Saona Island is often described as the Dominican “Divers Paradise” for it’s impressive under water fauna and lively marine life. Situated in the southern Caribbean coast of the Dominican Republic, Saona was discovered by Cristopher Columbus in 1494 during his second voyage to the Americas. With powdery sand and an aquamarine coast enveloped by tropical palm trees that appear surreal at first sight, it is this paradisiacal landscape that draws tourists from all over to experience the true essence of the Caribbean. Situated in a strategic location where the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean merge, the ebb and flow provide a rich habitat for marine life that has led to the popularity as a destination for scuba diving among divers and snorkelers. Located a short trip for divers staying in Punta Cana, here are 4 Alluring Marine Species that you might encounter while Scuba Diving at Saona Island.
1. Caribbean Reef Squid
This unique Squid species is often found swimming in shallow waters throughout the Caribbean. Divers will normally see the Caribbean Reef Squid in a school or pair. One of the most impressive features of the Caribbean Reef Squid is it’s ability to switch colors as a means to communicate and camouflage. When threatened, they will change from their normal brownish shade and can eject a cloud of black ink to hide from a potential predator.
2. Southern Stingray
The Southern Stingray is a whiptail stingray species native to the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean. It is often found hidden in the sea floor where it spends most of its time to locate prey. Southern Stingray are medium in size, but some mature southern rays can reach sizes of up to five feet (1.5 m) wide. Giant mature southern stingray’s can be spotted near the dive site Ruben.
3. Spotted Moray Eel
When swimming through the coral reefs by Saona Island, divers will often encounter a probing spotted moray eel peeking through a hole in the coral. They will open and close their jaw as a tactic to draw fear. However you won’t find them swimming freely throughout the reefs as they are night creatures. (A great way to see these unique creatures in action is during a night dive, when they are out of their hole)
The Porcupinefish, often called Puffer fish is found in the shallow reefs of tropical waters. The body has spines that serve as a protection from larger fish. Porcupine fish will inflate themselves to double it’s original size with pointing spines as a defense mechanism against predators.
For Scuba Divers that are looking to make the most of their dive vacation and truly experience the real Dominican Republic underwater, then a dive trip to Saona Island is sure not to be missed. A day Excursion to Saona Island that include diving and snorkeling along with a relaxing stop on the island (without the irritations and loud music from the overwhelming Saona booze tours) will be a day sure to remember.