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ChristineA

Dominican Republic Diving?

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My boyfriend won an all-inclusive beach vacation through a radio station contest (what luck, huh?!?)... They are sending us to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Neither of us are the resort type or beach-bum type so we decided to take advantage of this and find some diving to do to keep us occupied.

 

I cannot seem to find adequate information on the internet so maybe some experienced folk here can offer some info??

 

We are both certified for advanced open water. What are some popular dive sites around there? I know it isn't an IDEAL location for diving so I'd like to know what kind of experiences you guys have had here? We would like to hook up with a dive shop that is responsible and environmentally conscious (I know islands like this don't really care about conservation or the state of their reefs for the most part, I would not want to partake in any further detriment to their oceans)

 

Any info would help, thanks!!

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I have stayed in the Bayahibe area, in the South-Eastern tip just East of La Romana, which is just next to a natural marine park. I think that is the best diving in the region and tourists from Punta Cana were bussed in for snorkel trips, not sure if the timing would work out for diving. The signature dive is Catalina Island, which has a very nice wall on the Eastern side and a shallow "aquarium" on the west side. Both are great diving comparing well with Bonaire or other Caribbean favorites and are made as a two-tank trip because it is a bit longer boat trip. Most of the dives were along the Western side of the peninsula which is the marine park. From what I remember it was all easy diving, shallow 30-50ft, no current and good viz. Quite nice and good fish life, but mostly smaller fish and not much variety from one site to another. I very much enjoyed it but if you like exciting, challenging, or big-fish diving you may want to make sure to get on a trip to Catalina island. For a change you can also go further south. Where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic you apparently have a better chance on seeing big fish but it can get choppy with currents. There is also a wreck close to the Bayahibe harbour which is good if you want to make a deep dive. The bow dips down to below recreational diving limits and we got a fly-by from a spotted eagle ray on the ascent back to the boat.

 

If your resort has a sister resort in Bayahibe perhaps you can switch. The Dominican Republic may not be on the typical bucket list for hard-core divers but I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Sure beats the sterile sandy beaches of picture-perfect Punta Cana.

 

Bart

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