Cordillera Septentrional

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Cordillera Septentrional
Range
Country Dominican Republic
Provinces Monte Cristi, Puerto Plata, Valverde, Santiago, Espaillat, Hermanas Mirabal, Duarte, María Trinidad Sánchez
Highest point Pico Diego de Ocampo
 - elevation 1,249 m (4,098 ft)
 - coordinates 19°34′47″N 70°44′42″W / 19.57972°N 70.74500°W / 19.57972; -70.74500
Length 200 km (124 mi), NW-SE

Cordillera Septentrional is a mountain range along the northern part of the Dominican Republic; in English, its name means simply "Northern mountain range". Sometimes it is called Sierra de Montecristi, mainly in old books.

It has a total length of about 200 km, from the coast of the Monte Cristi province to near the Samaná Bay, several kilometres to the east of San Francisco de Macorís. Its maximum width is about 40 km.[1]

It goes along the northern coast of the Hispaniola island, from northwest to southeast. Only small valleys are between the Atlantic coast and the mountain range. It has an average of 600 metres in elevation.

Mountains[change | change source]

In the west, the range ends in a small mountain in a headland; that mountain is "El Morro" and is near the city of Monte Cristi. Christopher Columbus saw on 4 January 1493 that mountain and gave it the name of Monte Cristo or Monte Christi (in English, Mountain of Christ).[2]

The highest mountains in this range are to the north of the Valverde and Santiago provinces, in the central part of the range. These mountains are:[1]

Other important mountains are El Mogote (970 m), north of Moca, and Quita Espuela (985 m), northeast of San Francisco de Macorís.[1] Quita Espuela is the highest mountain in the eastern part, where the range was called Sierra de Macorís.

The Isabel de Torres mountain (799 m) is part of the Cordillera Central even if it is not completely on the range; it is 5 km to the southeast of the city Puerto Plata.[3]

Rivers[change | change source]

Those rivers with their sources in the Cordillera Septentrional are short. On the southern side or the range, the longest river is Licey, a tributary of the River Camú.

On the northern side, rivers are longer than those of the southern side and they flow into the Atlantic Ocean. Some of them are Bajabonico, Camú del Norte, Yásica, Boba.

Vegetation[change | change source]

In the western part of Cordillera Septentrional, there are only small hills and the region is very dry; because of that, only plants of dry regions like cacti grow here.

In the central and eastern sections of the range, it rains more and there are rainforests in some places, mainly in the eastern part.

In the natural vegetation of the Cordillera Septentrional, pines do not grow even if they grow in the other main mountain ranges of the island.

Population and economic activity[change | change source]

There are only a few small towns in the Cordillera Septentrional; three of them are Altamira, Imbert and Jamao al Norte.

The western part of the range is too dry to allow any economic activity but in the central and eastern parts, farming is important. The main crops are coffee and cacao. Cattle raising is also very important where the mountains are not too high.

Amber is found in the Cordillera Central, on the mountains north of Tamboril. This amber is used to make jewels.[1]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 De la Fuente, Santiago (1976). Geografía Dominicana (in Spanish). Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Colegial Quisqueyana.
  2. Columbus, Christopher (1989). The Diario of Christopher Columbus's First Voyage to America, 1492-1493. de las Casas, Bartolomé, Dunn, O.C., and Kelley, James E. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press.
  3. Noboa Warden, Margarita (2000). Puerto Plata: La Reina del Océano Atlántico (in Spanish). Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: Editora Búho. ISBN 99934-0-143-9.