Lake Enriquillo

hypersaline lake in the Dominican Republic

Lake Enriquillo is a lake in western Dominican Republic, near the border with Haiti. Its Taíno name was Hagueygagon but, in colonial times, it had the name Jaragua Lake.[1] It is in the Hoya de Enriquillo valley, a long valley between the "Sierra de Neiba", to the north, and the "Sierra de Bahoruco", to the south.

Locationwestern Dominican Republic
Coordinates18°30′N 71°35′W / 18.500°N 71.583°W / 18.500; -71.583
Typesalt water lake
Basin countriesDominican Republic
Surface area265 km²
Surface elevation-44 m
Settlementssee list
South shore of Lake Enriquillo, looking northward to the Sierra de Neiba.

The lake has an area of 265 km², and its surface is around 44 meters below sea level, the lowest point in the Caribbean. There are three small islands in the lake: Isla Cabritos, Barbarita, and La Islita.

Only small rivers flow into the lake. The rivers that flow from the Sierra de Neiba always have water. Those rivers that flow from the Sierra de Bahoruco sometimes do not have water.

It is a salt water lake with a higher concentration of salt than the sea water because the rivers that flow into the lake are small and the evaporation of its water is high.

Many water birds visit the lake to feed, including flamingos. There are also American crocodiles and some fishes as tilapia. Because it is an arid region, the vegetation around the lake is poor with cacti and small shrubs.

The lake is part of the "Lago Enriquillo e Isla Cabritos National Park" and of the "Jaragua - Bahoruco - Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve".

Cities on the lake


The main cities on the coast (or very near) of the lake are:

  1. Villa Jaragua
  2. Postrer Río
  3. La Descubierta
  4. Boca de Cachón
  5. El Limón
  6. Vengan a Ver


  1. Las Casas, Bartolomé de (1965). Historia de las Indias (in Spanish). Mexico: Fondo de Cultura Económica.

Other websites


  Media related to Lake Enriquillo at Wikimedia Commons