Scuba Diving Near Dominican Republic

Diving and snorkeling off the coast is an experience like no other

Photo Credit: © Adam Fivenson CC BY
 

It's hard to resist dipping your toes into the cool, clear waters of the Dominican Republic, and adventurous vacationers will want to go even further than that.

Luckily, diving is a popular pastime. Numerous water sport centers afford travelers the opportunity to explore the world that lies beneath the surface of the Dominican Republic's waters.

Sites with Sights

With over one thousand miles of coast line that touch both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean, the Dominican Republic offers varied dive sites.

North to Northwest

The waters that run from the Semana Peninsula to Montecristi are known for their challenging dive sites, but the pay off is hidden caverns, underwater tunnels, colorful marine life, and rich reefs. 120 feet below the surface of the ocean, near Las Galeras, divers will find several coral structures reminiscent of architecture found back on land. La Piedra (translation: the Stone), Cabo Cabron (a tower), and Las Tres Puertas (translation: the Three Doors) are all found down here. A few miles to the northwest in Sosua Bay are several underwater gardens. Further west are the remains of over 200 shipwrecks, as well as the Cayo Arena Reef.

South to Southeast

La Caleta Underwater National Park is a great place to start diving off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic. It is 600 miles wide and 600 feet deep, and comprised numerous reefs and shipwreck. Plus, a series of man-made underwater sculptures is to be revealed in the near future. There are numerous underwater caves in this region, such as El Hipodromo, El Tildo, and Cueva Taina; and ship wrecks are in abundance as well. Check out El Catuan and El Limon. Further along the southeast coast is the Dominican Republic's largest shipwreck, the St. George.

Safety Tips

  • Pay attention to currents and how your body responds to them; you don't want to drift too far off course.

  • Wear a waterproof watch to ensure you don't lose track of time, which can be easy to do underwater.

  • Don't feed the fish or touch the animals or coral, this could cause their protective layers to be stripped away.

  • Never stand or walk on reef, and tread carefully in shallow water around reefs. Shuffle your feet to avoid stingrays, and watch out for sea urchins spines.

  • Never wear jewelry. Caribbean fish, barracudas especially, seem to be drawn to shiny objects that look like their natural prey, small silver fish.

  • Avoid jellyfish, fire coral, and other stinging creatures.

  • Never reach into holes or crevices; animals - especially moray eels - like to make their homes in them.

  • Shark sightings are rare, and sharks that are spotted are usually passive. If you do see a shark, stay calm, and if necessary, move slowly out of the water.

  • Never remove anything from dive sites and reefs.

  • Wear waterproof sunblock. Sunburns are a common side effect of the hot Caribbean sun, even under water.

You'll find 51 dive operators, a variety of dive shops, and at least 82 good dive sites in the area.

Dive Operators and Shops

The dive shops you'll be able to find are provided in the chart below.

Dive Shops Near Dominican Republic
Name Phone Location Island
Dive Academy (809) 538-0127 1.4 mi. North of Central Arroyo Del Cabo Hispaniola
Golden Arrow Diving (809) 566-7780 Central Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Gri Gri Divers -- Rio San Juan, Northern part of Dominican Republic Hispaniola
Las Galeras Divers (809) 538-0220 0.3 mi. Northeast of Central Las Galeras Hispaniola

If you'd like to go diving, you should consider Treasure Divers. PADI training and local dive excursions are available through this operation every day of the year spare New Years Day and Christmas Day. If a member of your party is uninterested in diving, snorkeling equipment is available as well. They are located within Boca Chica, in central Dominican Republic.

Another option is Northern Coast Diving. This PADI center has been in operation since 1988, and continues to grow each year. Staff members speak English, Italian, Dutch, German and Spanish to make learning easier on visitors who speak any of these languages. You can call them at (809) 571-1028.

A third good option is ScubaFun. ScubaFun hosts two trips daily, one at 9:00 a.m., and the other at 1:30 p.m. Trips take place at Parque Nacional del Este, where divers get to experience depths of between 30 and 100 feet depending upon their skill level. They're found within Bayahibe, Dominican Republic.

