Diving The Dominican Republic

22 August 2016

The Dominican Republic occupies half of the island of Hispaniola - the eastern half is Haiti. Although famous for its beaches, the Dominican Republic is also home to the Caribbean's highest mountain: Pico Duarte. The island lies between Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

To the south of the Dominican Republic is the Caribbean Sea and to the north the Atlantic Ocean. Winds are generally northerlies or westerlies, meaning that the southeast of the island is typically sheltered.

$75 off diving in the Dominican Republic

Water temperature is warm on both sides of the island throughout the year. It ranges from 24 oC in winter to 27 oC in summer. You can dive throughout the year. In winter the best diving is on the Caribbean side; in summer the Atlantic coast comes into its own.

The Dominican Republic has a long coastline and many dive sites. As well as the coral reefs, cave and cavern diving abounds. In addition many wrecks surround the island.

Punta Cana is the most popular diving area. It is good for beginners and has some enjoyable wrecks. Experienced divers - unless you are looking for cave diving - would be better going elsewhere.

The official language is Spanish, but English is widely spoken. US dollars and Euros are accepted as well as the local pesos.

There are two recompression chambers in Puerto Plata and Santo Domingo.

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Diving Dive Operators Accommodation Books to Take Your Comments


The Diving

North Coast Atlantic Dives

3 Rocks
Sosua

Reviews: 4 stars

" Lots of great fish and rock formations "
Dan Kubiske, USA, 2007
"Many different fish, perfect water, great!"
Tommy, 2006
Canyon
Sosua

Reviews: 4 stars

"The best in Sosua, good value for money, only 5 USD for the boat and you can get tanks and weight for 10 USD for one day! There are good hotels in the area but don't use the all inclusive."
Tommy, 2006
The Monica
Punta Cana

The eastmost point of the Dominican Republic, where the Atlantic and the Caribbean meet. The Monica is a shallow shipwreck suitable for beginners but also interesting for experienced divers. The Monica hit the reef whilst carrying train tracks.

More details in Historic Shipwrecks Of The Dominican Republic and Haiti

Astron
Punta Cana

Close to the Monica, this Russian freighter broke in two on the reef in 1978. The bow is above the water and the wreck stretches down to 16 m.

More details in Historic Shipwrecks Of The Dominican Republic and Haiti

Astron wreck, Punta Cana, Dominican Republic
The Astron. Photo credit: Chris T Cooper

South Coast Caribbean Dives

St George
Bayahibe

The St George was deliberately sunk in 1999. It's intact with swim-throughs and a covering of sealife.

More details in Historic Shipwrecks Of The Dominican Republic and Haiti

El Acuario
Catalina Island

Catalina island is just 1.5 miles from the southeast of the Dominican Republic mainland. Cruise ships sometimes visit and it can get crowded underwater.

"Beautiful corals, sponges and numerous types of marine life. "
Sergio Sanchez
La Pared
Catalina Island
"Beautiful dive site starting at about 15 feet and descending down to more than 130 feet. Myriad sponges, corals and fish life. "
Sergio Sanchez
Juan Dolio

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

" There are so many dive sites near this resort area. It's hard to describe just one. However, the Nursery and Metro are must visit sites. "
Dan Kubiske, USA, 2007
La Caleta

La Caleta is a marine reserve near Las Americas International Airport. It features wrecks, reefs and walls dropping down 180 m.

Reviews: 5 Star Rating: Recommended

" Just at the airport bypass. This is one of the Western Hemisphere's first marine national parks. The Limon, a 40-ft vessel was sunk here for reef protection and diving. "
Dan Kubiske, USA, 2007
Canyones
Boca Chica
" A naturally grown coral reef with a perpendicularly tapered steep face at the north side "
Heinz Albert, Caribbean Divers, 2007
Korallengarten or First Reef
Boca Chica
"A naturally grown coral reef that looks like a garden.You can find a lost diving boat there, too. "
Heinz Albert, Caribbean Divers, 2007
Baracuda Reef
Boca Chica
"A coral reef with the shape of a huge underwater mountain, where Baracudas are frequently observed. "
Heinz Albert, Caribbean Divers, 2007
Dominican Republic in General
"Some very healthy and pretty reefs with fish life but zero pelagic. A tourist factory that has driven large stuff away. Ok for practising photos but not a serious diving destination."
Dean, August 2016

Diving the Dominican Republic

"Not worth visiting for diving. Very little to see and the dives all the same. "
Matthew Moore
"In response to the above comment I must disagree, we have dived in a variety of places around the island and have found the diving to change drastically between the different areas. The North Coast has great diving for the beginner to intermediate divers (5-34 m), there are also a number of places for cave diving, the South East has a large number of wrecks and very interesting dive sites including Saona, Catalina and Catalanita where you can see sharks, morays, rays only to name a few. "
Tracy
"We had six very enjoyable dives in early September with Gri Gri Divers at Rio San Juan. Plenty of colourful coral and a fair amount of fish / crabs etc."
Andy Holden
"Great food, great people, great diving and dolphins brilliant. "
Diane Martin

