Bayahibe may not have the instant name recognition that other destinations in the Dominican Republic may have, but it does have one thing that no other location in the ‘DR’ can boast – it is the premiere location in the Dominican Republic for scuba diving.
The town of Bayahibe is, at a glance, no different than countless other tropical locations; white sand beaches, crystal clear waters, and incredible scenery in all directions. It is located just over 10 miles to the east of La Romana along the coast of the Caribbean Sea; it was primarily a rural fishing village before it became a destination for diving enthusiasts and vacationers seeking the sun and surf of its two main beaches. Bayahibe is also the location of embarkation for those heading to nearby Saona Island.
The Bayahibe area houses more than twenty dive sites and with a mean water temperature between 75 to 85F and visibility in the 100ft range. Most of the dive sites are busy almost all year round. Experienced snorkeling and scuba diving aficionados enjoy the area’s dive sites for numerous reasons; the indigenous sea life is incredible to observe first hand, the seascapes are equally mesmerizing and there are also three shipwrecks (St.George, CoCo, the Atlantic Princess) in the area which can be explored. Most of the wrecks are somewhat intact and can be explored from both the outside as well as within. The sunken ships are also the home to many schools of fish as well as barracudas. It should be noted that the wreck sites are all protected and absolutely no fishing is permitted.
While the shipwrecks are more suitable for an experienced diver, there are still many wonders to be explored by those who lean more toward the intermediate or novice skill level. Stingray Point is perfectly suitable for beginners as it has a depth of about 15 meters (50 feet). It is easily the best location in all of the Dominican Republic to see stingray up close and personal! Once you descend, you will be able to view the stingray in their natural habitat as you make your way through a seascape of peaks and valleys along the ocean floor. As stingray are docile and tend to relax by lying motionless in the sea floor it is easy to inspect them up close – bring a waterproof camera for pictures you won’t be able to take anywhere else.
Another great exploration site for divers of all skill levels is Shark Point. It is located in the same vicinity as Stingray Point and is also a destination for day tours (*some tours will hit both sites in one day). Shark Point does differ from Stingray as it is deeper with a depth of 25 meters (75 feet), but most tours will get divers acclimated by hitting the more shallow location first. Reef sharks tend to swim the perimeter and “patrol” the site; there are numerous caverns to explore and many ancient corals that are home to bottom dwelling nurse sharks, eels, octopus and giant manta rays – no shortage of things to see here!
Whether you are a seasoned recreational diver or a first time novice embarking on a daytrip tour, Bayahibe is an experience like no other.
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