The pleasant water temperatures in the Dominican Republic, ranging from 25°C to 29°C (77° F to 84° F) make this island a paradise for those who enjoy snorkeling and scuba diving, no matter what time of the year it is. Visibility under water is generally a dream come true for submarine photographers.

The best experience for the privileged few is to swim with hunchback whales in the Silver Banks area near the north coast. Those of you who are not so daring can dive near the corals, reefs, canyons, natural walls, caves and shipwrecks, some dating from the 16th century and others created artificially on later dates.

Experts recommend the provinces of Puerto Plata, Espaillat and María Trinidad Sánchez, in Samaná, on the north coast, and Boca Chica, Juan Dolio and La Romana, on the southern coast, as the best places for diving. But there are more, and the mambo kings are surely the St. George and the Padre Nuestro cave.

The St. George was built in 1962 and for over twenty years it was used to transport wheat and barley between Norway and America. This transatlantic with 240 meters in length overall ended up abandoned at the port of Santo Domingo. In 1999 it was sunk in the La Romana – Bayahibe area so that it could become an artificial reef for diving. And so it was. The St George is home to many species of fauna y flora, a steel coffer on the sea bed with the best and most colorful of treasures. Barracudas, eels, swordfish, sea bass and many other species swim above deck and around the propellers, and you can watch them as if you were taking a stroll in the midst of a busy promenade. But there is also a lot to be seen on the insides of the ship, for instance the engine room, the arch and the winches can be explored thanks to openings made in the hull.

Now if what you enjoy is diving in rocky areas, the place for you is the Padre Nuestro cave. In the National Park of the East there is a tunnel that is 290 meters long, but only for experts with a good physical condition. The immersion begins on land, with stalactite and stalagmite walls, several layers of rock and salt and fresh water formations. If you indulge in the stories of the years that it took for all this to be formed you will grasp an idea of what lies in store later on. The walk ends with safety ropes for the descent into an immersion lasting just over half an hour that will be very hard to forget. You must always follow the safety instructions of the guides and avoid taking more risks than are necessary .

Feel like taking the plunge? ;-)


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