Let’s talk about the best spots to go scuba diving in Punta Cana. Although we do have whales, turtles, coral reefs, and numerous species of fish, the Dominican Republic isn’t really known for its scuba diving… But there are a few good spots to see marine life around the island and close to your resort in Punta Cana.
The longest coral reef in the Dominican Republic stretches from Punta Cana to Bavaro! There are a variety of diving sites, including shipwrecks, canyons, and caves. And most of the areas are relatively shallow making it a great place for beginner divers, families, and/or those looking to gain their diving certification.
Best Spots To Go Scuba Diving in Punta Cana
Just off the shores of Playa Blanca, you’ll find two popular dive sites: El Aquario (the aquarium) and the Enriquillo Wreck.
El Aquario reaches depths between 16 to 23 feet (five to seven meters) and hosts barracuda, eagle rays, grunts, porcupine fish, sandfish, and parrotfish.
The Enriquillo Wreck is for more experienced divers as there can be strong currents in the area. Enriquillo RM-22 is a ship that sunk off the coast of Playa Blanca after being donated from the US to the Dominican Navy in 2006. It now sits 60 feet (18 meters) below sea level and houses large schools of yellowtail snappers, sea breams, horse mackerel, and turtles.
Igneri Caribe Taino Underwater Museum
This underwater museum is located between Playa Blanca and Playa Serena. The museum was created by Dominican artist Thimo Pimentel, and there are a series of 22 sculptures representing traditional Taino figures. There sculptures range in depth from 10-23 feet (three to seven meters). It’s also a great place to snorkel!
Las Cuevitas & El Canal
These two dive sites are just off the coast of Bavaro and are ideal for beginners. Las Cuevitas sits at 72 feet (22 meters), and El Canal sits at 52 feet (16 meters). Divers swim through the channel and can see beautiful rock formations.
El Astron is a massive Russian freighter, thought to be carrying tons of corn to Cuba in 1978. The ship split in two and sank off the coast of Bavaro. It’s an interesting spot just because the ship is so large! It’s 394 feet (120 meters) long and has a propeller said to weigh more than 20,000 tons. This shipwreck is reserved for advanced divers as there can be strong currents in the area.
Scuba Diving Spots Near Punta Cana
Just outside of Punta Cana there are a few other really great spots for scuba diving. You can arrange a diving excursion to Catalina Island or Saona Island. Both of the islands are beautiful, and they actually offer better diving than Punta Cana.
These all-day excursions start with a pick-up from your resort and will take you to the little fishing village of Bayahibe. It’ll take about 45 minutes to get there. Once you arrive, you’ll get on a boat to Catalina or Saona.
Catalina Island offers the best scuba diving in the area. You’ll likely go to two dive spots: The Aquarium and The Wall. Both are full of sea life including sea horses, sea cucumbers, coral, octopus, parrotfish, eel, stingrays, and more!
The Aquarium reaches depths around 39 feet (12 meters), while The Wall starts at 16 feet (5 meters) and descends down to 131 feet (40 meters).
Catalina Island is great for scuba diving or for snorkeling if you’re with the family. After diving, you’ll head to the beach in Catalina for some lunch.
Most people know Saona Island as an all-day party boat excursion, but there are also separate scuba diving excursions offered. In my opinion, it’s not as beautiful as Catalina, but it is still very nice!
You’ll go to El Peñon which is a long reef that ranges in depth from 39 to 91 feet (12 to 28 meters). You’ll see tons of different fish, lobsters, and eagle rays. Sometimes you can even see sea turtles.
Scuba Diving Companies in Punta Cana
There are a ton of great companies to book your scuba diving excursion. My recommendations: SeaPro Divers or Dressel Divers Punta Cana. They both have knowledgeable and professional instructors and will provide an unforgettable experience from start to finish.
Whether you choose to venture out to the islands or stay in Punta Cana, you can be sure that you’ll enjoy the turquoise water, the warm sunshine, and the beautiful marine life. Wherever you decide to go, you’re going to have an amazing time scuba diving in Punta Cana!
Wondering when you should book your trip? Find out when is the best time to visit Punta Cana.