Explore the Mysterious Underwater World of the Dominican Republic (DR)
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, March 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Discover the endless underwater world of the Dominican Republic (DR), a diver’s paradise with nearly 1,000 miles of breathtaking coastline that features colorful marine life and intriguing shipwrecks from when pirates sailed the Caribbean. Located roughly 800 miles south of Miami, the DR boasts numerous sea grass beds, vibrant coral reefs, mysterious underwater caves and some of the region’s most unique sea creatures. Simply put, divers should expect the unexpected.
“We are a top-notch diving destination amid turquoise waters so clear and blue one has to see to believe. The DR offers diverse marine life, excellent certified diving schools and accessible dive sites along our amazing coasts,” said Magaly Toribio, DR Ministry of Tourism Vice Minister of International Promotion. “The DR has it all with developed tourist areas boasting world-class hotels and more off-the-beaten-path options for adventurous, independent divers.”
With the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, the following underwater treasures await you in the DR:
Sheer Exhilaration in the South
The DR’s Southcentral Coast is home to illuminating coral, technicolor fish, an underwater national park, mysterious caverns and is well-suited for both beginner and experienced divers.
East of capital city Santo Domingo near Boca Chica, La Caleta Underwater National Park delights beginners and experienced divers alike at 600 square miles and 600 feet deep. With fascinating reef and wreck diving, La Caleta is known for attracting multicolor fish and the park will soon introduce the first underwater museum of submerged Dominican themed sculptures.
Nearby, divers can explore the 69 foot wreck of tugboat El Limon embedded with coral reefs and 144 foot wreck of Hickory, surrounded by hundreds of yellow tube sponge clusters that swim among this treasure salvage vessel.
Also hidden in the DR’s southern waters is El Catuan, a sunken ship buried 60 feet underwater, and Barracuda Reef, a natural underwater mountain thriving with barracudas. Here you will discover mysterious underwater caves like Cueva Taina, El Hipodromo and El Tildo.
More adventurous divers can explore the DR’s extreme southern coastal area near Barahona-Pedernales. This less-traveled coast features warmer waters and well-protected dives due to the reef structures and coastal curve.
Adventure along the Southeast Coast
With a wealth of marine life, the DR’s Southeast Coast has one of the Caribbean’s largest sunken ships, the 266 foot long St. George, where you may come face to face with grouper, barracudas, dolphins, morays, and mackerel, to name a few.
Southwest of La Romana, the idyllic Catalina Island offers 15 to 140 feet deep dives in reefs like La Pared (The Wall), or caves like Hoyo Azul (Blue Hole) and Padre Nuestro Cave (Our Father’s Cave). Catalina Island is also home to the aquarium, a large coral formation inhabited by toad fish, sea horses and the lion fish. Just off Catalina Island is a spectacular wall dive of a coral slope running 130 feet deep to a sandy bottom, with an abundance of fish, corals and sponges along the way.
Adrenaline Rush on the North Coast
Offering 225 miles of amazing coastline from the Samana Peninsula to Montecristi, the North Coast is filled with colorful coral, rich marine fauna, unrivaled caves, tunnels and reef abysses.
Waters surrounding Samana are known for more challenging dives, especially around Las Galeras. A quick boat ride away, divers can journey 120 feet down and swim around the coral tower Cabo Cabron and other coral landscapes like Las Tres Puertas (The Three Doors) and La Piedra (The Stone).
For exploration on land, be sure to visit the Deep Blue Marine’s Shipwreck Museum in Samana with cool exhibits of artifacts recovered from ancient shipwrecks. Exhibitions have included artifacts from Le Scipion, a French warship that fought in the American War of Independence, as well as several other major historical wrecks.
Hidden in the protected waters of Sosua Bay, northwest of Samana, are underwater gardens, wall and reef diving, and shipwrecks, all swimming with an array of marine life. Divers can travel west of Sosua to Montecristi and observe a variety of coral reefs, such as Cayo Arena, as well as the remains of nearly 230 shipwrecks, including one from the Spanish fleet that sunk in 1563.
For more information and scuba diving brochures, visit www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.
The Dominican Republic’s first tourist was Christopher Columbus in 1492. Rich in history, the DR has developed into a diverse destination offering both Dominican and European flavors to more than one million U.S. visitors each year. Named #1 Golf Destination in Caribbean & Latin America by the International Association of Golf Tour Operators, the DR boasts 25+ designer golf courses, upscale resorts, pristine nature, and sophisticated cities and quaint villages filled with warm Dominican people. The DR features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike. Visit the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s official Web site at: www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.
SOURCE Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism