When you think "Dominican Republic," picture beautiful warm weather, pristine white sand beaches, turquoise waters and countless palm trees. Punta Cana beaches are all this and more, offering spectacular locales and ideal getaways for ... 

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Hammy

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
February 2016

The guide was not very engaged with the group on the bus. He spoke to the group some, but did not offer much background on Punta Cana as we travelled. Once we got to the dock, we took a speedboat ride out to where we were to see starfish. On the way, our guide did stop along the way to tell us about the nature park. Then we went to the natural pool to Marvel at the flexible, five-armed creatures, Viator webite. The web site should have advised you to bring your own snorkel gear. But they probably don't want you to because all the starfish are dead. Yes, dead. The guides jumped into the water as soon as we arrived to plan the starfish and then magically located them for photo opportunities. They didn't want you to keep them out of the water for longer than 5 seconds, because they would die. Too late. Anyway, back on to the boat to go to Saona Island. The island was beautiful, but over run with Hey, Joe's selling overpriced jewelry, massages, and cigars. The only way to get away is to escape to the water. Lunch was good, but not exceptional. Back to the catamaran for a beautiful ride back to the dock. Overall, the trip ok. Go if you want to spend much of the day on the water and see a beautiful island. Don't waste your time if you want to see starfish.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Sharondeyhle

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

Tour is good but hotel pick up stressful, drivers speak no English.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Mayur P

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
January 2016

This tour was one of my most memorable one during my Punta Cana vacation. Island is beautiful, well maintained. Catamaran cruise was enjoyable too, nice music, dance and drinks!!! Other best part if the natural swimming pool in the middle of ocean, where we can see starfishes, was pretty awesome. We had rainfall for half the day, so did not fully enjoy the place, but there is very little anyone can do about the weather in DR.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Linda S

3 star rating: Worth doing
January 2016

The crew was fun but I wish I had known that I had to climb up a 4foot ladder to get back in the boat. Then I wouldn't have wasted my money on this one. If I could have actually done the snorkeling it might have been fun

Doing what: Marinarium Shark and Ray Experience

Megan W

4 star rating: Recommended
December 2015

We had so much fun on this excursion! Our guide took my camera and got us some really amazing pics, I really appreciated that because it would have been hard to keep up while trying to take pics! Everybody was very friendly and spoke many languages. Saw some cool fish, sharks, and even held a ray!

Doing what: Marinarium Shark and Ray Experience

Jennifer B

3 star rating: Worth doing
December 2015

Our trip was ok nothing over the top. Our tour guide was very uninteresting he slept on the beach and did not interact with anyone on the tour. We kept getting off and on the boat going from place to place and we did not spend more than an hour in any one place. They were late picking us up from the hotel and then when we got to our meeting point to meet up with the rest of the group to leave we waited there for over another half an hour. The best part was the catamaran ride. I have definitely done better tours in Punta Cana.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Patricia M

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Fantastic day! I would recommend this - not for smaller children. A lot of swimming and activity. The crew was fabulous friendly and very up beat! The boat was spotless and the crew constantly mopped the floors and kept everything immaculate. There was a photographer on board - were able to view and buy pictures after if you wanted to. Fresh sandwiches were served along with drinks no alcohol until after snorkeling.

Doing what: Marinarium Shark and Ray Experience

Simone F

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

The guide was amazing, the tour was great organized. we spend a great day! I would book it again!

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

ScorpionQueen

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

Our pick up time was great and the ride was a nice and comfortable one. I loved the experience and the weather and accommendations were excellent. The food was good however they should think about nets or covers for the food with the insects and flies. Other than that it was a wonderful time and when I go back to Punta Cana I wouldn't mind going on another tour.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Carmen V

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
November 2015

AMAZING excursion. Francis was our Tour leader and did a fantastic job!!! Saona was beautiful, but the private island time even more exciting, and the starfish at the off coast swim were amazing. HIGHLY recommend this tour!!

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Rose G

4 star rating: Recommended
November 2015

I thought this excursion was a lot of fun but the price is a bit high per person for what you actually get. You don't get to swim with the sharks and stingrays as long as I had expected.

