Isla Saona Reviews
We've found 79 Isla Saona reviews from Viator.com travelers and members: what they loved, what they liked and what they think could be improved. It's all here to help you make the most of your next trip.
Amazing place. Wonderful beaches but the tour wasn't so good. People got drunk by the leaders and they spent a lot of money. i think that was the point from the agency. They gave us cheap alcohol and everyone was drunk (we were smart enough to avoid it) and then , it was dangerous being in the sea and furthermore, i bet that people spent at least 100dollars in unnecessary things persuaded by the leaders! BE CAREFUL if you are about to join the tour.
The catamaran ride was perfect. The staff on the boat tried to make sure everyone was having fun including my kids. The island was beautiful. The starfish area had 2 starfish. One was dead I think? and the other someone was holding. There were really no starfish to see like we expected. The biggest issue was the 4 hour bus ride to get there. 1 hour to Bavaro and THREE more to the catamaran dock. We spent more time on a bus than the excursion. You can't change the distances...but I think your tour company tried to hide how long the travel part was and that was very aggravating. Another couple on the trip told us that they asked and were told 1 hr to 1.5 hrs....and they were also on buses for 3 hours. VERY MISLEADING. Also, the photo video guy was a good idea but we didnt want the video. If the pics were avail online we might have ordered pictures.....but didnt want to pay for the whole set of everyone on the trip. Just an idea.
First of all the drive to and from the resort was extremely long, very tiring especially if you are travelling with young kids. The catamaran was okay not very impressed. The food on the island was terrible. The only part that was enjoyable was the speedboat ride and the starrfish, other than that it was quite boring. It was not worth it. Was up at 6am and got back to our resort at 8:30pm.
We tried to cancel due to a change of plans, we were told we couldn't, therefore we gave the trip away! On the day of the cruise, our guests were not picked up on on time, a car was sent to pick them up to met the rest of the group. 10 hour adventure was really 12 hours long!
Having been on island vacations and excursions like this before, it made the long bus ride from/to Punta Cana to the boat area a bit tiresome. Once in the water the trip was wonderful.
Was a bit bummed out there was only one kind of "adult beverage" offered as well.
The Catamaran was great, the speedboat ride was awesome. The water was beautiful and we did swim and see a bunch of star fish. Our guide was knowledgeable. The two downfalls or surprises was that it was almost a 2 hour bus ride each way with no toilet paper in the bathroom, and the only offerings were beer and rum and coke/sprite. Lunch was OK.
Worth doing, yes. We went on the excursion with the expectations that snorkel gear would be provided and that the island would be a soothing, relaxing, environment. We didn't bring towels, but that was our mistake. When you arrive at the island, expect to find around 200-250 people already there, as many other tour companies come to this island. the music will be blasting. we were bummed that we couldn't snorkel, but overall we had a nice time and i'm glad that we went because it was nice to see another part of the country. food was pretty decent, rice, vegatables, chicken, and mahi mahi were served. beverages include soda, water, beer, and rum and cokes. the "natural pools" portion was better than the island. it's actually a large sandbar out in the middle of the bay between saona and the mainland. again, many other tour companies stop here with their load of drunk tourists, but we made the best of it and really soaked in the beauty of standing in 4 feet of water so crystal clear and far from shore. because of my lack of a mask, i didn't find any starfish, but i noticed other people around me who found 1 or 2. if you're doing this tour come fully prepared with your own gear and if you're coming from punta cana, be ready for a solid 2 hour bus ride one way. i really appreciated seeing all of the country side and small towns though. HAVE FUN, MAKE THE BEST OF YOUR VACATION!
The bus ride to the speed boat from the Excellance Resort hotel was 2 hours. 1 hour in small van where we met up with a larger bus for another hour. 1 hour on the speed boat to island where we stayed for 3 hours, then 1 hour ride back on Catamarn for 2 hour bus ride home. Left hotel at 7 am and was back at 7 pm, long day for only 1 hour Catamaran Cruise.
The sailing part of this excursion only lasts approximately 2 hours. The remainder of the trip is spent on a ragged-out motor boat that they call a "speed boat" with 20 other people or packed onto a "private island" with about 400 other people. The "included drinks" were limited to Sprite, Coke, water, or one of these fine choices with rum...pretty limited. All-in-all, the tour guide on the bus was very informative and did a great job, the island is beautiful, and the sailboat ride was fun......but you're going to feel like you were cheated out of a lot of money if you don't read the fine print and understand that a large part of the actual trip has nothing to do with sailing or private beaches.
It's a long day, but there's alot to see and do.
Review by Anonymous, August 2010
Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana
Saona Island was definitely worth going to. However, the bus ride there took a lot longer than I would have liked. It was a very long day for the amount of time we actually got to spend on the island.
It was a nice catamaran, but the time on the boat was too short and the time on the bus too long.
The spot at the island could be better.
We were disappointed in not seeing any starfish, so it shouldn't be advertised in the tour. We also weren't happy with the food which was served, making for a very long day with no food. The tour guide was very good. He was able to let us know about some of the customs of the country as well as some of the way of life of the people. There was a bit of a mix up on where they dropped us off; we were lucky it was the "sister" resort. We didn't realise it wasn't the resort we were staying at until the tour bus had already left.
Most hotels will price this way cheaper than the website...
Regarding the tour, it is overcrowded. We are 40 per catamaran, and once you get to Saona, there are 10 additional catamarans... This mass tourism attraction was disappointed for me. Besides that, the team and crew were nice. I would definitely not do it again.