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Curious or experienced, a little scared or adrenaline junkie, La Romana – Bayahibe serves as an unparalleled Caribbean underwater exploration experience for everyone. The area’s abundant underwater museums, caves and caverns, natural and artificial reefs, and amazing marine life deliver so many options that exciting and fresh adventures continually await the willing.
Venture into a world where manta rays glide effortlessly by or picture life aboard the infamous Quedagh Merchant, Captain Kidd’s recently discovered shipwreck off the coastline of Catalina Island. Leave uncertainty behind knowing La Romana – Bayahibe’s experienced certified professionals offer unrivaled instruction, guidance, and service for the nervous to the seasoned underwater explorer.
Choosing Catalina Island as the first “must-see” is an excellent choice to introduce beginner aquatic adventurers and hook experienced divers on the uniqueness of the Dominican encounter.
The nationally protected historic resting place of Captain Kidd’s Quedagh Merchant vessel rests in 10 – 16 feet of water only 70 feet off the Catalina windward coast. Good weather and light wind affords both divers and snorkelers the chance to see the remains of one of the most infamous pirate ships. As this site is protected and still under scientific observation, obtaining visitation permission is necessary.
Meanwhile, minutes to the calmer leeward side of the island spectacular snorkeling and diving at the “Aquarium” and the “Wall” are not to be missed. Whilst thrillseekers explore the “Wall”, beginning adventures can snorkel or discover diving on the same reef that sits in only 20 feet of water. Crystal clear water, vibrant coral, and diverse marine life make this an ideal first stop.
The “Aquarium” at Catalina Island also offers the same experience for beginners and experts to enjoy together. Many area outfitters complete the experience with lunch and festivities on the island.
A personal favorite, “Viva Shallow”, allows the uncertain and reluctant the opportunity to share the vast array of reef habitat with comfortable divers in only 15 to 35 feet of water. Here you will encounter the most diverse display of tropical fish and coral the Caribbean has to offer. Yellowtail damselfish display their glittering, gemlike spots as spotted moray eels seek protection in the reef from all the commotion.
Certified deep and wreck divers find diving the St. George scuttled wreck fascinating and rewarding. Lying in 80 – 140 feet of water, the St. George offers dependably clear visibility, large open areas for penetration, and a host of marine life. Barracuda, sponges, crab, squid, and octopus call this artificial reef home. Just a five minute boat ride from Bayahibe, the St. George makes for an incredibly adventurous night diving excursion, as colors and creatures generally indistinguishable by day come to life at night.
Particularly courageous and experienced divers find Shark Point, off the coast of Saona where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet, a favorite spot for wall and reef diving. Swim-throughs provide the ideal hiding spots for larger marine life; manta and eagle rays, angelfish, coral, and even the occasional small shark excite even veteran scuba divers.
When choosing your tour, know that any reputable outfitter, dive shop, or tour company will welcome the opportunity to answer questions and provide qualifications. Potential divers should verify the certification of a PADI dive center and Divemaster before selecting any dive operation.
Those wishing to “discover” scuba diving, will work closely and carefully with a certified Master Scuba Diver Trainer, who will introduce basic skills and safety procedures before ever leaving the shop. Next, beginning students familiarize themselves with the equipment and basic skills in waist deep water before a final decision to dive is made.
Safety and personal comfort should be the instructor’s first most priority. Never hesitate to ask questions or voice your concerns.
What are you waiting for? Let’s explore La Romana – Bayahibe!