One of the best ways to get to know a country is to visit its unique natural places. The Dominican Republic offers every type of natural landscape (or as we say, “naturaleza”) imaginable: stunning beaches, mountains and forested valleys, deserts, farms, and fields. The eastern region of Punta Cana boasts some of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic, but it is also home to other amazing natural sites.
One incredible place to visit near Punta Cana is the Hoyo Azul Lagoon, also called the Blue Hole. The Hoyo Azul is a natural pool with crystal clear waters, located off the base of a cliff. There are two exhilarating and eco-friendly ways to see this natural wonder. Both excursions are led by experienced guides, and provide pickups from Punta Cana hotels which bring you to the southern Cap Cana. These tours are appropriate for families, especially ones who are active and like to explore.
Pack your bathing suit, hiking shoes and gear up for a Hoyo Azul excursion as a cave explorer, or fly through the air on a zip line!
DID YOU KNOW: BLUE HOLES
A blue hole is a type of sinkhole, a large natural hole, filled with water. It is also called a cenote, or natural pool. The water appears blue due to the light being refracted through the clear waters. These rare natural wonders can be found mostly in low-lying coastal regions. 
1) Hoyo Azul Cave Explorer
An exciting way to explore Dominican nature and the blue lagoon by foot is a Hoyo Azul tour through forests, cliffs and caves. The tour begins with a twenty-five minute hike to the top of El Farallon Cliff with knowledgeable guides. You will trek through a tropical forest, and then take eco-friendly stairs down into a cave. On this hike, you will learn about Dominican history including the native Taino people – see petroglyphs (cave paintings) – and about natural medicines and herbs still used today by Dominican healers.
Finally, visit the Hoyo Azul lagoon to swim and relax after your hike. Take a dip and appreciate the beauty around you! The excursion is approximately seven hours long. Snacks and beverages will be served.
2) Hoyo Azul Zip Line
For those who like to see incredible things while getting their rush of adrenaline, the Hoyo Azul Zip Line is for you. This is not your average zip line – the course is attached to the El Farallon Cliff, not to the trees. Experienced staff will help you with the zip line course, so put your fear of heights aside and hop on. With eight zip lines, with the highest 250 feet above the Cap Cana forests, there will be plenty of opportunities to take beautiful photographs.
After zipping through the gorgeous Caribbean scenery over suspension bridges and stunning natural views, unwind in the clear waters of the Hoyo Azul. This Zip Line excursion is approximately seven hours long, and snacks and refreshments will be served. Only children over the age six may participate in this experience.
If you’re looking to see something special while visiting Punta Cana, check out the Hoyo Azul Lagoon by booking one of these two incredible eco-friendly tours. While children are allowed, these tours are not appropriate for pregnant women.
 For more about sinkholes, see http://www.wondermondo.com/Attractions/Sinkholes.htm.
Have you been to Hoyo Azul? If so, feel free to leave your favorite memory in the comments below.