habitat for tens of thousands of tropical birds and protected as Parque Nacional Isla Cabritos, Lago Enriquillo is an enormous 42km-long salt-water lake and slightly larger than the island of Manhattan. At the southern base of the Sierra Neiba, the lake sits at the lowest point in the Caribbean, a full 46m below sea level.

You can get on the water with one of the boat tours (daily 7.30am, 8.30am and 1pm; 2hr 30min; RD$300–2000, depending on group size) that depart from the park entrance 4km east of La Descubierta, near the lake’s northwestern tip. You’ll be taken to an enormous bird sanctuary filled with flamingos and hundreds of other tropical birds, which collectively form an unforgettable multicoloured spectacle; also a hit are the American crocodiles that inhabit this part of the lake, though you should take one of the morning tours if you want to see them – guides get into the water and steer them past the boat for a closer view. From there it’s on to the arid, iguana-infested Isla Cabritos in the lake’s centre, a sandy island covered with cactus where the half-tame rhinoceros iguanas crowd around you in the hope of being fed.

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