I've decided to write about one of my favorite places to visit in Santo Domingo. The last time I went was in March of 2009. Bryan was down to visit and my buddy Jen was here playing with the orchestra, so I had the fun of showing them this spot for their first time.
Los Tres Ojos is a park just to the side of town. A literal translation is "the three eyes" and this refers to three partially enclosed ponds. Some webpages say it really refers to "three caves" and that mostly makes sense, but I prefer that it speaks of the water formations.
Los Tres Ojos is a short taxi ride away. Generally your taxi driver will hang out there and wait for you to return- this town is full of taxis, so the driver would rather have the sure fare then go back on the street and hustle. When Paul visited our taxi driver took us all over town, and waited for us at each juncture. At the end of our three or so hours with him we paid him about $20 and he was thrilled. The taxis here are JUNKERS. Some don't have windows; last year we got in a minivan that had no sliding door. Don't expect a comfy ride, but do expect a hospitable driver.
Once you are at this park you'll be hustled by potential "tour guides" and people selling tchotchkes. Keep on moving, and pay your entrance fee- I think it's about two dollars. To descend into Los Tres Ojos you'll be on a staircase cut into the stone. For god's sakes, hold on to the rail!
Here are a few pictures that Bryan shot during his visit. The first photo was taken on the initial descent. This pond has a striking color, and is fresh water; there are numerous turtles and little fish.
The second pond is quite small and has a high sulfur content.
The final pond is much lower. This rickety float will take you to the far side of the cave, and is worth the 10 pesos you'll pay to the raftsman. You'll feel like Charon is tugging you across the Styx.
Here's the view once you disembark and hop through a short cave. It's damned stunning. Apparently this area was used by pirates "on the down low."