I had hoped to get this post out last week, however that didn’t happen, but I did have a wonderful Memorial Day weekend, I actually went somewhere. Whenever I go away, I get this itch to go away again immediately, to continue seeing new things, but at last, it’s not feasible yet, maybe some day. For now, let’s go back to the Dominican Republic to see…
Los Tres Ojos, located in Santo Domingo Este, Dominican Republic
(The Three Eyes National Park)
Los Tres Ojos is open daily from 9am to 5pm, and admission to the park is 100RD, which is about $2-4USD. The park is meant to be self-guided, but there are tour guides available inside the park who can lead you around. (The guides are quite expensive, I believe it was $20 to lead a group of people, so my buddy and I didn’t bother and just walked around by ourselves.) Los Tres Ojos is located in the Mirador del Este park, which is quite far from the Zona Colonial, so the best way to get there is by taxi. (As mentioned in a few of the previous posts, JC Taxi is a good service to try if you need to get around in the Dominican Republic.) It is also possible to walk there if you want to, but I advise against it as the park is located in an area where safety maybe an issue. Los Tres Ojos is located close to some other sites, so it’s possible to check those out while in the area.
Los Tres Ojos is a complex of limestone caves that consist of a three interior lakes, which is where the name Three Eyes originated. Visitors have to descend a long and steep staircase right by the park’s entrance to reach the first lake and from there, various paths lead to the other two lakes. The first lake is the Lago de Afuzre. The lake is very stunning with it’s clear turquoise blue water; I don’t think I’ve seen such clean and blue water in person before (except at aquariums, in nature, it’s the first time). Traveling along the paths that contain some more stairs (not as steep), visitors can take in the lush green scenery as they make their way to the second lake, Lago Las Dumas. The second lake is equally as remarkable as the first, but significantly smaller. The last lake is the Lago La Nevera. At this lake, visitors can take a small manually powered raft to a fourth lake. (More on this fourth lake in a bit. My buddy and I skipped it as we weren’t quite sure how to get on and if there was a fee or not. I’m pretty sure I missed some good stuff, maybe next time.)
The fourth lake, Lago Los Zaramagullones, is completely open-air, hence it is not considered part of the three eyes. If you opt not to take the raft to the fourth lake (or even if you plan to), there are lookout points in the park to see the fourth lake. The path to get to the lookout point isn’t too far, about a 10 minute walk from the park entrance, nor strenuous, just walking on a flat path and maybe a couple of steps. The walk is quite refreshing, everywhere you look is green and clear skies, nothing to remind you that you are still in a metropolitan area. The fourth lake is surrounded by plants and trees, and there appears to be a small look out right by the lake (maybe this is where the raft brings visitors, but I didn’t see anyone when I was at there). If you don’t want to walk back to the park entrance to exit, there is a small path near the fourth lake that you can follow that leads to the lot in front of the park. (If you decide to use this way, just look for a path near the fourth lake that’s not marked and go. The last photo shows the opening of the path.)
My buddy and I were at the park for 1 hour, which is a pretty decent amount of time. As usual, other visitors can take more or less time depending on how fast they walk, their interest levels, or whether they had a guide. (Others will probably spend more time as I skipped the raft, maybe an additional half hour.) The park can be completely explored without a guide, there are enough signs around to let you know which lake you are viewing and where the exit is. (The guides are a bit pushy, so be adamant if you don’t want their services.) The Threes Eyes is a great place to take anybody, kids and adults alike will enjoy the great outdoors, just be prepared to climb plenty of stairs and remember that it will be humid in the caves due to all the water. Los Tres Ojos is a feast for the eyes, so definitely go for a visit and be amazed by the lush green vegetation and crystal clear blue waters.