Out of this world!
During our trip to Santo Domingo, we took a day to venture out of the Zona Colonial and explore other sites around the city. We started the morning visiting the National park Los 3 ojos, then visited the aquarium and finished the day with lunch and a lazy afternoon at the beach in the beautiful gated community of Juan Dolio.
National Park Los 3 Ojos
The Dominican Republic is known for its beautiful beaches but it actually has a very divers land with mountains, lakes and forests as well. It was really cool to visit the National Park Los 3 Ojo which is a series of three lakes (ojos) niched into underground caves. We were really impressed by how clear the water was and the lush vegetation surrounding the lakes which is such a contrast with the palm trees we usually see at the beach. A fourth lagoon is accessible via a small wooden boat that took us into an open space with the lake as the center piece surrounded by a rocky landscape with lush vegetation. The guide said that part of the movie Jurassic Park was film there!
We had fun going to the aquarium to see all kind of fishes, big and small. A cool feature is the main tank that has a similar ecosystem as the ocean with sharks (!), sting rays, turtles and of course beautiful tropical fishes. There is a tunnel going through the tank that you can walk though and see all the fishes up close. There was also on display a skeleton of a whale and you could see the similarity with the human skeleton! Check out this video I found on YouTube for a quick tour of the aquarium.
We finished the day in the beautiful gated community of Juan Dolio located 30 minutes outside Santo Domingo. We love our beach in Sosua because of the local shop and tranquil bay for snorkeling, but I have to say that Juan Dolio is the picture perfect Caribbean beach you imagine. It has beautiful white sand with perfectly lined palm trees on the beach. And to top it off, there is a restaurant and bar build directly on the water with an amazing view of the ocean. We had lunch on the beach and spend a few hours in the water and relaxing under the palm trees. Can’t get better than that!
We had an awesome time visiting 3 very different spots in and around Santo Domingo that really gives us a sense of the diversity of the Dominican Republic and it made us want to discover even more of this beautiful country!
Until next time!
Nancy and Francois