Scuba Diving in the Dominican Republic - Bluewater Dive Travel

Dominican Republic

dominican republic scuba diving
dominican republic diving
dominican republic scuba diving
scuba diving in the dominican republic

Scuba Diving in the Dominican Republic 

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Dominican Republic scuba diving highlights

The Dominican Republic is an outstanding scuba diving destination for those searching for Caribbean reefs and wrecks. The variety of diving available there makes it a great location for all levels of divers. This country is also home to the Silver Bank which is also known as the "Sanctuary for Marine Mammals of the Dominican Republic", one of the best locations in the world to swim with whales.



The Dominican Republic is a Caribbean country located on the island of Hispaniola. It occupies the eastern five-eighths of the island. Many luxurious resorts can be found on the northern and eastern coasts, but the Dominican Republic has a lot more to offer.

From the wonderful Caribbean music and dance, exotic foods and drink, and the remarkable colonial architecture in the capital Santo Domingo’s Zona Colonial to the wonderful mountain retreats in Jarabacoa and Constanza, the Dominican Republic has it all to be the perfect holiday destination!

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Dominican Republic Liveaboards & Dive resorts

Both options, liveaboard diving and dive resorts, are available in the Dominican Republic. There are only a few liveaboards available, but this is the best way to have unforgettable encounters with humpback whales. For exploring local dive sites, there are many dive resorts to choose from. 



Dive Overview 

Scuba diving in the Dominican Republic can offer divers various exciting marine life encounters, deep wrecks, cavernous spaces and caves, stunning coral reefs, and even mangrove forests. Most of the dive sites are suitable for all levels of divers. The south coast with only mild currents is also a great place to try out scuba diving for the first time. Advanced divers can explore the deep wrecks and walls. The water temperatures stay warm throughout the year. The diving conditions depend on the seasons but always make one of the coasts diveable. Additionally, the country is not just a great dive destination but offers plenty of opportunities for snorkelers too. 

Dominican Republic Trip Recap 2022 Dominican Republic Trip Recap 2022 Dominican Republic Trip Recap 2022

Learn more about diving in the Dominican Republic by reading our latest trip report here.

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Diving Information 

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Marine Life & Environment 

The Dominican Republic offers a great variety of marine life. You will find different species of pelagic such as eagle rays, barracuda, nurse sharks, jacks, dolphins, and turtles. Numerous reef fish can be found swimming around the healthy reefs. The tropical waters are home to trumpet fish, butterflyfish, porcupine fish, parrotfish, clownfish, lionfish, angelfish and many more. Around the coral reef, you can also see many sponges and sea urchins. If you are lucky, you can even spot some manatees.

Dominican Republic Trip Recap 2022 Dominican Republic Trip Recap 2022


Humpback Whales

Humpback whales are one of the main attractions in the Dominican Republic. In fact, it is one of the very few locations in the world where humans can safely swim and snorkel among whales. They visit the Silver Bank in February and March.  

Read why this experience is on our Scuba Diving Bucket List.

For another great location for swimming with whales, check out diving in Moorea.


Diving Conditions

  • Water Temperature: 28°C/83°F in summer and 24°C/76°F in winter
  • Visibility: 15 - 30m (50 - 100 ft)
  • Depth Range: 9 - 30 m (30 - 100 ft)


Best Dive Sites in the Dominican Republic 

Here are the top dive sites around the Dominican Republic!

  • 1. PUNTA CANA - Diving in the waters at the coast of Punta Cana is relatively easy. Punta Cana features dive sites on coral reefs, intricate wrecks and caverns for the adventurous.
  • 2. PUERTO PLATA & SOSÚA - Some of the best diving in DR can be found around Puerto Plata and nearby Sousa. Puerto Plata and Sosúa are home to humpbacks, wrecks and reefs.
  • 3. SAMANÁ - The Samana Peninsula includes some resort towns with pristine beaches. The dive operators offer a mix of advanced, deep-water dives and shallow, secluded snorkeling. They can take you to wrecks, caves and coral formations. During the whale-watching season, some Caribbean liveaboards move to Samana to offer whale expeditions to the Silver Banks.
  • 4. SANTO DOMINGO & BOCA CHICA - Divers diving Santo Domingo and Boca Chica may find pleasant reefs. The area also offers the easiest access to the wrecks in the La Caleta Underwater National Park and La Sirena Cave.
  • 5. BAYAHIBE - Bayahibe allows access to Catalina Island, Saona Island and miles of fringing reef. The area features clear, tranquil Caribbean seas and wide, powdery white beaches. The diving here includes shallow nearshore reefs, two offshore islands, and a shipwreck. You might also see an occasional manatee here.
  • 6. JUAN DOLIO - Juan Dolio attracts divers with its abundant and colorful marine life and historic wrecks. Depending on rain and current conditions, a nearby river can diminish water clarity on some of the sites.
  • 7. LA ROMANA & SAONA ISLAND - La Romana has the calmest waters in the Dominican Republic and it offers access to Catalina and Saona Islands, wrecks and miles of fringing reef.


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Travel Information 

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How to Get There

The primary points of entry into the Dominican Republic by air are Santo Domingo, Puerto Plata and Punta Cana, with additional international airports at Santiago and Samaná. You’ll find a lot of flight options from North America and Europe. From the US, you can fly from New York, Ft. Lauderdale, Miami, Philadelphia, San Juan, Atlanta or Charlotte.  


How to Dive the Dominican Republic

You can find many dive resorts that provide scuba diving as an option. Several Caribbean liveaboards move to Samana during whale season to offer whale expeditions to the Silver Bank, which is 60-70 miles off the north coast of the Dominican Republic, and is where thousands of migrating humpback can be seen every year. Since it's not near the coast nor subject to low visibility due to run-off, this is probably the best place in the world to see these magnificent creatures.


Best Time to Dive the Dominican Republic

Like most of the Caribbean, diving in the Dominican Republic is great year-round. June to November have uncrowded dive sites while December to May is the best time for divers in search of humpbacks. The hurricane season runs from June to October.


Topside & Non-Diving Activities

  • Visiting Old Town in Santo Domingo
  • Shopping
  • Hiking
  • Rafting
  • National park tours


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Other Useful Information 

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Practical Information

  • Currency: Dominican Peso (DOP) but US Dollars & Euros are also widely accepted.
  • Language: The official language spoken in the Dominican Republic is Spanish but English, French and German might also be spoken in tourist areas.
  • Main Airport Code: SDQ
  • Time Zone: UTC-4
  • Electricity: 120 Volts

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Reviews (1)


We dove at Viva Diving, but stayed at a different location. This was a great place for my 16 year old to have his 1st Discovery Dive. We also dove with 3 other family members who were beginners.

Ancora: Great dive for beginners. Had some cannon balls to play with. Good way to practice buoyancy. Visibility wasn't great, but we saw a seahorse and flounder.

Casa Estella and Aquario: Saw coral and marine sponges, but not a lot of fish.

St. George Wreck: Nice coral and fish all around. Fun wreck dive.

Atlantic Princess Wreck: Went scuba diving with beginners. Fun wreck to explore for them. There was some coral and a few fish swimming around.

Coca: Lots of marine sponge and some coral. More of a current on this dive. Not a lot of fish, but pleasant enough.

One disadvantage is that the dive center is a separate ownership than resort, so we were unable to use the beach or eat at the facility. I think the resort is an all inclusive as everyone had on bands. Security was strict, which is good if you are staying there :)

Visited on 11/2018 - Submitted on 05/29/2020


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