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SANTO DOMINGO, DOMINICAN REPUBLIC, Sept. 20, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Dominican Republic is an underwater oasis that invites scuba fanatics to jump right into the crystal-clear waters. Leave the landlubbers behind as you enter a magical world under the sea, replete with extraordinary shipwrecks, caves, coral reefs, marine life and other hidden gems. With balmy year-round water temperatures between 75-84°F, you’ll immediately warm up to the country’s underwater treasure trove.
“We are proud to be home to so many one-of-a-kind dive sites,” said Magaly Toribio, Marketing Advisor for the Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism. “Whether south, east, or north, Dominican Republic’s thousand-mile-long coastline offers endless opportunities for underwater exploration for both beginners and expert divers.
Diving destinations for novices, pros and families
If you’re planning a trip to Dominican Republic’s popular east coast, Igneri Caribe Taino Underwater Museum offers all-ages fun in Punta Cana, located on the waters between Playa Blanca and Playa Serena. The museum is ideal for beginners eager to dip their toes into the world of scuba, with diving depths ranging from 3 meters (10 feet) to 7 meters (23 feet). The subaquatic museum features more than 20 sculptures that celebrate the country’s indigenous heritage, created by award-winning artist Thimo Pimentel.
Head west to Santo Domingo for a slightly more challenging dive at the La Caleta Underwater National Park—one of the first in the continent, and a treat for both beginner and advanced divers. Depths range from 5 meters (16 feet) to 58 meters (590 feet), allowing divers to swim among sunken ships, colorful corals and schools of fish. A nearby system of meandering underwater caverns and tunnels is the perfect spot for expert divers seeking a technical challenge.
For advanced divers who have already mastered the depths of Punta Cana and Santo Domingo, continue heading west to the region of Baní. Explore Salinas, located at the entrance of Las Calderas Bay, where you can dive up to 41 meters (134 feet) and get up-close with an impressive array of marine biodiversity. Then, challenge yourself to a dive through the rocky walls and coral reefs of El Derrumbao, where waters reach a depth of 60 meters (197 feet). Bring your short suit and expect to encounter sea life including balloonfish, barracudas, seahorses and grouper.
Travelers exploring Dominican Republic’s northern coast won’t want to miss Three Rocks, a popular spot for beginners located just a few minutes from Sosúa by boat. The dive site’s three coral rock pinnacles house yellowtail snapper and sergeant major fish, and the coral reef surrounded by white sand allows novice divers to safely explore the waters at depths up to 9 meters (30 feet).
In the northeast region of Samaná, beginner divers will be charmed by Las Bellenas, named for its large stones that resemble whales. Swim among the sergeant major fish, surgeon fish and corals at depths between 5 meters (16 feet) and 14 meters (46 feet). While in Samaná, advanced drivers can venture into the open waters of the Atlantic Ocean at Piedra Bonita. After a free fall of 30 meters (98 feet), let the currents push you around a massive rock covered by sponges, giant gorgonians and corals.
Advanced divers and daredevils can explore the nooks, crannies and coral-covered corners of Dominican Republic’s sunken ships, which provide an underwater playground and an exhilarating challenge.
The Catuán Wreck in Boca Chica is paradise for advanced divers. The tugboat sunk on December 12, 2006 at about 18 meters (60 feet) deep. Today, its home to gorgeous coral gardens and large schools of small tropical fish.
The Tanya V in Juan Dolio, near Santo Domingo, is another excellent spot for expert divers, showcasing beautiful corals and sponges near the Hemingway reefs. The 60-meter-long (195-foot) shipwreck was sunk in October 1999 and offers diving depths between 20 meters (66 feet) and 35 meters (115 feet).
In the northwest corner of Dominican Republic, explore the remains of more than 15 sunken historic multi-decked sailing ships from the 14th, 16th and 17th centuries in the shallow waters of Montecristi.
To get even closer to the underwater action, head to the Zingara Wreck off the coast of Sosúa on the north coast. The 40-meter (131-foot) long cargo ship was sunk in 1992 and is completely free of obstructions, allowing divers to explore the shipwreck’s compartments and its variety of corals, sponges, giant barracudas and long green moray eels. Descend up to 36 meters (118 feet) as you explore an unforgettable wonderland.
Ready to map out your Dominican Republic diving itinerary? Learn more about Dominican Republic’s best dive sites and shipwrecks at www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.
About Dominican Republic
Surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the north and the Caribbean Sea on the south, our lush tropical and paradisiacal country boasts nearly 1,000 miles of coastline, magnificent resorts and hotels, and a variety of sports, recreation and entertainment options. Here you can dance to the pulse pounding thrill of the merengue, renew in our luxurious and diverse accommodations, explore ancient relics of centuries past, delight in delicious Dominican gastronomy or enjoy ecotourism adventures in our magnificent national parks, mountain ranges, rivers and beaches.
Known for our warm and hospitable people, Dominican Republic is a destination like no other, featuring astounding nature, intriguing history and rich cultural experiences like music, art and festivals, plus uniquely Dominican specialties such as cigars, rum, chocolate, coffee, merengue, amber and larimar.
Dominican Republic features the best beaches, fascinating history and culture, and is a chosen escape for celebrities, couples and families alike. Visit Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism’s official website at: www.GoDominicanRepublic.com.
Annie Holschuh Dominican Republic Ministry of Tourism (414) 247-2140 firstname.lastname@example.org