North Coast Attractions and things to do – Part 3
Dudu Blue Lagoon – the #1 Natural Place of the North Coast of Dominican Republic
Without a doubt one of the local attractions not to be missed and an opportunity to swim in crystal clear and cold fresh water as against going to the beach to swim in the warm sea. Located about 10 minutes by car from Cabrera, on the road to Nagua, and shortly after you pass the turning for Playa Diamante you will see a large sign on your right advertising the entrance to DuDu and the Blue Lagoon. If you miss it and reach the turn off to La Entrada, turn round and go back. There are in fact three lakes or lagoons here although it seems only two are for swimming and cave diving.
DuDu is a cenote, or sinkhole and there is some doubt over its actual depth. Some say 107 feet whilst others suggest the bottom has yet to be determined. There is also a question mark over the name DuDu. One suggestion is that a Taino Indian of that name lived in a cave close to the lake which can also be explored while you are visiting the lakes.
There are no changing facilities here, although there is now a restaurant and snack bar on the site, so it is best to arrive in your swimming gear. It is about 10 meters down to the water which has very easy access with cement stairs going down to the water’s edge and is a very popular tourist attraction and local hangout so you will find people are jumping in from all over the place and swimming. One favorite is to grab onto the rope swing from the wide stone ledge and you can swing out and drop into the clear cool waters.
It is also recognized as the only place where you can do cave diving from one natural lake to another natural lake, so it is very popular with divers who practice this sport. Here the visibility is an astonishing 50 meters (160+ ft). The two lakes are connected by two massive underwater tunnels about 200 meters long and a third cave takes you into a spectacular underground dome naturally decorated by limestone stalagmites and stalactites still gradually building up over the years. The Caverns offer a number of different eco systems, natural beauty just waiting to be discovered. If you are swimming don’t be surprised to find a team of divers surfacing around you while you swim.
For diving once geared up it is easier to swim on the surface to the far left side and the beginning of a very large tunnel which goes in about 100 meters and has a large air dome at 50 meters. To the right against the wall you will notice an area of broken down slabs and a warning sign, tie in to the cavern line and go through the restriction; you will then get to the cave’s mainline which is right in the halocline.
The first part of the cave features a very large and tall main tunnel that has many dark tannic stained decorations; one column is over 10 meters high; the maximum depth here is 20 meters. At the end of this tunnel there is a steep slope that goes up to about 6 meters and the line here makes a sharp left turn and there is an air pocket with breathable air to the right.
Continuing on the mainline the cave gets lower and you will pass through with a series of weird dark stalactites before the tunnel opens up again. The rest of the dive has no decorations and is generally shallower with an average depth of only 6-7 meters.
After swimming for about 45 minutes you eventually get to the end of the line which goes up to another entrance called Cueva de Lilly.
Coming back out you can swim around the cenote to the left and dive the cavern zone which consists of two more tunnels that lead to the third entrance, Pozo de los Caballos, before turning back toward the stairs. The cavern zone is quite grandiose and well worth it with huge shellfish encrusted stalactites and very unusual water colors.
Entrance to DuDu and the Blue Lagoon is not expensive.
Admission fee is RD100,- for everyone.
Admission fee is RD100,- for everyone.
Saltadero is the name for a waterfall and pool located on the outskirts of Cabrera. You can find this local attraction by following the unmade road to the right at the crossroads when entering Cabrera on the main road from Rio San Juan. Simply follow the road for about half a mile to its end.The waterfall is quite high, although the pool is fairly small, and is very popular with the local children and frequently visited by the local tour guides who bring visitors to see this local attraction.
Youngsters enjoy climbing up the waterfall to various levels and jumping into the pool below which is not very deep so in some respects is quite dangerous. Some will seek a few pesos or a couple of dollars from visitors to watch them leap into the pool from the top of the waterfall which is quite a feat. Access to the pool requires descending a steep and slippery pathway so sensible foot ware is recommended.
Category: DR Living |