Diving Punta Cana

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Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

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Country: Dominican Republic  Area: Carribbean

Water Temp: 26 - 29°C (79 - 84°F)

Visibility: 5 - 15m (16 - 49 ft)

Depth Range: 6 - 15m (20 - 49 ft)

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Dominicans will extend a gracious welcome, saying “This is your home!” “Bienvenidos!” and indeed are happy to share their beautiful island bathed by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and Caribbean Sea to the south. Dominican Republic is the second largest country in the Caribbean region and a land of contrasts, with high mountains, rocky cliffs, rain forests, fertile valleys, deserts and 1600 kilometres of coastline.

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In the south-eastern part of Dominican Republic there is the most popular resort of the country, Punta Cana. Here you will find some of the best beaches in the world, with dazzling white sand, turquoise water and coconut trees which stretch to the shore.

 

Climate

In Punta Cana visitors can enjoy high temperatures during a whole year, with an average of 26°C degrees. It’s difficult to distinguish proper seasons in Dominican Republic, but there are two main periods: warm and cold.

Punta Cana inderwater, Credit

Warm season starts in June and lasts until October. During this period daily temperature is about 31°C and drops until 25°C during the night. Tourist should keep in mind that at the same time it’s hurricane period and there is a high risk of heavy rains during the day.

So called cold season lasts from December to April with an average daily temperature of 26°C and 23°C at night. Thanks to lower temperature and humidity, there is almost no risk of rain and the weather is very comfortable both for staying on the beach and visiting some of tourist attraction. 

Water temperature is pleasant throughout the whole year and varies from 26°C in March to 29°C in October. Divers can dive with 1-3mm wetsuit, both short and long depending on personal preferences.

Other Year- round Marine life

Stingray, needlefish, barracuda, porkfish, different types of grunts, yellowtail snapper, soldierfish, squirrelfish, sergeant major, parrot fish, different types of wrasse, surgeonfish, butterflyfish, cowfish, spotted trunkfish, porcupinefish, spotted drum, trumpetfish, yellow goatfish, lionfish, green moray, crabs, gastropods, bivalves, urchins, worms and corals.

 
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The Diving

Diving in the waters at the coast of Punta Cana is easy and trouble free. There are no currents and the maximum depth possible to reach doesn’t exceed 14 meters. Normally dive centres are located directly on the beach from where depart also diving boats, usually catamarans or trimarans. Most of the dive spots are reachable in max. 15 minutes boat ride and are suitable for all level divers. Thanks to easy diving conditions, Punta Cana is a great place for all of those who want to start their diving adventure and get certificated.

Diving Punta Cana underwater, Credit

There’s a big range of scuba diving sites (around 15) off east-southern coast including vibrant reefs, caverns with swim-throughs and a long list of interesting wrecks, both natural and purpose-sunk.

One of the most popular dive sites in the area is Aston Wreck, owned by Russia and built in France, sank in 1979 while delivering huge amount of corn to Cuba. The ship is situated at an average depth of 12-15m/40--50ft with the length of the wreck being around 92m/300ft. The wreck is conveniently positioned not far from the beach with its top still can showing above the water. The ship remains well preserved, so divers get a chance to take a good look at the structure. The variety of underwater flora and fauna here is really thrilling. Unique combinations of diverse coral formations and sponges mixed with sea life from both Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea fill the place with fantastic shapes and colors. Barracudas, rays, yellow tail snappers and plenty of different tropical fish can be spotted on a daily basis.

Fishes hovering near corals, Credit

Funs of wreck diving can also explore Monica Wreck which was a wooden boat that was transporting different tools to the sugar plantation. Unfortunately, because of the strong storm the boat has sunk and remained underwater until today. Wooden parts of the boat are not in good conditions, but there are still some interesting steel parts such as rails for the train, propellers and máquinas. This wreck became a home to many small tropical fish and sometimes it's even possible to see barracuda. It's possible to explore the boat from outside and inside.

