According to Shoppingpicks.net, 22 km east of the capital is the Submarino La Caleta National Park (Submarino La Caleta national park). The main attraction of the park is the coral reef, where, despite the destruction caused by the hurricane in 2004, you can see a variety of tropical fish and other marine life. This is a great place for beginner divers to learn as the waters are calm. In addition, several ships lie on the seabed within the park. The most interesting of them is the 39-meter ship “Hickory” (Hickory), which was sunk in the year of the park’s creation in 1984. This ship was used in expeditions to recover artifacts and jewelry from the sunken Spanish galleons. For decades, it has become a real underwater museum.
Interesting dive sites can also be found at the nearby resort of Boca Chica. (Boca Chica). The reef surrounding the resort has a length of 500 m and a depth of 18 m. This place is suitable for beginner divers. The reef is a habitat for various species of corals, stingrays, moray eels, lobsters, and wrasses. In addition, from Boca Chica go diving to La Sirena Cave. It is a limestone cave partially filled with fresh water. Visibility under water reaches 100 m. Here you can explore the winding tunnels and get into the grottoes, where stalactites and stalagmites grow on the water-free sections of the walls.
Off the coast of the resort of Juan Dolio located to the east (Juan Dolio) stretches long chains of underwater caves and grottoes. It is better to dive here only for trained divers. Also in the coastal waters lie several sunken ships. The most famous of them is the ship Tanya V (Tanya V), which sank in 1999. The length of the ship is 65 m, it lies at a depth of 22 to 34 m. The ship is patrolled by barracudas. This place is also suitable only for trained divers.
Very popular dive sites on Catalina Island (Catalina island), located opposite the city of La Romana (La Romana). Diving enthusiasts are offered day trips to the island. The island has an area of 6 sq. km. and is protected by the eponymous nature reserve. It is surrounded by whole coral gardens. The main attraction of the local underwater world is a 40-meter underwater wall. This is a great place for snorkeling and diving. Under water you can see large colorful fluorescent fish, groupers and lilac soft corals. Underwater visibility is excellent – it exceeds 30 m.
In the vicinity of La Romana is the village of Bayahibe (Bayahibe), where there are several dive centers. In addition to coral reefs, sunken ships lie at the bottom of coastal waters. Among them is the 80-meter barge St. George, which lies at a depth of up to 40 m. Bayahibe is adjacent to the Del Este national park. The park includes the 110 sq . km. It is the largest island belonging to the Dominican Republic.. There are about 20 dive sites off the coast of the island. All dive sites are easily accessible from Bayahibe (maximum 20 minutes by boat). In the coastal waters of Saona Island, you can see hard corals, gorgonians, sponges, sea anemones, crabs, reef fish, several species of sea turtles, bottlenose dolphins, West Indian manatees, and in winter, humpback whales. Off the eastern coast of Saona Island, where the small Catalinita island is located, large rays, blacktip sharks and hammerhead sharks are sometimes found.
East Coast Punta Cana
Resort Coast(Punta Cana) is surrounded by the largest coral reef in the country. This is a great place for beginner divers: diving depth does not exceed 18 m, and underwater visibility reaches 30 m (visibility deteriorates significantly during the winter months from December to February). The part of the reef called “Marinarium” is the most popular among tourists. Here, anyone can swim with nurse sharks, stingrays and eagle rays. Also of interest are dives near Bavaro beach near the 120-meter Astron ship, which “landed” on the reef in 1979 and which can be seen from the shore, and underwater caves near Macau beach. For experienced divers, local dive clubs offer dives near the islands of Catalina and Saona, located near the southern coast.
The Samana Peninsula is washed by the waters of the Atlantic Ocean from the north. On the northeastern tip of the peninsula in the vicinity of the resort of Las Galeras (Las Galeras) you can go diving. Underwater visibility here reaches 50 m. The Cabo Carbon dive site with coral gardens is considered one of the best places for experienced divers on the north coast. Also of interest are the underwater cave of the Cathedral and the 50-meter underwater rock of Piedra Bonita. Not far from Las Galeras, Playa Fronton Beach is a great place for snorkelling.
The most popular dive site on the north coast is Sosua. (Sosua). Here, in the immediate vicinity of the coast (within 100 m), a coral reef stretches with a colorful underwater world. The coastal waters here are calm, there are practically no currents. In summer, underwater visibility reaches 40 m. In addition to a rich variety of corals, sponges and tropical fish, nurse sharks, manta rays, and even whales can be seen in Sosua Bay.
Located near the border with Haiti , Montecristi National Park (Montecristi national park) is known for its long coral reef, islands and hundreds of sunken Spanish galleons. The best dive sites here are located along the beach of the village of Punta Rusia, from where tourists can get to the coral island of Cayo Arena. Also in the waters of the national park, you can go wreck diving to dozens of ships, and some of them sank in the 16-17 centuries. Other interesting places include the village of Luperon, where there are caves under water, bizarre elephant-ear corals, huge gorgonians and various sponges; and the city of Puerto Plata (Puerto Plata), in the vicinity of which there is a dive site Five Rocks (5 Rocks) – 5 underwater “mountains” with beautiful corals.