Doing what: Marinarium Shark and Ray Experience

karpathos5

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2015

Upon collection we realised our trip consisted of people from various countries so our guide Fausto 2 had to give all info in English, French and Spanish, all spoken at 100mph. this became very annoying as the day went on. We drove to the port and what greeted us was a scruffy marina jam packed with boats setting off on various trips. We boarded a small boat which took us to a very nice catamaran, our trip on this to Saona Island was nice with music, dancing and drinks all a bit odd at 9 a.m. However, It was rather spoiled by the Company camera men who were very annoying and in your face taking endless photos to sell to you later.. Saona island is no longer a paradise but a scruffy beach with hundreds of tourists all vying to get in the shade. The sea is full of sharp rocks so not good for the feet and I was badly bitten by insects when on the sand. Lunch was surprisingly very nice BBQ meats chicken and fish with salad. There were also gift shops to look around. After a couple of hours we left by speedboat and were taken to a natural lagoon however this was very deep so was no good for non swimmers to get off the boat, those who did were picking up starfish for photos unfortunately they die if they're out of the water for more than 10 seconds. We returned to the port and then drove to a shopping centre where we could buy yet more over priced gifts before returning to our hotels. Having done this trip in 2003 I was totally gutted at how the Island has changed from what was a paradise to a scruffy beach you could find anywhere.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Kanar M

2 star rating: It was OK, but could have been better
November 2015

The guide was very nice and informative. But the tour itself was average. The Sauna Island itself was beautiful but to crowded and we only stopped at the star fish place also crowded.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

speedyt28

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
October 2015

My wife and I did this excursion on our honeymoon and we had a fantastic time! The whole trip was a lot of fun from the drinks and music on the boat ride to the snorkeling and sharks and sting rays. One crew member stood out to us, Andre. He was always helpful and even took many good pictures of us apart from the crowd. We had a blast and would definitely recommend this trip!

Doing what: Marinarium Shark and Ray Experience

Diana N

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2015

We really enjoyed the whole day. Not sure if the star fish we held were really alive. Never saw movement. The water was beautiful. The boat rides were fun and the crew was great. The only thing I was a tad upset about is they went around and put these skull caps on you then came back and asked you to pay for them. That is something they should tell you up front... I would have told them no.. but the stupid thing was already on my head. Food was good. The trip is well organized. It would be better if there was snorkeling involved. The water at our first stop had a funny odor so not sure what that was about.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Vicki

4 star rating: Recommended
October 2015

We went on this tour last year. My 80 year old dad who is in excellent health came with us this year because he wanted to cross off snorkeling from his bucket list. We all had a great time.

Doing what: Marinarium Shark and Ray Experience

Alan W

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
October 2015

This tour is nothing like you would expect. If you are going to hang out on a boat for most of the day and drink alot then this is for you, but i personally went to see stingrays and sharks and that just did not happen. We stayed and the wyndam and it was nice to have hotel pick up because it was an hour drive to the boat dock area for this excursion so that is the only plus about this excursion. Once we got to the boat it was about 30 minutes to get to the marinarium. We docked the boat out in the middle of the ocean and you had jump out and swim about 500 feet over into the enclosure where the stingrays and sharks are. The waters were super super rough so if you are not a strong swimmer this isnt for you. When we booked this i anticipated we would see multiple stingrays and actually swim with them/touch them as well as see the sharks. Unfortunately the water was so cloudy we couldnt see a thing below us, and as far as the sting rays go, all they do is the guide picks up a stingray and makes the group get in a line and one by one we got to stand with the stingray for .5 seconds and take a photo that you cannot take yourself you must let them take the photo so you have to purchase there single 4x5 print for 15 after it is your turn for the photo you are done...there is nothing else, thats it. No more stingrays, nothing, you go back to the boat and spend the next 2-3 hours on the boat watching the crew dance to songs and try to get everyone super drunk so they can get a better tip. It was the biggest waste of money and i have done a swim with dolphin excursion before that was exceptional. So do not waste your money on this unless , like i said, you want to spend most of your day on a boat with strangers drinking and dancing. Would def not recommend if you actually are wanting to see and experience the sting rays and nurse sharks.

Doing what: Marinarium Shark and Ray Experience

Allan United Kingdom

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

A perfect day of fun and sailing with some of the most beautiful exotic island scenes I have ever witnessed in my life. If youve not been to Dominican Republic before and only plan on doing one excursion Id make it this one.

The journey from our Punta Cana resort to La Romana harbour wasnt too long with the new roads in the region. It took around 1.5 hours with a brief comfort stop.

The catamaran for the outward trip to the island was large with a part open and part shaded deck, with nets to the front and was not overloaded. The boat crew served drinks frequently and encouraged a fun atmosphere. The island itself is pretty much perfect and paradise-like. National Park status helps it stay free of resorts, shops and being developed. On the island we had a couple of hours free time and an open beach bar whilst we relaxed, swam, snorkelled and waited for lunch to be cooked. It was delicious, served buffet style on the beach with BBQ fish and meats. There was also rice, beans, vegetables, Dominican spaghetti, salads and plenty of fresh cut fruit.

After lunch we had some more free time around the beach. We enjoyed a lovely reasonably priced haggle coconut oil massage from local ladies who were set up in beach huts for the day. For a few s we also bought a fresh coconut from a guy with a wheelbarrow full who cut the top and added a dash of rum to enjoy with the water inside, delicious!

