Everything you need to know about Hoyo Azul

Scape Park in the Capa Cana area of the Dominican Republic is a treasure trove of beauty. From majestic caves to orchid gardens, you’ll need to cross a small suspension bridge to find the jewel in its crown.

Hoyo Azul is a blue water cenote – a natural hole in the Earth that has formed into a majestic pool. This turquoise lagoon is a place where time stops, cares disappear and paradise surrounds you. It’s a unique experience in a country filled with natural wonders and we can’t recommend it highly enough.

Welcome to the jungle

Hoyo Azul is based in the middle of a verdant rainforest that truly is the closest you can get to a Garden of Eden in the 21st Century. To access it you’ll need to buy a ticket for Scape Park with prices varying depending on what you want to do there. It’s money well spent with some amazing experiences on offer.

We’d recommend hiring a guide who will take you safely through the forest to find Hoyo Azul. It’s not an obvious path as the site has retained its natural, untamed beauty, unlike some of the more sanitised tourist magnets that other holidays have to offer. Choose the right tour and you’ll also learn a little about Dominican history and its flora and fauna on the way. Prices range from $69 to $129 for adults, the higher price including access to the other attractions.

Brrrrr

One thing to note is that Hoyo Azul is a little chilly – not surprising considering its location deep in the jungle. When you arrive, after walking down a long staircase in the side of a cliff, the best thing to do is to just dive in as it will only take a few seconds before your body gets used to the temperature. Just remember to bring a towel as you’ll want to dry off fairly quickly afterwards.

The pool itself is 15 metres deep, making it possible for some scuba exploring before you move on. One of the questions you might ask is why Hoyo Azul is so blue. That’s due to the light refracting through crystal clear waters – conditions rarely found in other inland lakes and pools, requiring a low lying site near the coast.

Fly through the sky

For the more adventurous it’s worth paying a little extra to take a zip line tour where you’ll fly among the cliffs and trees before hovering above the cenote itself. With 16 platforms and eight lines, there are plenty of opportunities to catch your breath before continuing with your adventure.

Exhilarating, slightly scary but completely safe, you’ll be fully briefed on the dos and don’ts before you start by experienced guides. Flying over Hoya Azul itself is exhilarating and an experience no-one in the family will never forget.

Park life

Even if you don't fancy a dip in Hoyo Azul, Scape Park itself offers a magnificent array of thrills and cultural experiences. As well as the zipline adventure you can explore caverns such as Iguabonita Cave that have been around for millennia and feature ancient drawings made by the original inhabitants of the region.

You’ll also find diving platforms, water hammocks, beach cruises, dune buggy tours and bars where you can refresh yourself after a day of jungle adventure.

But, despite all the thrills and spills available, the entire park is still overshadowed by the beauty of Hoyo Azul. Spend the day relaxing by its edges and take in its shimmering, translucent beauty. If you’re on holiday in the Dominican Republic then this blue paradise should be near the top of your ‘must do’ list.

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