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Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve

Punta Cana Village Olivo 14, Punta Cana 23000, Dominican Republic
| +1 829-692-7000
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Flip into the Blue Lagoon   Dominican Republic

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Mon - Fri 9am - 6pm

Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve

Inside Punta Cana’s Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve, underground rivers that run toward the sea feed 12 crystal-clear freshwater pools, five of which are swimmable. Dive off a wooden platform into the largest one—the 26-foot-deep Guama Lagoon—and you’ll be swimming with turtles and large, black tilapia fish in what was once the private pool of the Taino Indian chief. Taino Indians thought that when the sun hit the lagoons, they looked like eyes—hence the name “Indigenous Eyes.”

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AFAR Ambassador
about 4 years ago

Flip into the Blue Lagoon

A trip to the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve is a highlight of any visit to the Dominican Republic. The network of trails leads through beautiful tropical forest and delivers visitors to 12 freshwater lagoons, some of which are open for swimming. The water is as clear and clean as any you’ll ever dive into, and if you arrive early or on exceptionally hot days you may even get a chance to swim with turtles or other wildlife. The reserve is an excellent place to spot local and migratory birds, insects, reptiles, and other local fauna and flora. Self-guided visits to Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve are free of charge for guests at The Westin Puntacana Resort & Club as well as Puntacana Resort & Club homeowners and residents.
AFAR Ambassador
about 4 years ago

Find Out Where your Food Comes From

Getting your hands dirty isn’t exactly the first thing you sign up for when you’re planning a vacation, but perhaps it should be – especially when you have the opportunity to tour and explore the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve. For all the water of the sea, Punta Cana receives relatively little precipitation, and plenty of sun, which means that soil conditions are less than ideal for growing. Bio matter generated by the compost program at the reserve is used in fruit and vegetable gardens as part of a sustainability initiative, which gives visitors an appreciation for how difficult it can be to sow seeds in the Caribbean. Touring the compost facility is actually quite interesting and educational, and a look at how the Puntacana Resort & Club is looking toward the future. Food for thought the next time you sit down to dinner.
AFAR Ambassador
about 4 years ago

Become a Keeper of the Bees

The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees – they’re all connected, and they’re all working in perfect harmony at the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve. One of the most unique installations at the park is the bee keeping station, where you’re able to go hands on with Mother Nature’s infantrymen in a safe and secure setting (kids can press their faces up against glass beehive boxes, while the intrepid among you can strap on hive gear and help harvest the preserve’s award-winning honey. This is an educational, fun, and exciting experience that is wholly unique to Punta Cana.
AFAR Ambassador
about 4 years ago

Make New (Furry) Friends

One of the more entertaining aspects of the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve is the animal refuge, which pulls double duty as a petting zoo. On a short walking circuit, which takes no more than 30 minutes to complete, you’ll have juvenile goats running between your legs, donkeys screaming at you, ducks quacking in your direction, and gigantic pigs sniffing at your business. It’s a bit of down home country fun and perfect for families with children – though don’t be surprised to see parents making an even bigger fuss about the little critters than their kids. This here is Gary the goat, and we forged a special bond as he chewed on my camera strap.
AFAR Ambassador
about 4 years ago

Learn to Love a Lizard

You probably wouldn’t like coming upon one of these fearsome fellows while hiking through the tropical forest. You certainly wouldn’t want one to walk across your belly while relaxing on the beach—or would you? Iguanas pose virtually no threat to humans, yet they are being eradicated from the earth in startling frequency; they’re harvested for their meat, destroyed as a measure to protect livestock, and pushed further from traditional breeding grounds by human development. The Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve iguana habitat is home to a number of mature iguanas, and is used as a research and breeding center. This is a part of the park often overlooked by visitors, who flock toward the hawk habitat, so if you do book a visit with a naturalist, you’ll have an opportunity to learn about the creatures in a low-key, one-on-one setting.
AFAR Ambassador
about 4 years ago

Feast On a Lion

The lionfish is one of the most beautiful species of fish in the world, but it is also one of the most destructive – and invasive species throughout the Caribbean, the lionfish feeds on a wide array of local fish, and has pushed some Dominican species to the brink of extinction. The Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve has launched an awareness program that aims to alert the general public and tourists to dangers of the lionfish, which includes encouraging local fishermen to catch lionfish in lieu of other popular species (parrot fish, snappers, etc) and then sell to hotels and local restaurants; as of late 2014, you can find lionfish on menus at Bamboo, where it is gaining traction as a local delicacy. Visitors to the preserve can purchase taxidermy lionfish as a souvenir, with proceeds from sales going to local workers, and eradication programs. On your next trip to Punta Cana, try and tame a lion. The locals will thank you for it.
AFAR Ambassador
about 4 years ago

Buy a Stuffed Lionfish

If you're looking for a unique island souvenir to take home with you, consider buying a stuffed lionfish from the gift shop at the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Preserve. The lionfish has a reputation as one of the prettiest fish in the sea, which is in contrast to the destruction it brings to parts of the Caribbean where it is not indigenous. A single lionfish eats as many as eight other fish in a day, wreaking havoc on the native fish populations around the Dominican Republic. They are caught by local fishermen, and then stuffed by workers at the Indigenous Eyes center. You can do your part to help spur eradication efforts by buying one—they cost as little as around $40.