Where to snorkel in Dominicana? | Catalina Island

isla-catalina-desde-el-dron

Virgin Catalina Island. Do you want to know how to get to Catalina Island? What can you do on Catalina Island? Check out all the most important information about Catalina Island!


About Catalina Island

isla-catalina-playa
República Dominicana 2023
isla-catalina-desde-el-dron
República Dominicana 2023

Isla Catalina is a small, uninhabited island belonging to the Eastern National Park. Covering just 9.6 square kilometers of land, this small piece of land is a real gem that attracts tourists from all over the world who want to experience the beauty and peace that this tropical island has to offer.

When visiting Catalina Island, it is worth remembering to protect this unique place. The National Park cares about preserving the natural environment, so it is recommended not to touch or take corals or other marine organisms with you. 

Snorkeling

isla-catalina-desde-el-dron
República Dominicana 2023

It is one of the best places in the Dominican Republic for diving and snorkeling. The coral reefs surrounding the island create a natural habitat for rich marine life, including exotic fish and colorful coral species. When diving, you should watch out for jellyfish that swim in the water.

Unfortunately, I had the misfortune of being stung by a jellyfish – if you are not allergic, nothing more serious should happen to you. The pain resembles to hot water burns. If you have access to ice, it is a good idea to place a block on the burnt area, if you don’t have ice, apply something cool.

Unfortunately, Catalina Island’s beaches are not all sand. There are many small rocks and a sharp coral reef. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring water shoes and I regretted it because the rocks were very slippery and sharp. I recommend that you carry water shoes in your backpack; It will definitely be much more comfortable.

How to get to Catalina Island?

puerto-de-embarque-bayahibe
Bayahibe – República Dominicana 2023

You can go to Catalina Island by boat from the port of Bayahibe. This is the same place from where you sail to Saona Island. If you drive from Punta Cana to Bayahibe, the trip along the toll highway will take you approximately 1 hour. The time to get from Bayahibe to the island depends on the water level, but you have to take into account 30/45 minutes.

How to organize a trip?

isla-catalina-playa
República Dominicana 2023

As in most cases, you can organize your own trip to Catalina. If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can find many travel agencies that offer this type of trip.

How much did the trip to Catalina Island cost?

A tour from a tourist office costs from USD 90 – depending on where you are traveling from, what language the tour is conducted in, and whether the price includes meals and alcohol.

How to organize a tour on your own?

la-entrada-a-la-isla-catalina
República Dominicana 2023

You can also organize the same trip to Catalina Island on your own. You must arrive at the port of Bayahibe in the morning and immediately be patient, because as soon as you enter the port you will be besieged by tour sellers (or so-called “intermediaries”). There is parking at the port, but I recommend negotiating the price of parking.

Now comes the most difficult and, in my opinion, the worst part: walking along the port beach, asking the price and negotiating. If they are good at it or have experience, they will definitely do it better than me. Trip prices from Punta Cana or Bayahibe can give you an indication of how much you should pay if you want a similar service.

How much cost tour to Catalina Island?

isla-catalina-playa
República Dominicana 2023

After long negotiations, I paid USD 170 for the entire boat – the cost was divided among four people. The negotiations were very annoying, I agreed with one gentleman on the price of USD 35 per person, this was also the price my three companions heard. The gentleman went to buy us a permit to enter the national park (you can do it yourself at the ticket offices in front of the parking lot), and after returning he told us that the price was not USD 35 but USD 55! $20 more than we agreed on. Unfortunately, after some time, it turned out that the gentleman was just a “tout” who did not own the boat. After an hour, we reached the owner of the boat, with whom we agreed on a price of USD 170.

This price only included transportation from Bayahibe to the island and back. Nothing more.

Unfortunately, I have no experience in negotiating and this is a very uncomfortable situation for me.

Buffet on the island

isla-catalina-desde-el-dron
Isla Catalina – República Dominicana 2023

The truth is that if you do not purchase a food tour or take something to eat with you, you will not be able to buy a meal on the island. The buffet is only open to those who bought a meal tour. However, this is not an unsolvable problem. A tip for the staff solves the problem 😉 You can, for example, ask the bartenders for a drink and simply leave them a tip.

Isla Catalina vs Saona Island – which one to choose?

isla-catalina-vs-isla-saona
República Dominicana 2023

Even though both islands seem to be the same, each of them offers a different type of relaxation. The island of Saona is also almost ten times larger than little Catalina. Saona Island is also a destination chosen more often by tourists, so you will meet a lot of people there during the season. Catalina Island is famous for its beautiful coral reef, so if you want to admire marine life, choose Catalina. If you dream of staying overnight on a paradise island – choose Saona, it is not possible to stay overnight on Catalina. Both islands are really beautiful, I spent a great day on both islands. If I have the opportunity to visit both islands again, I will definitely want to spend more time snorkeling at Catalina Island, and visit Saona to discover the mainland. If you want to get to know the Saona Island better, read a separate entry.

isla-catalina-desde-el-dron
Isla Catalina – República Dominicana 2023

To sum up, Catalina Island is a paradise for lovers of nature, diving and peace. If you are looking for a place where you can relax and enjoy the beauty of a pristine beach, you can definitely choose Catalina Island!

***

In the Dominicana tab you can find more useful information and recommendations about this country.


I love sharing my travels, experiences, thoughts and self-tested advices. A travel blog is also a bit of work that I do drinking coffee.

If you want to buy me a coffee, I’d be very pleased!

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