Punta Cana is one of the most famous destinations of the Caribbeans. And it is with a reason, there are more then 45 kilometers of beautiful white sand beaches, protected coral reaf and the most luxurious hotels of the Dominican Republic. But Punta Cana is more then just laying on the beach and enjoying sunny weather. It is perfect destination for eco-tourism too. One of the secrets of Punta Cana is natural reserve Ojos Indigenas.
The Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park & Reserve consists of 1,500 acres of land donated by Grupo Puntacana to the Fundación Grupo Puntacana as a private nature reserve for educational, scientific and recreational purposes. The Ecological Reserve is categorized as a transitional subtropical forest because it contains a mix of flora and fauna from both humid and dry habitats. The reserve has more than 500 species of plants, 36% of which are endemic to the Dominican Republic.
The Reserve was named the Indigenous Eyes since the land was originally inhabited by the Taino Indians, the first inhabitants of the island. Within the reserve are 12 freshwater lagoons formed by Yauya, an underground river that breaks the surface due to the geological features of the region. Each of the lagoons have been named using Taino words.
The access fees to enter the reserve are used for its maintenance and other conservation programs, representing a model of sustainable tourism. You can read more about natural reserve on their website.
Most of lagoons are swimmable, and the surrounding scenery is spectacular at each turn. The most popular lagoon for swimming has a wooden deck, and a diving platform for those who wish to leap into the turquoise and emerald fresh waters. In addition to an abundance of flora, the reserve is also a habitat of hundreds of bird species and iguanas. Combine a trip here with a visit to the nearby Puntacana Ecological Foundation, to see their beekeeping and worm composting projects.