Parque Ojos Indigenas (Indigenous Eyes Park)
Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
www.puntacana.org - 8099598483
Parque Ojos Indigenas (Indigenous Eyes Park) Punta Cana Reviews
Tropical Oasis in the Heart of Punta Cana May 28, 2014
This was the second time I've been to Parque Ojos Indigenas (Indigenous Eyes Park). This unbelievable ecological reserve is a must see for anyone who loves immersing themselves in nature's beauty. The first time was in Sept. of 2013, and the last time was May of 2014. Sept is much more muggy and humid, so mosquitoes were plentiful, but in May there were virtually none to be bothered by.
The park resides right next to the Punta Cana Resort and is a part of a larger ecological tour. You can see the animals in the local zoo, or jump on a quad and hit the gas through designated trails. The best part, hands down, is the short hike through the tropical forest (all trails are lined with many rocks so you can't get lost). You can even buy the pure 100% all-natural Punta Cana honey made buy the bees in the hives in the top of the canopy at the entrance.
After a short trek through the woods enjoying the flora and fauna, you will come up onto a pristine freshwater lagoon that is fed by an underwater spring. By the way, DO NOT TOUCH THE TREES. There are skin irritants growing naturally on the bark and you’ll see signs forbidding it along the path. Don’t be “that guy.”
Anyway, the water is so clean and pure, you can see all the way to the bottom so bring a snorkeling mask. The biggest lagoon goes down about 30 feet. This is an insanely cool spot and what’s even better is very few people know about it. There is even an area by a huge tree, to the left of the dock you can jump off, that is growing over two rocks, where you can swim underneath through a short 6 foot underwater tunnel and out the other side. SO COOL!
The best lagoon is the one with a wooden deck with stairs entering the water. It is the biggest of the many pockets of lagoon areas and the spot where most people jump in and swim. It also has a 7 ft dock you can jump off of into the water as well (lost of fun). Bring your snorkeling mask because the clarity of the water is unlike anywhere I've ever seen. With the main lagoon roughly 30 feet deep, it's very worth it to see all the turtles and fish.
There is a long, smooth tree branch dipping into the water in the middle making an ideal seat to soak up the sun. This spot is not known by a lot of people, and both times I've been there, NOBODY was there the whole time. And we stayed for hours!
This freshwater spring is truly an amazing experience and I highly recommend it to anyone who visits the Punta Cana area. NOTES: Bring mosquito spray, $25 cash (entrance fee), a towel, a snorkeling mask, a camera.
P.S. Watch out for Howard the Duck. This little guy is very friendly and will walk right up to you and stick his head in your bag if you set it on the ground saying, "What do ya got for me in there?"
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The highlight of my Dominican Republic trip Jul 10, 2008
The Ecological Park was highly recommended in the Lonely Planet guide to DR. So we checked it out and had a pleasant experience. Even though from our hotel, the park is a $30 USD roundtrip cab ride, it was well worth it!
When we came to the visitor's center, we originally wanted to go horseback riding and look around the "garden." But we found out the horseback riding is operated through the ranch seperate from the park and right next to it. We changed our plans and arranged for us to go horseback riding the next day.
And since we were there, we got a guided tour around the park. It was well worth. Our tourguide, Miguel (or Miguelito) was very nice, he showed us the cave with water underground, passed through the webs of really large spiders (that he said were harmless), and showed us the freshwater lagoons.
There are 11 lagoons that are freshwater and are home to turtles and fish. We got to take a dip in one of them and it was pretty amazing.
Just being in the park felt like a really safe rainforest. It was great and surely the highlight of my trip.