The chart just below lists some key facts regarding the area's dive operators.

Dive Operators Near Dominican Republic
Name Phone Location Island
Aqua Center (809) 571-3690 Sosua, Northern part of Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Caribbean Dive College (809) 697-5515 5.0 mi. Southeast of Central Altos de Chavón Hispaniola
Casa Daniel (809) 833-0050 5.0 mi. Southeast of Central Altos de Chavón Hispaniola
Cefores (491) 731-1806 Pueblo Bavaro, Eastern part of Dominican Republic Hispaniola
Coral Point Diving (829) 574-9655 5.0 mi. Southeast of Central Altos de Chavón Hispaniola
Dive Cabarete (809) 915-9135 0.1 mi. South-Southeast of Central Cabarete the Dominican Republic
Dive Republic (809) 915-2698 Sosua, Northern part of Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Divecenter Merlin (809) 571-2963 0.6 mi. Northwest of Central Sosua the Dominican Republic
Diwa Dominicana Diving (809) 261-3150 1.3 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Dolin Dive Center (809) 804-5770 1.5 mi. East of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Dressel Divers Bavaro - Punta Cana (+34) 963 561 496 1.5 mi. Northwest of Central Bavaro Hispaniola
Dressel Divers Bayahibe - La Romana (+34) 963 561 496 2.0 mi. South-Southeast of Central Bayahibe Hispaniola
Dressel Divers Puerto Plata (+34) 963 561 496 2.2 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Global Divers (809) 805-5382 Pueblo Bavaro, Eastern part of Dominican Republic Hispaniola
Gus Dive Center (809) 566-0818 Santo Domingo the Dominican Republic
Mariana Caribbean Sports (809) 476-7777 Pueblo Bavaro, Eastern part of Dominican Republic Hispaniola
Northern Coast Diving (809) 571-1028 Sosua, Northern part of Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Ocean Diving (809) 603-4777 Boca Chica, Central Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Pelicano Sport (809) 729-4242 1.5 mi. North of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Scuba Caribe Dive Center -- Eastern part of Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
ScubaFun (809) 833-0003 4.9 mi. Southeast of Central Altos de Chavón Hispaniola
Scubaquatic La Romana (809) 468-4055 La Romana Hispaniola
Scubaquatic Las Terrenas (809) 468-4055 2.5 mi. East of Central Las Terrenas Hispaniola
Scubaquatic Punta Cana (809) 468-4055 14.5 mi. North-Northwest of Central Punta Cana Hispaniola
Scubaquatic Rio San Juan (809) 468-4055 Rio San Juan, Northern part of Dominican Republic Hispaniola
Scubaquatic Samana (809) 468-4055 Samana, Eastern part of Dominican Republic Hispaniola
Sea Pro Allegro (800) 868-1426 3.5 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Sea Pro Bavaro Princess (800) 868-1426 1.1 mi. Northeast of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Sea Pro Blue Bay (800) 868-1426 3.3 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Sea Pro Breathless (800) 868-1426 3.8 mi. Northwest of Central El Macao Hispaniola
Sea Pro Caribbean Village (809) 320-2567 3.0 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Sea Pro Caribe Club Princess (800) 868-1426 1.2 mi. North-Northeast of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Sea Pro Celuisma (800) 868-1426 3.0 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Sea Pro Dreams Palm Beach (809) 523-4611 6.4 mi. East-Southeast of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Sea Pro Dreams Punta Cana (800) 868-1426 3.0 mi. Northwest of Central El Macao Hispaniola
Sea Pro Gran Ventana (800) 868-1426 3.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Sea Pro Grand Paradise (800) 868-1426 3.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Sea Pro Now Larimar (800) 868-1426 1.3 mi. Southeast of Central Barahona the Dominican Republic
Sea Pro Occidental Grand Punta Cana (800) 868-1426 1.1 mi. Northeast of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Sea Pro Punta Cana Princess (800) 868-1426 1.4 mi. North of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Sea Pro Secrets Royal Beach Club (800) 868-1426 2.3 mi. East of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Sea Pro Sirenes (800) 868-1426 0.7 mi. Northeast of Central Uvero Alto Hispaniola
Sea Pro Sivory (800) 868-1426 1.2 mi. Northeast of Central Punta Cana Hispaniola
Sea Pro Zoetry (800) 868-1426 3.0 mi. Northwest of Central El Macao Hispaniola
SeaPro (888) 252-3806 3.3 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Treasure Divers (809) 523-5320 Boca Chica, Central Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Tropical Sea Divers (829) 697-9522 Boca Chica, Central Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Turtle Dive Center (829) 903-0659 Las Terrenas, Northeastern part of Dominican Republic Hispaniola
Uwe Scuba Dive Center (809) 804-9445 1.7 mi. Southeast of Central Casa de Campo Hispaniola
Viva Diving (809) 686-5658 5.0 mi. Southeast of Central Altos de Chavón Hispaniola
Zeus Diving (829) 341-9185 4.3 mi. Southeast of Central Altos de Chavón Hispaniola

Dive Services

Take a moment to read this table to get a feel for the typical cost of dive services in this area.

Dive Services
Offering Type Low Rate High Rate
Discover Scuba $ 65.0 $ 125.0
Double Tank Dive $ 80.0 $ 120.0
Night Dive $ 65.0 $ 90.0
Open Water Certification $ 310.0 $ 470.0
Single Tank Dive $ 45.0 $ 70.0

Dive Sites

Take a moment to look through the table below to see a few details regarding some of the area's better-known dive sites.

Dive Sites Near Dominican Republic
Name Quality Experience Max Depth Latitude Longitude
Aquarium Good -- 39.4 18.3779271709 -69.0232033122
Atlantic Princess Wreck Good Open Water / CMAS * 65.6 18.36845 -68.8516166667
Bahia Montechristi -- -- -- 19.8624588472 -71.7947909424
Bahia Principe -- -- -- 19.6331972125 -70.1322505066
Bahia de Beiba -- -- -- 18.2050426035 -71.0068652222
Bahia de Ocoa -- -- -- 18.3077456021 -70.6020876953
Barco Hundido Very Good -- 66.0 19.3144261202 -69.2037868593
Benjis Good -- 65.6 18.4210333333 -69.40585
Boca Chica Housereef Fair -- 49.2 18.4441166667 -69.6054666667
Cabarete Dive -- -- -- 19.7668520395 -70.4012438843
Catalinita Island Excellent -- 98.4 18.19735 -68.6336166667
Catuan Wreck -- -- -- 18.408433208 -69.6136614868
Cayacoa Reef Good -- 82.0 18.42125 -69.39615
Cayo Arena -- -- -- 19.8712777757 -71.3036248276
Coca Reef -- -- -- 18.3559787073 -68.8562914917
Coral Garden -- All Divers 36.0 19.3033287518 -69.2067909334
Coral Garden Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 82.0 19.9054166667 -70.9425333333
Coral Garden -- -- -- 18.7232643482 -68.4473800653
Coral Gardens -- -- -- 19.7775172748 -70.5234193825
Cueva de Chopa Very Good -- 76.0 19.3334041741 -69.2181536743
Cuevas de Du-du Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 42.7 19.5647166667 -69.9073666667
El Derrumbao Very Good Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 121.4 18.2269 -70.5579833333
El Faro -- -- -- 18.1492641583 -68.7752673218
El Nino -- -- -- 18.6781085958 -68.3986422607
Estero Hondo -- -- -- 19.8886114933 -71.1932894775
Five Rocks -- -- -- 19.758030842 -70.5283117318
Fronton Very Good -- 50.0 19.2635502496 -69.1496276949
Guaraguao 1 Fair -- 49.2 18.3327752105 -68.8206712168
Guaraguo 2 Good -- 49.2 18.3285344616 -68.8166353333
Isla Saona South -- -- -- 18.1055422876 -68.6533877441
La Caleta Submarine Park Very Good All Divers 590.0 18.4264479953 -69.6873092651
La Ceuva -- -- -- 18.6975176329 -68.4153509117
La Herradura -- -- 50.0 19.3279525505 -69.2255020235
La Laguna -- -- 92.0 19.3593749217 -69.2255020235
La Parguera Very Good Rescue / CMAS *** 98.4 18.1442 -68.7912
La Taberna -- -- -- 18.7156851529 -68.434786798
Larimar -- -- -- 19.7651997022 -70.5255866074
Las Terrenas -- -- -- 19.3352669458 -69.5484301636
Los Canones Good -- 65.6 18.4218166667 -69.4148
Los Carriles I Very Good -- 115.0 19.2462099779 -69.1655922029
Los Carriles II -- -- -- 19.2531787068 -69.1425895784
Los Hoyones -- -- -- 19.2918255952 -69.1261100862
Los Jardines Good -- 82.0 18.4222833333 -69.4080333333
Mariottis Reef Good -- 98.4 18.4214 -69.401
Monito Excellent Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 160.0 18.1579064227 -67.9460411072
Ojo de Maria -- -- -- 18.3241797284 -68.8130378723
Padre Nuestro Cave Good -- 39.4 18.3757833333 -68.8094
Paradise -- -- -- 18.7057288249 -68.4141921974
Paraiso -- -- -- 17.9801894048 -71.1390444824
Parque Nacional Submarino La Caleta Very Good -- 328.1 18.4485666667 -69.68365
Parque Nacional del Este Dive -- -- -- 18.2128697296 -68.7848803589
Parque Reef -- -- -- 18.6996314432 -68.4057712555
Patato -- -- -- 18.7183869661 -68.4439468378
Patricia Wreck Good Open Water / CMAS * 59.1 18.5348870595 -68.342978656
Pedernales -- -- -- 18.0027203308 -71.7364260742
Penon 1 -- -- -- 18.294218365 -68.802218158
Penon 2 -- -- -- 18.278652587 -68.7978407928
Penon 3 -- -- -- 18.2635744544 -68.7870261261
Piedra Bonita Excellent Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 180.0 19.3629630418 -69.2164370605
Piedra Solitaria -- -- -- 19.3057589167 -69.1394138848
Playa Encuentro -- -- -- 19.7895477069 -70.4507681915
Playa Moron -- -- -- 19.332999221 -69.4485232422
Playita -- -- 36.0 19.2928787167 -69.2158031557
Puerto Malo -- -- -- 19.3475517571 -69.2519378755
Punta Balandra -- -- -- 19.1702890439 -69.2171237061
Ray Point -- -- -- 19.7702480028 -70.5281400704
Rondana -- -- -- 18.7209476092 -68.4465217585
Shark Point -- -- -- 18.2086300799 -68.6375948975
Sosua Canyons -- -- -- 19.7558414175 -70.5223393533
Sosua Walls -- -- -- 19.7712694175 -70.5791378114
Spanish Shipwreck -- -- -- 19.6833510554 -69.9995991776
St. George Wreck -- -- -- 18.3323526848 -68.8854739258
Tania V Fair Advanced Open Water / CMAS ** 131.2 18.3877666667 -69.4157333333
The Wall -- -- -- 18.3813934396 -69.0016028473
Three Rocks -- -- -- 19.7774365057 -70.5189347395
Tibisi I Very Good -- 132.0 19.3624771859 -69.2451045105
Tibisi II Very Good -- -- 19.3551640298 -69.2477321718
Tortuga -- -- -- 18.318476142 -68.8101196289
Tunnel Reef -- -- -- 18.7274100124 -68.4508562082
Viva Shallow -- -- -- 18.3421855307 -68.8346290577
Wreck Astron -- -- -- 18.7250933303 -68.4487962717
Wreck Monica -- -- -- 18.6720915329 -68.3924624512

For more information concerning snorkeling, including helpful suggestions and tips for both beginners and experienced divers, check out our extensive discussion of diving in the Caribbean.

Diving can transform a great trip to the Dominican Republic into an amazing one. Always play it safe by using the proper equipment and utilizing knowledgeable tour guides who will help you to find the best spots to explore the mysterious world that lies just off the coast of the Dominican Republic.

 

Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.