For those of us who are looking for an off the beaten path beach escapade during your Dominican Republic vacation. Or are fascinated by the thought of discovering new underwater realms (surrounded by remarkable marine life). Then a Day at Catalina Island is one you will treasure and remember for years. Measuring under 10 kilometers sq this small island is recognized for its diverse marine ecosystems. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in one of his voyages in 1494, the island was baptized “Santa Catalina.” Due to its small size only a limited number of visitors are allowed to visit each day making it a perfect day trip from Punta Cana, without the stress and hassle of popular tourist destinations.
For beach lovers, Catalina’s beaches are the epitome of Caribbean Paradise. With tranquil turquoise waters, so clear that you can spot a school of fish swim by. For scuba divers, the colorful corals reefs surrounding the island are a perfect escape from this world (at least for an hour or so). On the east side lies “The Wall” a majestic wall reef with a minimum depth of 10 feet on the top, is a great spot for snorkelers and SNUBA. Divers on the other hand can explore greater depths of the wall up to a maximum of 76 feet. On the west side, and a quick boat ride from the shore lies “The Aquarium.” True to its name, diving the Aquarium can feel like swimming in a real life aquarium, with its abundance of tropical fish species at hands distance. Often times a curious stingray will rise from its sand bed or an elegant eagle ray will swim by delighting divers with graceful movements.
For the pirate enthusiasts, a short distance from the island lies the 17th century Shipwreck Quedagh Merchant, of one of the most iconic pirates: Captain William Kidd.
Seized by Kidd in the Indian Ocean prior to sailing for the Caribbean, the whereabouts of the Quedagh Merchants had been a mystery for century until 2007. Today the ship conquest of the scandalous pirate Captain Kidd, has been named a “Living Museum of the Sea.” We may not be able to explore this unique historic site, but we can wonder the whereabouts of Captain Kidd’s treasures as we sip a Pina Colada enjoying the serene landscapes of Catalina Island. Discovering Catalina Island during can be a tranquil experience or the ultimate vacation adventure!