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Dominican Republic

About Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is exceeding expectations with scuba diving enthusiasts. The Bayahibe diving area mixes pristine local reefs with its variety of dive sites at uninhabited islands and national park. The Spanish speaking Caribbean country is located on the east side of the island of Hispaniola and faces the island of Puerto Rico.  The Dominican Republic is also home to the highest mountain peaks in the Caribbean. As for history, the first European travelers to visit without reservations landed on December 6, 1492. Christopher Columbus with his crew from 3 wooden ships found Taino natives living here and wearing gold jewelry. They also found gold flakes and nuggets in the rivers and gold ore in various gold mines. Under Spanish rule, most of the Taino perished from work conditions, famine, and disease. So, slaves were brought in to join the work force. By the early 1600’s French pirates were arriving on the west side of the island. There were enough battles between the French, slaves, and Spanish to fill a book. However, by 1856 the Dominican Republic had become an independent nation.

Dominican Republic Diving

The calmest and clearest waters for scuba diving are on the southeast coastline of the Dominican Republic around Bayahibe and stretching along the west side of Cotubanamá National Park. First, there are dive sites around both outer islands of Saona and Catalina. Some of the dive sites include the Wall Bayahibe, Guaraguao, Aquarium, and Viva Shallow at Guadalupe. There are three different drift dives around the rocks of Peñon. As for wrecks, you might like the small 99ft long passenger liner Atlantic Princess or the 240ft long cargo ship St. George. Most dive sites are approximately 15 minutes away by boat while there are some deeper dives most are 60 feet or less. Above all, expect to see Jamaican and southern stingrays, nurse sharks, hawksbill and green turtles, seahorses, frogfish, spectacular corals, colorful sponges, flamingo tongue shells, and lobsters. Oh, and a colorful assortment of local reef fish, as well as passing pelagic fish. Enjoy our article on: Frogfish, the overlooked camouflaged artist.

Accommodations, Attractions, and Activities.

The Dominican Republic has a plethora of hotels and all-inclusive resorts to choose from. Many are adjacent to or nearby scuba shops and water activity centers. Tours to the Silver Backs to see humpback whales and sperm whales are usually from June to October. There are many large caves to explore and view petroglyphs and pictographs dating back thousands of years. There are several sites to cave dive as well. White water rafting and ziplining are popular athletic events. Some visitors may like to stroll on a warm beach or take a hike through a wet rain forest, while others just want to touch the frost of an alpine forest: the Dominican Republic has it all.

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