Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park
Over 40 years ago, Punta Cana Club & Resort had the foresight to preserve 1,500 acres of pristine land for research, conservation of native and endangered species and recreational use for Punta Cana guests; and so the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Reserve was born.
Thanks to historians we know the Taino Indians (the Dominican Republic’s original inhabitants) referred to lagoons and cenotes as "Ojos Indigenas" or "Indigenous Eyes". Lagoons, such as these, are found throughout the Dominican Republic and many were once considered sacred sites to the Tainos. Today, 12 lagoons are protected within the reserve, each with an underground river source of waters perfect for admiring or bathing. The water is so transparent, it looks like the fish are floating in the air! The reserve’s lagoons may be the main draw but there are numerous Things to Do on this protected acreage.
What To Do
Visit the Sustainability Center (Saturdays 10am-11am). The reserve has a plethora of environmental projects at any given time.
Apiary - Afraid of bees? Don’t be! Learn everything there is to know about forest honey and the world of bees, a crucial component of our ecosystem.
Rhinoceros iguanas - Stop by and say hello! These iguanas are only found on the island of Hispaniola (the island the Dominican Republic & Haiti share). Oh, and they loooove bread.
Greenhouse & Orchard - See and learn about numerous native plants and fruits/vegetables of the Dominican Republic - all being produced sustainably.
Worm compost - Ewww! No, not ewww. Learn how worms + organic refuse = incredibly fertile soil.
And there are many more projects than these!
Visit the Animal Farm (Daily 8:30am - 5pm). The reserve boasts a quaint petting zoo with animals present, in the Dominican Republic, since Colonial times. Horses, goats, ducks, chickens and hens. No need to have a child with you; adults can enjoy farm animals as well!
Swim the Indigenous Eyes Lagoons (Daily 8:30am - 5pm). As previously mentioned, these cold water natural springs are the reserve’s most popular attraction. Wear sturdy sandals or sneakers for the short hikes to each of the lagoons apt for swimming. Oh, and don’t forget goggles! Water this clear has to be see from above and below.
Guided Tours & Excursions
For a more in depth understanding of the ecological reserve consider one of the many day tours available to visitors.
The Foundation Tour (Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:30am - 12:50pm). Let a local expert help you discover the reserve’s humid and dry forests by highlighting the park’s flora and fauna and its diverse ecosystem.
Bird Watching (Thursdays and Fridays 7:00am - 10:00am). Walk the Hawk Trail, with a an expert, to the Bird Watching Tower. There are over 100 bird species at the ecological reserve, namely the Ridgeway Hawk. This endangered and endemic bird is one of the rarest animals in the world with only about 300 left in the wild.
Segway (Daily - morning & afternoon outings) - Probably the best way to see the reserve is on a Segway! These unobtrusive motorized carts zip you around the grounds and along the forest trails. You’ll also visit the enviable Serena Beach and take a dip in the lagoons. https://puntacanatours.com/segway-eco-tour/
Dual Adventures (Daily - morning outings) - This full day excursion combines Buggies, lunch at the beautiful Playa Blanca beach, a catamaran on the Caribbean Sea and a swim in the lagoons. The Dual Adventures Tour is a fun day of exploration and relaxation. https://puntacanatours.com/dual-adventure/
For more information about the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve visit the Grupo Puntacana Fundacion (Puntacana Group Foundation) website at http://puntacana.org or by calling 809-959-9221.
Thomas J Murray
TJ Murray is an expert on travel in the Dominican Republic. He has wandered the country's furthest reaches and smallest corners and has a passion for highlighting his favorite destinations through travel articles and photography. When TJ isn't traveling in the Dominican Republic, he is trekking around the globe or surfing where he lives in Bavaro, Dominican Republic