When it was time to head back, we boarded speedboats for a fast-paced trip back to the mainland. We stopped along the way in the natural swimming pool. Its a waist deep area of calm turquoise sea. Here you can look for starfish. We found at least 3! They also serve drinks from the back of the speedboats. After that is done its time for a final speedy dash back to the port in La Romana before getting the coach back to resort.

Ive done the Saona excursion 3 times now with various operators, all do a similar itinerary for the day. The Viator trip was top notc

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

rosaalove7 United States of ... 

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
September 2015

booked my tour through Viator whom use a local tour operator for the Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana. First we were picked up by our bus 10 mins late but that alright they work on Dominican time. Its hard to tell its there bus. The bus is very nice and air conditioned. The ride down to get to port was nice. Once we got to port we were directed to get on a small boat that took us to the Catamaran. Then we set sail on the catamaran the staff would hand Dixie cups of either coke, sprite, water, or rum. two staff member danced and try to get other too.We just enjoyed the ride. We then got off onto another small boat and went to the Blue lagoon first WOW! is all i can say the water here is amazing. we has lunch at 12:30. It was nice but watch out lots of fly's seem to come quickly. we enjoyed the beach for another 30 mins and then got a speed boat drove maybe 5 mins to the natural pool. at first we thought the starfish were fake but people around us had snorkeling gear and just kept finding one after another. we took picture with 2 different ones. we did this for about 20 mins and then off to Saona Island. I got to say thank god we did the Blue Lagoon first and for longer cause Saona wasn't as breathtaking it was more like the water back in Punta Cana and lots of annoying Vendors. i did get a massage from one lady and it was nice. They are expensive but haggle them down. Also there is an amazing tree covered in butterfly. you shake it and butterflies just come flying off. We were on Saona for only an hour and headed back to port at 3:30. we got back on the bus but first stopped at a shopping Center in Punta Cana our tour guide whom was fantastic Yoni Gutierrez stated 20 mins. we waited 45 mins for 2 people who took off. they did not return and we could not wait any longer. The market was small we took some kool pics next to some statues. we got back about 6:20. which can make for a long day make sure to take snack which we did. Overall

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

avy

3 star rating: Worth doing
September 2015

Trip was awesome. Beach was amazing! The only thing I will suggest is that the videographer/photographer should provide an option of purchasing one or two photos. During our trip they only had an option to purchase a package photos, videos and music, which was unfortunate since we only wanted to purchase one photo they took.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

ysh4928

1 star rating: I do not recommend this
September 2015

Trip was good but there is NO communication between Viator and the local tour company Nexus
Although I got a confirmation e-mail from Nexus and I called them from the US before leaving, they still did not have us on their list of pick up on the day of the trip. Now I suppose if there were no other people participating in this trip from our hotel, I would not have been picked up then. Same issue has happened with our transportation but I will post that review later on. Saona Island was gorgeous and I would go again, but I would definitely NOT use Viator.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Isha W

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

Best part of our trip was this tour! A must do for all ages! Natural pool is AMAZING! Lunch served was the best we ate while vacationing! Don't waste your time buying the lobster it wasn't worth the 30 didnt prepare it properly

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Sweetladytee

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
August 2015

This was a really nice outstanding excursion. A must do thing to do.

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Coralie M

4 star rating: Recommended
August 2015

Great tour: the Catamaran cruise was wonderful but there were too many people onboard and we couldn't fully appreciate the cruise because of that what a pity.
Isla Saona is amazing, a true paradise, one more hour would be great to enjoy the place.
The natural pool is also amazing and I hope we had stayed there a bit more.
Overall, a very enjoyable tour!

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

Barbara D

5 star rating: Highly Recommended
July 2015

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS TRIP. WE LOVED EVERYTHING ABOUT IT. THE TOUR GUIDE THOMAS was both knowledgeable and friendly, spoke English, went out of his way to accommodate us and kept count and control of his large group at all times. We loved the sailboat ride and enjoyed the staff as they shared drinks and enjoyed their dancing and cheerfulness. The speedboat ride was also very enjoyable. We enjoyed our trip to the island. The island was a paradise. We enjoyed our lunch and complimentary drinks, as well as the dancing and music. Our next experience was to see the starfish in the water and swim in shallow beautiful blue waters. We took many photos to remember our experience. On the way back we observed some of the fish in the water feeding. During the trip, our guide Thomas kept us informed where we were as well as history of the island. On our return trip, we were given the opportunity to visit shops to acquire souveniers. Our guide kept careful watch of our group and guided us to the appropriate bus to take us back to our hotel.
THE TRIP WAS A 5 OUR GUIDE WAS A 5 THE EXPERIENCE WAS 5 PLUS PLUS. THIS TRIP WAS ALSO VERY AFFORDABLE, ANOTHER 5

Doing what: Catamaran Cruise to Saona Island from Punta Cana

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