The 3 Eyes National Park

The 3 Eyes National Park


The 3 Eyes National Park

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Eight kilometres from Santo Domingo is the 3 Eyes National Park (Parque Nacional de los Tres Ojos). A natural paradise discovered in 1916, but which wasn’t declared a protected area until just forty years ago. Inside are the underground caves that the Taíno used as a refuge or a place to carry out their rituals. The Taíno were pre-Columbian inhabitants of the Bahamas, the Greater Antilles and the northern Lesser Antilles, and their customs are still very present today in Dominican popular culture. Proof of which is the local cuisine and the cultural richness that has survived to this day. 

This National Park was subject to major changes throughout its history until it was protected by the authorities. In 1998, a large part of it suffered significant damage. However, today the vegetation and wildlife have largely recovered, and you can enjoy the wonderful natural environment that it offers to the visitors. 

Access to the caves is done via a staircase that leads to numerous underground paths that surround three large freshwater lagoons. Their turquoise colour accentuated by the entrance of natural light from above and their oval shape are the reasons why they’ve been referred to as “eyes” since Taíno times. The fourth lagoon, which can be reached by sailing on a wooden ferry raft, has a unique landscape of rock formations covered with lush vegetation. These four lagoons, which are currently interconnected, originally formed a single lake. After a telluric movement, part of the cave’s ceiling collapsed, thus separating the four lakes. In total, the 3 Eyes has an approximate area of one million square metres. 

Visiting this spot is an ideal activity to do in Santo Domingo with the whole family. Its level of difficulty isn’t too tough, and the reward is getting to immerse yourself in nature just a few minutes away from the Dominican capital. If you’re thinking of going on a day trip during your family holidays, this is definitely it.

Lago de Azufre (Sulphur Lake)

Lago Azufre is the first you’ll visit during your outing to the 3 Eyes National Park and is four metres deep. Its name is due to the whitish substance that sits on the bottom and that, in the past, was thought to be this chemical element. Later on, scientific studies showed that calcium and other minerals were the protagonists found on the bottom of this lake. 

Lago Azufre, Dominican Republic

El Lago de las Damas (Women’s Lake)

Following along the route, we arrive at the second lake, whose name dates back to its former use as a spa. Thanks to its discreet location and its shallow depth, which only reaches 2.5 metres in its deepest part, swimming here was reserved for women and children.

Lago de las Damas, Dominican Republic

Source: Wikipedia

La Nevera (the Refrigerator)

The third lake is unique. It never receives direct sunlight and therefore its temperature never exceeds 21ºC. Its name thus comes from its low temperature in comparison with the Dominican climate and the temperatures of the rest of the lakes, as well as its depth and its gloomy landscape. From here, you can hop on a wooden ferry raft that will allow you to cross over to the fourth lake, called Los Zaramagullones. 

Los Zaramagullones 

The last stop is the icing on the cake. The fourth lake is the only one that can be enjoyed outside, thus it’s not considered to be one of the “eyes” in this natural park. The lake is more than six metres deep and has wild vegetation surrounding it, populating its 223-metre circumference.

Zaramagullones Lake

Recommendations for your visit

The best time to visit the 3 Eyes national Park is sunrise. At this time of day, the light illuminates the caves in their entirety and for a few minutes, the darkness that reigns for the rest of the day disappears. The intensity of the blue of its waters and the contrast with the rock formations and vegetation will leave you with an unforgettable memory. 

Although swimming was permitted years ago, during your visit to the 3 Eyes National Park you won’t be allowed to dive into the depths of any of the four lakes. So, when you prepare your clothes for this outing, you can leave your swimsuit in your suitcase.

 Outing to the 3 Eyes National Park

The temperature isn’t very high inside the caves, but there is a lot of humidity. You should wear light clothing that’s breathable and not too dark. Wear an athletic shoe, since you won’t be able to enjoy this outing in sandals or flip-flops and this type of footwear can be dangerous in some sections. The entire visit is done on foot, and you’ll also be walking down some stairs to the lakes where you can go exploring among the rocks, meaning a day of fun and exercise is guaranteed. 

It’s also a very good idea to bring a bottle of water to drink throughout the visit. Although the park facilities have a cafeteria, it’s located outside the caves. If you have to buy something, you’ll need to do so before or after the tour. 

Enjoy the best plan for families in Santo Domingo with your visit to the 3 Eyes National Park. Book your stay in Punta Cana now at the Lopesan Costa Bávaro Resort Spa & Casino.

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