The fishing village of Punta Rucia offers a dreamy white sand beach and surrounding mangroves, northwest of Puerto Plata. From its shores and from the neighboring bay of La Isabela, boats depart to the offshore Cayo Arena–also known as Cayo Paraíso– offering exceptional diving for beginner levels, starting at five meters (16 feet). Schools of tropical fish can also easily be seen in shallow turquoise waters, making this spot a paradise for snorkeling fans. This area boasts some of the most abundant marine life in the DR, with corals and sponges that surround the cay, where octopuses, crabs, schools of surgeonfish, sergeant majors, damselfish, angelfish, and yellowtail snappers all swim around your feet.

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Airport Wall

A favorite of the area, the Airport Wall is considered one of the best and most beautiful dive sites in the DR. Beginning at about 10 meters (33 feet) and dropping to almost 30 meters (98 feet), it is one of the richest sites in coral and marine life, with pinnacles and tunnels.

Puerto Plata, Sosúa

Canyon

This is a suitable dive for all levels, starting in the shallower area of the reef at 12 meters (40 feet), and traversing a tear in the reef formed by the walls of the canyon. Yellowtail snappers, spider crabs, anemones, nudibranchs, toadfish, and beautiful flamingo tongue snails can be spotted here.

Puerto Plata, Sosúa

Diving in Montecristi

On the northwestern side of the country, Montecristi is for experienced divers. There are dozens of real shipwrecks from the time of the Spanish armada sunk due to weather and in battle with English and Dutch pirates. Snorkeling is wonderful at the Cayo Siete Hermanos islands. The infamous pirate Francis Drake used Montecristi as a base for supplying his ships and hiding from the Spanish fleet in the 16th century. He and other pirates attacked countless Spanish ships, looting the treasure and sinking the vessels off the coast of Montecristi. Many of the estimated 150 shipwrecks have been discovered and a number of them are close to shore and at depths shallow enough for the adventure diver.

Montecristi, Scuba Diving + Snorkeling, Water Sports

Five Rocks

Five large coral rocks spread out over a large area of about 100 meters (328 feet), for an ideal beginner dive site. The reef starts at about five meters (16 feet), and its deepest point falls to nearly 24 meters (79 feet).

Puerto Plata, Sosúa

Funny Bikes

This is another option for making the most of the Dominican countryside. Drive your own 4x4 through sugarcane fields, streams and visit local Dominicans and Haitians living in the area to see their culture up close.

Puerto Plata, Excursions

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