The reefs in front of the Puntacana Resort & Club offer some of the best diving along the east coast of the Dominican Republic. These sites are both suitable for experienced and novice divers. As some of the sites do have currents, there are a number of drift dives. Sites range in depth from 40 feet to 70 feet and have a wide variety of marine life with a good opportunity to see turtles, nurse sharks, barracuda, eagle rays, schools of fish and a variety of corals.
There are also 2 ship wrecks: The Patria, a 200-foot freighter sitting at 70 feet and The Enriquillo, a 100-foot coast guard cutter sitting at 60 feet. Both were sunk as artificial reefs.
If you are into photography, The Aquarium (natural reef), with a maximum depth of 35 feet, is excellent. You will find overhangs, swim throughs, schools of fish and the location of the Coral Nursery.
The diving center is located by Playa Blanca Beach Club & Restaurant. If you wish to have lunch and/or spend time on the beach afterwards, please request this at the time of your reservation in order to coordinate your return pickup time for the transportation.
We offer the following types of dives:
Learning to Scuba Dive: For non-certified divers who would like to try scuba diving, we offer the PADI Discover Scuba Diving Program. You will receive a short theory session, followed by around 45 minutes in the pool before going out on the ocean dive at The Aquarium. Here you can experience a wonderful natural reef, full of fish and coral. The dive has a maximum depth of 35 feet. The program includes all required scuba equipment. This is not a scuba certification course, but the pool sessions and ocean dive can be credited towards scuba certification. Minimum age: 10 years old.
The Open Water Referral towards certification: This program includes 4 ocean dives with the first 2 dives at a depth no deeper than 40 feet. The 3rd and 4th dives will be at a maximum depth of 60 feet. The 4 dives are on ocean reefs with skill reviews taking around 15 minutes on each dive and with an additional 20-30 minutes’ scuba diving along the reef to enjoy the marine life.
These 4 dives are required to be completed on 2 separate days with a time frame of around 4 hours per day. The required time before flying after 2 consecutive days of diving is 24 hours. However, if you complete the program at the beginning of your vacation, you will have time for additional non-training dives, if required. The program includes all required scuba equipment. Minimum age: 10 years.
Single scuba diving trips/packages for certified divers: 1, 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 dives including tank, weights and all required scuba gear.
Dive Sites & Excursions for Certified Divers in Punta Cana:
Aquarium: Our nearest and most frequently visited dive site. As a protected site, it’s teaming with fish and other forms of sea life, and the coral restoration project is within this site as well. Maximum depth on this site is 10m/33ft, the dive starts in 1.5m/4ft of water, which makes it ideal for first timers as well as seasoned divers, and gradually gets deeper on a declining swim out. The site is marked with an underwater rope system for navigation.
For more experienced divers this site also has several swim-throughs and caverns. When swimming through the shallow side of the aquarium you will be introduced to the coral nursery where endangered coral is being grown to later be transplanted on the outer reef. This is also where Francoise, our resident barracuda resides with a large school of small sennets of the barracuda family.
Aquarium (drift): Your boat captain will drop divers into the water just outside the Aquarium for a north or south drift, depending on the current. Divers will see star, brain, stag horn and elk horn coral formations and may discover resting nurse sharks and large southern stingrays, as well as trumpet fish, trunkfish, cowfish, filefish, puffers, eels and octopus.
Aquarium (night dive): More sea creatures come out at night, like eels, lobster, shrimp, crab, sea cucumbers, etc.
Colosseum: This site’s namesake comes from its circular shape consisting of a sandy ocean floor surrounded by a coral wall which varies in height and depth. Very popular with coral lovers and those searching for large, migratory sea creatures. Many caverns and swim-throughs to explore too. Max depth 13m/42ft.
Colosseum wall: This dive normally starts inside the Colosseum and divers swim to the outside of the reef and explore the outer edge of the reef wall where it meets the sandy ocean bottom. Depending on conditions, divers can enter the water outside the reef for drift diving. Depth averages 14m/45ft.
Coral Gardens: Magnificent coral features. Divers should be able to exercise good buoyancy control in order to hover over bottom coral and explore this site while they search for sea life living in and around the coral structures. This is normally a shallow dive over the coral, but does drop beyond 12m/40ft when diving into the valleys of the bottom coral.
Coral Gardens (drift): Divers can begin a drift dive within or on the outer edges of the coral gardens to look for migratory sea life and explore more coral and other sea creatures along the east coast coral features.
Corales (drift): For experienced divers, this is an excellent, deep drift over bottom coral at depths reaching 22m/75ft. The site is located just a few hundred meters off the coast from the Punta Cana Corales golf course, and has beautiful coral with resident species of fish and migratory species passing through. Nurse sharks and large southern sting rays can be found here.
Enriquillo (wreck): This a 40m/143ft WWII coast guard cutter that was sunk to create artificial reef in 2006. The top of the wreck is about 10m/33ft below the surface and the bottom of the wreck is about 18m/60ft down, depending on the tide. Coral has grown on the wreck over the years and attracted many types of fish and sea life.
Patricia (wreck): This is a 65m/210ft cargo ship which was sunk to create artificial reef in 2002. Deepest point around the wreck is 23m/75ft. Like the Enriquillo, this site has attracted all kinds of fish and other sea creatures, and divers often find groups of Great Barracuda patrolling the wreck.
Punta Cana Marina: Along with beautiful coral and a variety of sea life, a diver will pass along the engineering marvel of fibre optic cables laid between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico. This dive is just off the coast of the original Punta Cana Resort and Marina where divers enjoy the bonus of not only diving, but taking in the view of the coast line in transit.
WHAT'S INCLUDED: Diving according to the selected program, tank, weights and all required scuba gear.
WHAT TO WEAR AND/OR BRING: Wear comfortable clothes, beach sandals, sunglasses, a hat/cap, bathing suit and eco-friendly sun lotion (without oxybenzone) that does not damage the corals and ocean life. Bring a beach towel, underwater camera and cash money (US$) for photos, souvenirs and gratuities.
CHILDREN: Minimum age for children to go diving is 10 years old. All children must be accompanied by an adult (18+ years old).
PRICES: All prices are per person (US$).
IMPORTANT TO KNOW:
• This is not a private excursion but is available for private groups of 6 persons. All dives are guided by a PADI professional in groups of no more than 6 divers.
• Transportation from your hotel is not included but can be arranged at an additional cost.
• As the dive sites are between a 5 - 15-minute boat ride away, we normally run the dives as single tank, returning to the dive center to change tanks and for surface interval.
• Each dive lasts between 45 min - 1 hour, depending on air consumption. Typically, dives go out every 2 hours, so you could do 3-4 dives per day without any problem.
• You can go diving on the same day as you arrive to Punta Cana, and you need to have 24 hours after your last dive before your departure.
• If you are a certified diver, you need to bring and present your certification card.
• This excursion is not available for pregnant women and children under the age of 10 years old.
• Persons with any medical conditions should consult with Group Palmera before making the reservation.
The exact description of this excursion, what's included and prices are subject to change without prior notification.