On shore, the Dominican Republic is a tropical paradise, but off shore, it’s also a diver’s paradise. Whether you are an experienced diver or just a diving enthusiast looking for a great experience, the Dominican Republic has you covered. The following is a list of my top picks for diving in the area.
1. La Piramide
La Piramide (or the pyramid) is situated off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. The site has abundant marine life and there is the option to explore a number of fantastic tunnels around the site that are interconnected. The difficulty level of dives at La Piramide is intermediate to advanced.
2. Cabo Cabron
This dive site has a unique coral structure that rises to a pinnacle. With plenty of coral life in the structure as well as moray eels, groupers, trevallies, scorpion fish, surgeonfish, and hawksbill turtles, there is a lot to see. Divers can begin at the bottom of the coral structure and round their way upwards to optimize the experience. The coral starts at approximately the 165-foot mark and doesn’t disappoint. This is another intermediate and advanced diving site and is situated off the Samana peninsula to the north.
3. La Cueva
This Punta Cana dive site is a shallow dive site with diverse ocean life, so its great for beginners. Divers can take in such sea life as the Panama graysby, the orange side triggerfish, the green moray, the blunt head triggerfish, the juvenile golden jack, the jewel moray, the sergeant major, the graybar grunt, the southern stingray, the octopus, the round stingray, lobsters, the flag cabrilla, and the reef cornet fish. La Cueva also has a fantastic array of underwater caves.
4. St. George Dive Site
The ship, the St. George, constructed in 1962 and abandoned in the area in the 80’s, was intentionally sunk in 1999. The advanced diver can now enter the underwater wonderland that is the St. George. The two hundred and forty foot ship has many occupants, among the ranks of which are barracuda. There is so much to take in at this site. The wreck is located off the southern coast of the Dominican Republic near Bayahibe (which is 10 miles east of La Romana).
5. La Sirena (or Taino Cave)
La Sirena is situated within close range of Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic. You can charter a tour and swim through incredible underwater cave systems. However, this is advanced diving and several companies (e.g., Gri Gri Divers) offer training, important technical information, and guided expeditions. Definitely don’t attempt this dive without the proper training and a professional guide.
*Featured photo: Dominica by Kenny Mitchell (via Flickr)