This beach is very easy to reach from Las Terrenas. Just take the coastal road to El Portillo and E Limon and after the Gran Bahia hotel, the road makes a left and right bend. Towards the sea. There it is Playa Carolima. Not more than a minutes drive from town. A small freshwater river for cooling down comes out into the ocean here.
Playa Carolima is between the Gran Bahia hotel and Playa Esperanza a bit further down. You can park a car under the trees right at the beach so it has some shade.
This beach is also popular by local Dominican families. The beach flows naturally over in the sea, the water is shallow and warm. For the children, it is really safe here.
During the weekend it can be more busy at this beach. And due to the fact that there is a Gran Bahia hotel nearby, there are always people walking this beach.
West Indian Manatees swim around the area of Playa Carolima.
The West Indian Manatee is a surprisingly friendly animal. It is a marine mammal that only lives in warm waters. The scientific name is Trichechus manatus. Aka sea cow. It travels mostly in large flocks.
Manatees are between 3 and 4 meters can weigh up to 300 kilograms. The forelimbs, in the form of fins, have five toes equipped with small deformed nails. The tail is like that of a mermaid and is flat. Its skin has a very thick blue-gray color. The face has a distinctive upper lip. Manatees are friendly, gentle and very tame.
The West Indian Manatee
The West Indian manatee (Trichechus manatus manatus, Linnaeus 1758) is the only species of Sirenia in the Caribbean. It is a very large animal, friendly and peaceful living in sheltered coastal areas. Like in warm coastal waters and shallow estuaries (where rivers join the sea) and slow flowing rivers in some tropical regions of the world.
The West Indian manatee lives in southern United States, Mexico, the Caribbean islands, Central America, and the countries of northeastern South America including Venezuela and northern Brazil.
Enclosed is a video of the manatees swimming near the beach of Carolima, El Portillo and Esperanza. Amazing to see.
The West Indian manatee and other species of manatees and dugongs, migrate to different areas for the winter and summer as the water temperature changes. Like humpback whales do also. They often follow the same routes that their parents and grandparents followed, and return to the same areas year after year. Manatees can travel up to 500 miles each season.
The manatee feeds itself on aquatic plants like water lilies, manatee grass (Syringodium spp.), Turtle grass (Thalassia spp.) and mangrove leaves.
The mother manatee gives birth to one calf after 13 months of pregnancy and breastfeeds for two years, so it is only possible to breed about once every four years. Female Manatees carry their babies in their arms and breast feed them in the water, similar to human mothers.
The intense hunting for centuries of the West Indian manatee has put it on the brink of extinction. Nowadays, poaching continues, despite being protected by law, for meat and bones. Manatee bones are used for crafts and medicinal purposes in traditional medicine.
There are less than 5,000 West Indian manatees (Trichechos manatus) in the Caribbean, Central America, and the Southern and Eastern coasts of North America and the North Coast of South America. In the Dominican Republic, the population is disappearing, with less than 70 individuals.
Legend has it that in Santo Domingo, in the sixteenth century there was a chief who had a domesticated animal, which he called Manat that amazed people and carried whoever wished to cross the river on his back. It is assumed that the animal was a manatee.