If you are visiting Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic and wondering if there are any good day trips you can do, then look no further than a day trip to Saona Island. Saona Island is located off the southeastern tip of the Dominican Republic and is a part of the East National Park. Saona is relatively remote and is home to mangroves, white sand beaches, coral reefs and turquoise waters. This post covers all you need to know about taking a day trip to Saona Island from Punta Cana.
How to Get to Saona Island
I had booked an all-inclusive resort stay at Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa for a few days to relax. However, I knew I wanted to venture out of the resort at least one day of the stay. Saona Island popped up when I researching the best things to do and after reading a bit more, I knew I wanted to visit this beautiful island. The next question was how to do I (especially as a solo traveler) get there? I’m usually not one for group tours because there is always so much time wasted and never time given to spend at the place itself. However, this tour I did was actually good.
What to Expect on a Day Trip to Saona Island from Punta Cana
The day starts with a pick-up from your hotel and after picking up more people, you are on your way. We first made a little bio break at a gift shop and they offered as a free shot of mama juana which is a native alcoholic drink.
We then went to a place where we hoped on a catamaran and started to sail away. I sat in the net area in front of the catamaran and it was so relaxing! There were drinks on the boat and good music as we sailed through the beautiful waters of the Dominican Republic.
Our first stop was a sandbar out in the ocean. The water was shallow and turquoise blue. We hopped off the catamaran here and were able to swim and snorkel. The best part was seeing starfish! After spending quite a bit of time here (just enough to swim, snorkel and relax), we then sailed to Saona Island.
The approach to Saona is beautiful. You can see the beauty of this island even from a far. The white sand beach and balmy palm trees were very inviting. We jumped off the catamaran and headed for lunch.
Lunch was buffet style and they had set it up under a shady hut.
After lunch people decided to either get a lounge chair and lay on the beach, get a massage or jump in the ocean. I decided to walk along the shore and explore the island a bit. I know I’ve said this already but the water truly was SO beautiful. After walking around, I then decided to put my snorkeling gear on and head to the ocean. The time spent here was just right for me and I really enjoyed the island.
Instead of the catamaran we came in, we hoped on a speed boat to head back to Punta Cana! The tour rotates the experience. So if you got to Saona on a catamaran, you go back in a speed boat and if you came in a speed boat you sailed back in a catamaran. The speed boat experience was thrilling! Storm clouds were approaching so we basically flew across the ocean at very high speeds! Prepare to be soaked!
After getting back to where we first took the catamaran that morning, we got back on the road and were taken back to our respective hotels.
Overall, I really enjoyed my day and was back in time for a lovely early dinner at the resort.
What to Pack
It’s definitely hard to pack for a day trip, especially a water related activity while on vacation! I used to sit on my hotel bed the night before and put together things I needed and sure enough would either overpack OR forget something. To avoid this, I put together this list of items for a beach vacation. It also works really well for day trips like this as well! Check it out below.
A Little More About Secrets Resort
Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa is a highly rated all-inclusive in the Dominican Republic. I have been to other all-inclusives before but this one was really good. It had a massive pool, big rooms and several amazing restuarants and bars. My favorite part was going to a different restaurant each day and sipping on passion fruit cocktails by day. The hotel faces the ocean and has a lovely beach. Another favorite of mine was waking up to see the sunrise every morning.
I got a room with a private pool and butler service and I regret nothing! I went to a Secrets resort in Jamaica and got upgraded to a room with a private pool and butler service and now I can’t go back to a stay without these amenities (ridiculous! I know!!)
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