The Enriquillo RM-22 is a 44-meter (143-foot) long, 10-meter (33-foot) wide ship that once sailed at 13 knots, with a crew of 45 men and three 50-mm machine guns. Donated by the U.S. to the Dominican Republic Navy in 1980, it was later delivered to the Puntacana Group in 2006, and sunk off the coast of Playa Blanca. Sitting 18 meters (60 feet) below sea level, only experienced divers can undertake this dive due to the area’s strong currents. Among the numerous species present are large schools of Atlantic horse mackerel, sea breams, yellowtail snappers, and turtles–hawksbill, leatherback, green sea–that come to the coast to spawn.

Other attractions in Punta Cana

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Diving in Punta Cana

This is where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. The shoreline is lined with soft white sand beaches and the corals offshore form an underwater barrier reef configuration running parallel to the coast. A well-tended coral garden, offshore wrecks and cave diving are the highlights. The Puntacana Resort and their Ecological Foundation maintain an underwater coral garden off their beach that can be visited. Ask about ongoing work on the most outstanding wreck in the area, the Punta Cana Pewter Wreck, a Spanish ship lost in the 1540s nearing the end of its outward voyage from Seville to the colonies in the New World. Salvage crews have recovered around 1,200 pieces of pewter tableware. Up the coast to the north, the modern Astron and Monica shipwrecks are now covered in marine plant life and tropical fish and are a swimmable distance from the coastline. The underwater cave, Cueva Taina Macao, a short drive from the Bávaro resort area is easily accessible. With a depth of no more than 26 feet (8 meters) this cave is around 54 yards (50 meters) long with an impressive variety of stalagmites and stalactites in crystal clear waters.

Punta Cana, Scuba Diving + Snorkeling, Water Sports

El Acuario

Located off the coast of Punta Cana, this aquarium reaches between five and seven meters (16-23 feet) of depth, ideal for beginners. Mottled barracuda, eagle rays, porcupine fish, sandfish, grunts, and parrotfish can be spotted.

Punta Cana, Scuba Diving + Snorkeling

El Astron

Submerged at 12 meters (39 feet) off the coast of Bávaro, the Astron continues to be a popular site for advanced divers. The sheer magnitude of the ship, including its giant propeller–said to be weighing over 20,000 tons–are worth a look.

Punta Cana, Scuba Diving + Snorkeling

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