In this article we will talk about diving and snorkeling in the Dominican Republic. How much does it cost, what to expect from these activities, where to look for spots in the country. There will be tips and tricks. You will also learn about the process of preparing for the dive and about the briefing.

Table of contents:

diving and snorkeling in the Dominican Republic
Snorkeling in such clear water in the Bay of Eagles is just great

Diving and snorkeling in the Dominican Republic: general facts

Here are some important points to know:

  • The Dominican Republic is washed by two water areas at once:
    • North – Atlantic Ocean
    • South – Caribbean Sea
    • Better diving in the south, because there the sea is calmer and the water is more clear. But there are also excellent points in the north. And snorkeling is available in the north and south.
  • The Dominican Republic is not Egypt, where the Red Sea is considered the second largest after the Great Barrier Reef in Australia in terms of the diversity of the underwater world. There are corals with thousands of fish near each hotel. In the Dominican Republic, this is much worse. From the photo you will understand everything.

Myths about diving and snorkeling in the Dominican Republic:

All sites write that the Dominican Republic is one of the best places in the world for diving and snorkeling. And tens of thousands of tourists specially come here every year for this. Don’t trust them :). Yes, there is an underwater world, but very scarce. The only thing that distinguishes the Dominican Republic for the better is humpback whales that swim ashore. But you can’t swim with them, it’s forbidden by law. You can only take a boat as part of an excursion.

The only place in the country where you can swim with manta rays and manatees is an adventure park in Puerto Plata

all about diving in the Dominican Republic
Here the underwater world of the Dominican Republic often looks like this. There are a lot of pictures on the Internet that create the wrong idea.

Diving and snorkeling in the Dominican Republic: spots to watch

I didn’t write above, but I think you know the difference between diving and snorkeling.

Good to know:

Diving is diving with a balloon to a depth of 5-8 meters (for beginners). Snorkeling – you simply swim with a mask and snorkel on the surface of the water and watch the underwater world.

Diving is more expensive, you don’t organize it yourself, because you need to have all the equipment. And snorkeling is easy. If you have a snorkel and a mask, you can already go snorkeling.

Below is a list of popular resorts where there are popular diving centers and diving spots:

  • Between the resorts of Punta Cana and Bavaro, there are about 15 diving spots. All for beginners.
  • Between Catalina Island and Bayahibe Beach. 40 meter reef wall. I recommend to all. Beginners dive up to 10m. If you have a PADI certificate, then the dives go much deeper.
  • Near the island of Saona. Here are some of the biggest stars in the world.
  • Near the resorts of Sosua and Cabarete.
  • Not far from Bayahibe beach there is a sunken cargo ship 80m long.

These are perhaps the most popular diving sites in the entire Dominican Republic.

Diving in the Dominican Republic
Here is a reef wall near Catalina Island. The wall is cool but look how many fish 🙂

It is important to know:

Try not to take diving tours in Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo. These are large port cities – there are certainly reefs here, but the clarity of the water is much less than in other places.

Snorkeling can be practiced on any beach in the country, but I recommend paying attention to the following spots, which are very popular:


That since recently, according to the law of the Dominican Republic, it is forbidden to raise starfish above the water. Even for a second to take a photo. You can hold it in your hands, but only under water.
sunken ship in the Dominican Republic
And this is diving near the sunken cargo ship, which I wrote about above

Travel Tips

  • If you buy yourself a tour for such an activity, then you will be given everything you need.
  • And if you want to be able to snorkel yourself on any beach and in any place, then you need to have your own:
    • Handset
    • Mask
    • Coral slippers or flippers
  • For a diving tour, always plan at least 4 hours, and more often it is the whole day.
  • Standard prices per person for diving for the whole day from $150-200.
  • If drinks and lunch are almost always included in the price of the program, then here’s what you should not forget to bring with you:
    • towel
    • protective cream
diving in the caves of the Dominican Republic
For experienced divers in the Dominican Republic there are a huge number of caves and individual tours there.

Read about excursions in the Dominican Republic, how and where to buy, where to buy diving tours at the link.

In conclusion: there is diving and snorkeling in the Dominican Republic. But if you have been snorkeling in Egypt or diving in the Maldives, then in the Dominican Republic you will not be interested. The underwater world here is much poorer. But for beginners who want to try what it is – a great option.

I wish you cool and unforgettable underwater meetings!

Resources to help you plan your dream trip to Dominican Republic

  • Flights at the best prices with discounts
  • Car rental: DiscoverCars – a largest international resource
  • Hotels and apartments:
    • Hotellook – compares hotel prices among dozens of booking platforms and offer you the best price.
    • Booking – large online booking platform.
    • Agoda – even more accommodation options in Dominican Republic.
  • Vacation packages:
    • Expedia – best deals from Europe.
    • CheapOair – cheap packages from all US cities.
  • Tours, excursions and extreme activities:
    • GetYourGuide – more than 800+ tours and water activities.
    • Viator – 3500+ tours and excursions in Dominican.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance: EKTA
  • Internet and Calls:
    • Airalo – eSIM with internet package.
    • Drimsim – universal SIM card (or eSIM) in any country in the world.
  • Taxi and airport transfers: Intui.Travel