Another interesting dive spot is La Cueva- a shallow collection of caverns and swim-throughs illuminated by sunlight. Swimming between them divers can encounter some stingrays, different types of corals and tropical fish: yellow tail snapper, parrot fish, puffer fish, trumpet fish and cleaning shrimps.

Punta Cana Coast, Credit

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How to Get there

The easiest way to reach Punta Cana is plane. There is Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ), well connected with the biggest destination in Europe and North and South American. Other two big International Airports are: La Romana International Airport (LRM) located 70km from Punta Cana and Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo (SDQ).

Beautiful Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, Credit

Normally hotel guests will be picked up from the airport by hotel staff. Otherwise there is a possibility to take a taxi or rent a car directly at the airport or once reached holiday destination. Driving in Dominican Republic can be high demanding and risky because of basically no rules and many people who don’t show common sense on the streets. Don’t except other drivers to behave like in your home country- you have to adapt to the local way of doing.

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Where to Eat & Drink

Punta Cana is a typical holiday destination where almost all resorts are All Inclusive, offering to their guests everything: shops, bars, restaurants, night clubs, entertainment, casinos, pools and private beaches. Most of the guests don’t go out of the resort, apart from organized tours with the guide.

Cold Drinks! Credit

For visitors staying in private apartments, Punta Cana offers some nice restaurants and bars on the beach of Bavaro. Enthusiasts of night entertainment can visit two big disco: Coco Bongo with spectacular shows and Imagine Night Cub which is inside a real cave.

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Other Activities

Isla Saona: Many visitors in Punta Cana spend a day of their vacation visiting Isla Saona. The excursion consists of a boat or catamaran ride which takes you through part of the Parque Nacional de Bayahibe where you can enjoy its incredible seabed covered with coral and starfish. Its unique natural pool located in the ocean itself is a must see, as well as the fishing village of Mano Juan located on the island.

Beautiful day at Isla Saona, Credit 

Santo Domingo: For those of you who want to immerse yourself in the Dominican culture, a day in the city of Santo Domingo will no doubt prove interesting. Although the trip from Punta Cana is long, it is worth getting to know the colonial city located in the country's historic centre.

Go-kart racing: A short distance from Arena Gorda there is a go-kart circuit just over half a mile long. The vehicles are 9cv and reach speeds of up to 46 miles an hour. This place is recommended for the whole family as the safety measures are strict: crash helmets are compulsory and the speed of children’s karts can be limited.

Bavaro Adventure Park:

The Bavaro Adventure Park offers the newest and best adventure attractions in open-air adventure parks in the world! The Zorbing, CrazyBall, unique in the whole country, as well as the Climbing Garden and Pirate Ship are where you will live unforgettable challenging moments, pushing you to the limits.

Golf

Punta Cana Resort & Club's La Cana: Marvellous course with 14 different views of the ocean and four holes facing the sea. You can contract private lessons in the club’s golf academy.

Golf de Bávaro: Perfect for beginners, it is next to the Bávaro lagoon.

Cocotal Golf and Country Club: There are numerous palm trees on this course, which has 27 holes and is par 72, as it is located on the site of a former coconut palm plantation.

White Sands Golf Course: Located in the heart of Bávaro and designed by José “Pepe” Gancedo, this course is a par 72 with 18 holes.

Punta Espada: The first Jack Nicklaus course in the Dominican Republic runs along the beach, beside lakes and through lush vegetation, and has eight holes directly facing the ocean.

Another beautiful Punta Cana experience, Credit

Family Friendly

There are many activities which can be enjoyed by whole families. Different boat tours, sunset cruises, land tours to Saona and Catalina Island or Santo Domingo. In many hotels there is animation dedicated for children which will entertain providing games and activities

In PADI dive centres children at age from 8 to 10 years can participate in Bubblemaker program which is a dive under supervision of professional PADI Instructor at the max. depth of 2 meters. Children get familiar with dive equipment and in funny and interesting way are introduced to the underwater world. Older children (< 10 years) can do their first diving course, PADI Junior Open Water Diver.

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