Snorkeling Around the 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're ready to experience what's below the surface 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, the Dominican Republic.

Dominicus Beach is another place you might enjoy. 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 place 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 table right below enables you to learn some details concerning 8 of the most popular locations where you can experience snorkeling in this area.

Snorkeling Sites Near the 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 the 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

Pedrito Punta Cana

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

If you're ready to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you should consider Pelicano Sport Excursions. A leader in watersports and guided tours along the country's east coast, this facility is highly regarded and has consistently been mentioned in magazines as a top scuba center. Despite the focus on scuba diving, they are an all around great company that offers numerous other watersports and land tours.

Another option to investigate is Weiler Caribbean Sea. Having first opened in 2010, this is one of the newer tour operators on the island. This doesn't take away from their quality, though. They're found in Punta Cana, in eastern the Dominican Republic.

A third good option is Mariposa Tours. In addition to sailing to private islands and secluded areas of the Dominican Republic, they also offer fishing trips, buggie rides, and apartment rentals.

Information concerning day sails and boat trips that provide snorkeling can be found in the following chart.

Day Sails and Boat Trips In the Dominican Republic
Name Phone Location
Bebe Catamaran (809) 299-2668 3.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Friusa
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 the Dominican Republic

Snorkeling Services

Divecenter Merlin Snorkeling

If you're looking for a place offering snorkeling excursions, rentals, or other services, you might want to check with Scuba Fun. They offer two different excursions that snorkelers can take advantage of: a Catalina Island Excursion and a Soana Island Excursion. The trip to Catalina Island is a half day trip that includes snorkeling at The Wall and on the beach near the Aquarium. They are found within Bayahibe, the Dominican Republic.

Another place worth knowing about is Gri Gri Divers. While scuba diving is their main focus, this center also offers a number of other watersports and excursions. Although there is no specific snorkeling trip, there are a few that include snorkeling as part of the package.

A third company worth contacting 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 located in the Dominican Republic.

The following table enables you to get some information concerning 19 companies that provide snorkeling related services.

Snorkeling Services In the 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 Tour Operator (809) 571-1028 0.7 mi. Northwest of Central Sosua the Dominican Republic
Scuba Fun Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 833-0003 0.0 mi. West of Central Bayahibe Hispaniola
ScubaCaribe Dive Center Snorkeling Tour Operator -- 3.7 mi. North-Northwest of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Scubaquatic La Romana Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 468-4055 1.7 mi. South-Southeast of Central Boca Del Soco Hispaniola
Scubaquatic Punta Cana Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 468-4055 2.8 mi. North-Northwest of Central Friusa 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 the Dominican Republic the Dominican Republic
Turtle Dive Center Snorkeling Tour Operator (829) 903-0659 0.4 mi. Northwest of Central Las Terrenas Hispaniola
Uwe Scuba Dive Center Snorkeling Tour Operator (809) 804-9445 6.7 mi. East-Southeast of Central La Romana Hispaniola

To learn more about snorkeling, including useful tips and suggestions for both "old pros" and beginners, read this extensive guide to snorkeling in the Caribbean.

 

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