We had very limited time on our recent trip to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, but we still wanted to get away from the resort and see a bit more of the area. After reviewing some options, we decided on a Scape Park Eco Tour to Hoyo Azul.
The tour was located a mere five minutes from our resort, and included round trip transportation. The price was a bit steep ($59 USD), but since it was our only activity during the trip we didn’t mind too much. A more affordable option would be to take your own transportation to the park and only pay for the guided tour.
The tour itself takes a little over two hours. We had several guides who spoke Spanish and English. They were very friendly, taking lots of pictures (for sale after the tour, of course), but I was disappointed that they didn’t give much information about the flora that we passed.
We saw a lot of beautiful flowers along the easy thirty minute hike to the cave, but were mostly left to our own devices to try to figure out what we were looking at.
The weather was hot and borderline oppressive until we got to the mouth of the 65 foot cave. Our guide explained that we were leaving a macro-climate and entering a micro-climate, and you could definitely feel the change in temperature right away.
After ducking through a few narrow passageways, we arrived at Hoyo Azul, literally translated to blue hole.
The fresh water pool is actually a cenote, a sinkhole resulting from the collapse of limestone bedrock that exposes groundwater underneath, according to Wikipedia. The limestone adds natural minerals to the water which are supposed to be great for the skin.
We really enjoyed swimming and soaking up this natural wonder. When we got out, we got more acquainted with nature when a bat pooped on me. You know what they say: “It’s all fun and games until a bat shits on your head.”
But it could have been worse, another girl on our tour got hit in the face. We found ourselves dipping back into the pool frequently to wash off the excrement, and soon left to wander back toward the Scape Park welcome center.
Although I would have liked a slightly more informative experience, Hoyo Azul proved to be a great activity for a short trip to the Dominican Republic.