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.
Thanks to reef restoration efforts from the area’s organizations, coral cultivations at El Acuario dive site have turned it into one of the most interesting underwater spots in the region. Located off the coast of Punta Cana, this aquarium reaches between five and seven meters (16-23 feet) of depth, which is ideal for beginners. One of its iconic residents is François–a large barracuda often seen swimming alone or protecting a school of small fish from the barracuda family. Mottled eagle rays, porcupine fish, sandfish, grunts, and parrotfish can also be spotted.