Dive Operators

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North Coast Dive Operators

SCUBA ELITE
Sosua

SCUBA ELITE
Sosua (Near Puerto Plata)
Dominican Republic
Tel: (+1)-829-570-1420
E-mail: [email protected]
Website: http://www.scubaelitedr.com
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"We are a professional and friendly full service dive center offering our guests a full retail selection of equipment and accesories, all PADI courses, Sosua Bay diving/snorkelling, Dive Safaris along the North Coast including the "El Dudu" Caverns and an incredible liveaboard service to Paradise Island for some world class diving.
If you are looking to go pro, inquire about our Elite Internship Program or see our website for more details.
English, French, Spanish, German, Swedish, Finnish and Danish spoken."
Ivan of SCUBA ELITE
Northern Coast Diving
Sosua

#8 Pedro Clisante
Sosua
Republica Dominicana
Tel: 809 571 1028
Fax: 809 571 3883
E-mail: [email protected]
Book diving…

Dive 18 dive sites. Speak English, Italian and Spanish.

"Discover Scuba Diving in the warm Caribbean waters of the Dominican Republic with the best of the North. Combine and create your ultimate Scuba Diving Holiday Adventure for a perfect dive vacation. Just tell us what you want and we will make it happen.
You want to Snorkel? We offer Snorkeling trips and snorkeling Cruises. An aquatic adventure for the whole family or Special charters for that Very special Someone or Special Occasion. Revel in the casual Down-Island pace of life while Diving, Snorkeling or just Relaxing between dives on one of our Beautiful White Sandy Beaches. "
Colin Williamson (Northern Coast Diving), 2010
Divecenter Merlin
Sosua

El Batey
Sosua
Dominican Pepublic
Book diving…

Diwa Dominicana Dive Center
Puerto Plata

Diwa Dominicana Dive Center SA,
Plaza Turisol
Puerto Plata
Dominican Republic
E-mail: [email protected]
Book diving…

Caribbean Marine
Puerto Plata

Scuba diving center, PADI courses, scuba diving tours and snorkelling trips.

Plaza Turizol
Suite48-53
Puerto Plata
Dominican Republic
Tel: (809) 261-3150
Fax: (809) 261-4773
E-mail: [email protected].

VIP Divers
Punta Cana

Offer many certifications including cave and cavern diver.

Punta Cana
Bavaro
Dominican Republic
Tel.: 809 763 0752
Book diving…

Pelicano Watersport
Punta Cana

Hotel Vik Arena Blanca y Ocean Blue Bávaro Arena Gorda
Bavaro
Punta Cana 23000
Dominican Republic
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Ocean Quest
Punta Cana

Bavaro Punta Cana,
Cortesito
Dominican Republic
Tel: +18098520272
E-mail: [email protected]

South Coast Dive Operators

Gri-Gri Divers
Los Melones

Rio San Juan
Dominican Republic
Tel: (809) 589-2671
Fax: (809) 589-2671
E-mail: [email protected]

"We had six very enjoyable dives in early September with Gri Gri Divers at Rio San Juan. Plenty of colourful coral and a fair amount of fish / crabs etc."
Andy Holden
Caribbean Divers
Boca Chica

Boca Chica
Calle # 28
Dominican Republic
Tel: 001 809-8543483
E-mail: [email protected]

Scubafun
Bayahibe

28 calle principale
Bayahibe
Republica Dominicana
Tel: (1) 809 833 0003
E-mail: [email protected]

Golden Arrow Technical Dive Center
Santo Domingo

Calle Victor Garrido Puello No 12 C 5
Piantini Santo Domingo
Dominican Republic
Book diving…

Santo Domingo Dive Services
Santo Domingo

Santo Domingo
Republica Dominicana
Tel/Fax: (809) 537-4243
Mobile: (809) 972-7474
E-mail: [email protected]

"Mark Goldsmith and his team are not only top-notch professionals in terms of the care they give students, beginning divers, experienced divers, etc. they also firmly believe in protecting the environment. You will often see the SDDS dive leaders picking up trash left behind by less-eco concerned water enthusiasts. They know their stuff and are always ready to point out interesting formations, life forms, etc. We used a couple of other dive shops the Dominican Republic and were not impressed with the service or willingness of the dive masters to point out interesting sites. To them we were just dollars, not divers wanting to see and learn. Mark Goldsmith, the owner, has been a dive instructor in the Dominican Republic for about 12 years. He is well known and respected in the industry. "
Dan Kubiske, USA, 2007

Accommodation

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Books to Take

Dominican Republic Guide
Dominican Republic - Lonely Planet
by Michael Grosberg, Kevin Raub. 256 pages, 64 pp colour, 37 maps. Dimensions: 128mm x 197mm.
Historic Shipwrecks Of The Dominican Republic and Haiti
by Lubos Kordac. A compendium of historic shipwrecks surrounding Hispaniola - with their history, locations, maps, photos and drawings. Also tells about pirates like Cofresi and Morgan, and about the treasure hunters.
Coral Reef Fishes: Indo-Pacific and Caribbean
by Ewald Lieske, Robert Myers. An excellent fish identification book.
Reef Creature Identification : Florida Caribbean Bahamas
by Paul Humann, Ned Deloach, Les Wilk. Nearly 1200 photographs showing 900 species.

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