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Cap Cana: Home of Representative Species

In Cap Cana we live in a paradise full of natural resources that adorn the landscape with which we interact every day. We have representative plant and animal species that help the natural development of the city.


The Cimarrón Fig is a tree that can measure up to 20 meters. It can be found with flowers and fruits in the months between May and August as well as October to March. Its wood can regularly be used as firewood, and its fruits serve as food for bats and birds.


Like the wild fig, we can find the olive in Cap Cana. The wood of this tree is used for construction in rural areas and the terminal part for charamicos and Christmas decorations. Hard to get even boards; the sticks have rural uses. Good for carving and relief work. Used in the construction of yokes for oxen and in the manufacture of doors and windows. Currently, Fundación Cap Cana is in charge of conserving this tree to avoid it from falling or its destruction within the city, while also promoting its reproduction.


Cotoperi or Melicoccus jimenezii. It belongs to the botanical family Sapindaceae. It is known by several common names: Cuchiflichi, Cuchiflita, Cuchiflí, Cotoperí and Jobo cigüelo. It is a small to medium-sized tree, reaching up to 12 meters high. This species was described by Alain Henri Liogier as Talisia jimenezii, and dedicated to the Dominican botanist and physician José de Jesús Jiménez Almonte. Later, Pedro Acevedo-Rodríguez relocated it to the genus Melicoccus. It has sugary and succulent edible fruits, yellow when ripe. It is endemic to Hispaniola, and is restricted to the southeastern coastal strip of the Dominican Republic, from Los Bancos de Arena, San Pedro de Macorís, to Juanillo, La Altagracia province. But only scattered trees appear. It is Critically Endangered, according to the Red List of Threatened Plants in the Dominican Republic 2016.


Among other species that we can highlight are:


  • Buzunuco (Hamelia patens)
  • Rain palm (Gaussia attenuata)
  • Cana palm (Sabal causiarum)
  • Beach grape (Coccoloba uvifera)
  • Creole bell (Cubanela dominguensis)
  • Button mangrove (Conocarpus erectus)
  • Pigeon heart (Colubrina arborescens)
  • Beach tea (Borrichia arborescens)






On the other hand, if we want to enter the wildest world we can highlight that we have the following species:



Rock iguanas (genus Cyclura) are large lizards unique to the Antilles. There are only nine species, and on our island we have two of them: the rhinoceros iguana (Cyclura cornuta) and the Ricord or ricordi iguana (Cyclura ricordii). As a group, rock iguanas are considered the most endangered lizards in the world, and our species is no exception, both being threatened with extinction. Like other iguanas, they are strong lizards, with loose skin around the throat and a crest of scales from the nape (behind the head) to the tip of the tail. Rock iguanas are distinguished by their large size (up to 1.5 meters long) and strong legs. They are the largest remaining native land animals on Hispaniola. In their natural habitat, our iguanas eat leaves, fruits and seeds of wild plants. They are very important in the ecosystem, since with their feeding they help to disperse the seeds of new plants, and also because by eating leaves in moderation, they stimulate plant growth. Without them, the dry forest cannot be maintained or renewed, and it also loses many species of plants, impoverishing it more and more.


In particular, the rhinoceros iguana is the perfect caddy for the Punta Espada golf course. From 11 in the morning until 3 in the afternoon you can view our guests of honor between holes 11 and 15.


The Antillean manatee is a large aquatic mammal. There are two subspecies of West Indian manatees: the West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus) and the Florida manatee (Trichechus manatus latirostris). Due to their eating habits, manatees are nicknamed “sea cows” because they eat seagrass and other aquatic plants. It is currently an endangered species. Accidental captures in fishing nets, hunting, and the degradation of coastal habitats (destruction and water pollution) have caused it to be a species to be cared for since 2018. In Cap Cana we enjoy the presence of 5 on our shores that are the perfect hosts to welcome our visitors.


Other species of animals that we can find:

  • Hispaniola solenodon (Solenodon paradoxus)
  • Hispaniola hutia (Plagiodontia aedium)
  • Gray heron (Ardea alba)
  • Hispaniola Sparrowhawk (Buteo ridgwayi)
  • Brown Pelican (Pelecanus occidentalis)
  • Red-billed Coot (Gallinula galeata)
  • Hispaniola northern slider (Trachemys stejnegeri vicina)
  • Elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata)
  • Green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas)