Snorkeling Around Dominican Republic

Photo credit: © Chris Schmid | Dreamstime.com
 

The underwater landscape of the Dominican Republic includes both the north Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea making for a diverse collection of sites that will differ drastically depending on which part of the island you're on.  The best way to see these sites without spending hours taking scuba diving courses is to rent a snorkel kit and jump in.

The Atlantic side of the island is known for its rough waters which create some of the most unique coral formations you can imagine, but there is a catch.  This area is not necessarily recommended for snorkeling because the conditions can be dangerous.  In fact, the longest coral reef system in the country is located off the coast of Punta Cana, but thanks to the harsh current so few snorkelers get a chance to see it.

If you stick to the Caribbean coast, you'll be treated to much calmer conditions, perfect visibility most of the time, and sites that are just as beautiful as the Atlantic side, but with a softer feel to the curves of the structures.  Some of the best towns for snorkeling here are only just now beginning to become top tourist destinations, so you can truly make the most of a relaxed island getaway.  Sosua and La Romana are two of them.

No matter where on the island you are staying, there are ways to make a snorkeling trip happen.  Many adventure tour groups and scuba diving shops have special snorkeling trips that are as simple as a quick guided shore snorkel, or as intricate as a full day of sailing and snorkeling to out of the way islands that include lunch on the beach.  Consider sites like Isla Catalina, Isla Saona, and the Silver Bank when hiring a tour guide. 

Snorkeling Sites

If you want to explore what's down below you might enjoy Catalina Island Beach West. A word of advice for snorkeling in this area is to keep an eye out for where locals are swimming and stick to snorkeling in the areas protected by the barrier reef. Otherwise rip tides could get to you. This snorkeling site is located in Serena Cay, Dominican Republic.

Dominicus Beach is another option. This reef ranges from 46 to 60 feet deep, flourishing with beautiful coral reef and sea life. It may be deep, but the visibility is good for snorkelers tagging along with a scuba diving group.

A third site to consider is Silver Bank. This is a unique snorkeling site because people don't visit for the colorful reef or friendly fish. Instead, they travel for up to 12 hours on a boat simply to slip into the water and view North Atlantic humpback whales as they migrate, mate, and calve.

The following table shows some key facts concerning 8 of the best places to experience snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near Dominican Republic
Site Location Island
Catalina Island Beach West 0.1 mi. South of Central Serena Cay Hispaniola
Isla de Mona Nature Preserve 2.9 mi. West of Central Mona Mona
Cabeza de Toro Beach Eastern part of Dominican Republic
Dominicus Beach 1.8 mi. South-Southeast of Central Bayahibe Hispaniola
Paseo de Catuan 9.3 mi. West-Southwest of Central Granchorra Hispaniola
Isla Saona 16.4 mi. South-Southwest of Central Boca De Yuma Hispaniola
El Portillo Beach 0.4 mi. North-Northeast of Central Abra Grande Hispaniola
Silver Bank 3.5 mi. Northeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic

Snorkeling Boat Trips

For some people, the most enjoyable snorkeling is experienced away from the shore.

If you're ready to snorkel during a boat trip, you might want to check with Pelicano Sport Excursions. In addition to scuba diving, which they are renowned for, you can also sign up for sailing, windsurfing, parasailing, snorkeling, speed boat tours, dune buggy tours, and horseback riding.

Another option to investigate is Weiler Caribbean Sea. Any adventure you can think of is made possible by the talented staff here. This includes not only your typical tours like sailing, snorkeling, diving, and jeep tours, but also club hopping trips, guides to take you to the casinos, ziplining, fishing, and more. They're located in Punta Cana, in eastern Dominican Republic.

A third good option is Mariposa Tours. An Italian operated tour company in the Dominican Republic, they offer off-the-beaten path tours as well as airport transfers and transportation.

Some information about boat trips and day sails that provide snorkeling can be found in the chart below.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In Dominican Republic
Name Phone Location
Capitan Gringo (809) 753-9469 0.2 mi. Northwest of Central Bayahibe
Escape Tours Samana (849) 206-9361 1.5 mi. West-Southwest of Central Samana
Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures (829) 305-2804 Bavaro
Mariposa Tours (809) 660-5343 0.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Bayahibe
Moto Marina Tours (809) 538-2302 0.4 mi. Southeast of Central Samana
Ocean Adventures (809) 390-7418 1.9 mi. Southeast of Central Bavaro
Passion Paradise Adventures (809) 446-9602 2.4 mi. East-Southeast of Central La Romana
Pedrito Punta Cana (829) 910-2398 0.2 mi. West-Southwest of Central Friusa
Pelicano Sport Excursions (809) 729-4242 1.5 mi. North of Central Friusa
Pro Excursions Bayahibe (829) 659-4688 0.7 mi. Northwest of Central Bayahibe
Pro Excursions Dominicus (829) 659-4688 1.6 mi. Southeast of Central Bayahibe
Punta Cana Expert (849) 889-5892 1.3 mi. Northeast of Central Los Manantiales
Ryanna Sun (829) 655-6730 0.0 mi. North-Northwest of Central Bayahibe
Seavis Tours (829) 714-4947 5.0 mi. Southeast of Central Altos de Chavón
Weiler Caribbean Sea (829) 692-8468 Punta Cana, Eastern part of Dominican Republic

Snorkeling Services

If you're looking for someone offering snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you might want to contact Dressel Divers Puerto Plata. Every morning there is a snorkel trip that features two snorkel locations. Guests can snorkel the reefs of Sousa, featuring fun fish like the Angel Fish and the Trumpet Fish. They are located within Costa Dorada, in the northern part of Dominican Republic.

A second place that offers snorkeling related services is Divecenter Merlin Snorkeling. A variety of different day excursions are available for snorkelers, but reservations are recommended, since excursions are only scheduled if a minimum of 3 people are interested in going.

A third option is Dressel Divers Bayahibe - La Romana. With over 20 years in the business, this club has been offering snorkeling excursions on a near daily basis and they have a perfect record of safety. They know the area better than anyone else and will make sure you see all of the best underwater sites and local reefs. They're found on Dominican Republic.

Information regarding 24 places that offer snorkeling related services are summarized in the table below.

Snorkeling Services In Dominican Republic
Name Type Phone Location Island
Caribbean Dive College Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 697-5515 0.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Bayahibe Hispaniola
Coral Point Diving Snorkeling Tour Operator (829) 574-9655 0.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Bayahibe Hispaniola
Dive Academy Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (809) 538-0127 1.4 mi. North of Central Arroyo Del Cabo Hispaniola
Divecenter Merlin Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 571-2963 0.6 mi. Northwest of Central Sosua the Dominican Republic
Diwa Dominicana Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 261-3150 1.3 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Dressel Divers Bavaro - Punta Cana Snorkeling Tour Operator (+34) 963 561 496 1.4 mi. Northwest of Central Bavaro Hispaniola
Dressel Divers Bayahibe - La Romana Snorkeling Tour Operator (+34) 963 561 496 2.0 mi. South-Southeast of Central Bayahibe Hispaniola
Dressel Divers Puerto Plata Snorkeling Tour Operator (+34) 963 561 496 2.2 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Gri Gri Divers Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service -- 0.6 mi. Northwest of Central Rio San Juan Hispaniola
Northern Coast Diving Snorkeling Equipment Rental Service (809) 571-1028 0.7 mi. Northwest of Central Sosua the Dominican Republic
Scuba Caribe Dive Center Snorkeling Tour Operator -- Bavaro Hispaniola
Scuba Fun Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 833-0003 0.0 mi. West of Central Bayahibe Hispaniola
Scubaquatic La Romana Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 468-4055 1.7 mi. South-Southeast of Central Boca Del Soco Hispaniola
Scubaquatic Las Terrenas Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 468-4055 0.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central Abra Grande Hispaniola
Scubaquatic Punta Cana Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 468-4055 2.8 mi. North-Northwest of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Scubaquatic Rio San Juan Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 468-4055 4.4 mi. West of Central Rio San Juan Hispaniola
Scubaquatic Samana Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 468-4055 4.5 mi. Southeast of Central Samana Hispaniola
Sea Pro Caribbean Village Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 320-2567 3.0 mi. Southeast of Central Puerto Plata the Dominican Republic
Sea Pro Dreams Palm Beach Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 523-4611 6.4 mi. East-Southeast of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Treasure Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 523-5320 Boca Chica, Central Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Treasure Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 523-5320 Boca Chica, Central Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Tropical Sea Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (829) 697-9522 Boca Chica, Central Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Turtle Dive Center Snorkeling Tour Operator (829) 903-0659 Las Terrenas, Northeastern part of Dominican Republic Hispaniola
Uwe Scuba Dive Center Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 804-9445 6.7 mi. East-Southeast of Central La Romana Hispaniola

To learn more concerning snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read our exhaustive Caribbean snorkeling page.

 

Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.