Snorkeling Around the Dominican Republic

Photo credit: © Chris Schmid |

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 looking forward to experiencing below the water's surface you should consider a visit to 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 snorkeling spot 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 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 table directly below enables you to learn more details regarding 8 of the best locations where you can enjoy 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 accessed away from the shore.

If you're ready to go snorkeling during a boating adventure, you might want to contact 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 worth investigating 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. They're found in Bayahibe, the Dominican Republic.

A third good option is Ocean Adventures. Enjoy a unique sailing experience where everyone in the party is sure to have a great time. You'll sail to a beautiful, unspoiled reef, get a chance to snorkel there, and then continue on to a beach where you can relax at a private beach club.

You can look through this table for information concerning day sails and boat trips that offer snorkeling opportunities.

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 0.1 mi. West of Central Bayahibe
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) 766-8470 1.7 mi. East of Central Friusa

Snorkeling Services

Divecenter Merlin Snorkeling

If you looking for someone that offers snorkel rentals, excursions, or similar services, you should check out 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 located within Bayahibe, the Dominican Republic.

A second company worth knowing about is Dive Academy. More than a dive center, this spot offers snorkelers a chance to get out and explore with them as part of other tours that include camping and island tours on back of a scooter. What better way to relax after zipping around the island than under the sea exploring?

A third option is Northern Coast Diving. Open since 1988, this water-based dive and snorkel company makes sure that anyone can explore the colorful reefs from above. Enhance your trip and join in on a Northern Coast Diving snorkeling trip. They're found within Sosua, in the northern part of the Dominican Republic.

The table right below provides you with some key facts concerning 19 places 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
Punta Cana Boat Trips Snorkeling Snorkeling Tour Operator (829) 988-1242 1.7 mi. Southeast of Central Bavaro Hispaniola
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) 754-3632 6.4 mi. East-Southeast of Central Friusa Hispaniola
Treasure Divers Snorkeling Tour Operator (849) 352-0191 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

For more information about snorkeling, including suggestions and helpful tips for beginners and "pros" check out our comprehensive Caribbean snorkeling article.


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