DR Touristing: Santo Domingo (Part 2)

After some misadventures with stovetop coffee and Dominican bacon (“tocineto triste”), we headed off to the aquarium. Upon arrival, you are greeted by the fantastic mural at the top of the page. The aquarium has a wide variety of fish, as well as a lot of turtles and a population of iguanas that roam the grounds. We especially liked the psychic goldfish.

There’s also a kind of bizarre kids play area outside, with this creepy tree and some unexpected flamingos. We may have gotten in trouble for climbing where we shouldn’t have been.

So that was fun. As you exit, take another look at the mermaid riding a manatee. Seriously, what even…

The aquarium is pretty close by the Three Eyes national park. We had tempered expectations after El Choco in Cabarete, which got sold really hard on Trip Advisor and turned out to be just OK. How good could this be, tucked in the center of a city? Tres Ojos turned out to be much more impresionante. The first thing you see is these oddly expressive statues outside the gate. Are we setting the tone here?

You walk down a number of stairs into essentially a giant hole in the ground, with high jungle cover creating a nice cooling effect. Each of the three “eyes” is a separate lake, receding into the darkness under cover of stalactites. The journey down the steps into the first lake, starting at the top:

The deepest of the lakes features a miniature pontoon ferry, which the driver pulls across the lake on a knotted rope. Once across, a short path through a dark cave takes you to the edge of a fourth lake, which is another pretty and different view.

Fun Things being accomplished, we set out across the city to find a Yardas, sister tienda to a store in Santiago that had run out of the gray microfiber we bought to cover our cushions. This took us through a market district, which was super interesting to see. I wish I had more photos of the craziness, but for some highlights, we loved this extremely custom food truck, and the combination lumber yard and garbage dump.

We went home to check on the cats and drop off the kids…

…and the grownups went back to downtown to have a night out. This was a smashing success: here’s a very happy back seat in the Uber ride home.

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