Los Tres Ojos - The 3 Eyes National Park, Santo Domingo
Parque Tres Ojos is a bit out of the way for those staying in Santo Domingo, but its a fun (albeit excessively humid) way to get out of the city. Don't be put off by the cheap crap they sell out front, once you descend into the caves they are truly magnificent, especially the ponds that are the most eerie colour of blue. Tres Ojos features several ponds and each one has slightly different flora and fauna (some have fish, some don't). One of the ponds is deep and large enough that you can take the extended tour into the underground component. This was once a sacred place for the Taíno, one of the native peoples of Hispaniola. In modern times, it has been used as the setting for Tarzan movies.
FYI: if you're doing this on a budget and understand more than just English, don't bother paying for a guide. There's always a guide tour in Spanish or French that you can discretely tag behind.
Address: Parque Mirador del Este
Directions: East of Faro a Colon.
When visiting the Columbus Lighthouse, make a stop at Los Tres Ojos and then the National Aquarium. Los Tres Ojos is an impressive 50-foot deep cave with three lagoons surrounded by stalagmites and lush vegetation, five minutes from the Lighthouse.
Los Tres Ojos are three open-air limestone sinkholes obscurely shrouded in forest across from eastern border of Parque Mirador del Este. Excursion buses stopping on their way to/from the capital have turned this natural highlight into quite the tourist trap, evident by the large parking lot on the northeast corner off the highway and swarms of vendors waiting to pounce on new arrivals.
Once paying the RD30 admission fee, restrooms and a small snack bar are farther back in the forest. Wanting to dodge sales pitches while getting a jump on the bus unloading,
Guides speaking numerous languages are available for hire, likely providing additional information, but the caves are rather self-explanatory and can be done in 30 minutes with plenty of time for soaking in the natural w(o/a)nder. Popularity has provoked tainted-ness, including underground vendors with racks of postcards and Polaroid photo opportunities. Avoiding the above-ground circus unknowingly extended the tour.
Profuse vegetation encircling the sink hole was astonishing! A low-lying natural ceiling snagged with eye-level stalactites rather defined a potential mouth for the three eyes, the mystical environment only swallowing you in more.
This large cave has three separate lakes. It is nice to see; just be aware that tour guides are pricey, but knowledgeable.
There are also people who break off the stalaktities and make taino-looking statues out of them. They are VERY pushy!
The 3 eyes is its english name. It's a large sinkhole with 3 lagoons (the 3 eyes) in it. The most impressive of which is the Azul Ojo, the "blue eye", which is a lagoon with crystal clear blue water.
Address: Av Las Americas