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How to visit Isla Saona, a paradise in the Dominican Republic

Isla Saona, in the south of the Dominican Republic, is a beautiful island that I recommend you visit. It is one of the cheapest excursions you can do from Punta Cana, Cap Cana or La Romana.

The island of Saona only has two small populations in all its extension; Catuano, to the northwest of the island, made up of just a handful of houses, and Mano Juan, located to the south and with close to a hundred houses, including some accommodation for travelers and some restaurants.

Mano Juan is probably the little town that almost all travelers will pass through and where they can enjoy the beaches, sun, food and drink that many tours offer included in the visit to the island. You can also visit it on your own and even spend a night here away from the luxurious all-inclusive resorts.

Isla Saona


Saona Island is part of the Cotubanamá National Park; formerly called Parque Nacional del Este, making it a unique place to enjoy its flora and fauna. There are several endemic species on the island and it has an abundant variety of birds and reptiles and exuberant flora that make it an idyllic landscape.

A place worth visiting is the Turtle Recovery Center, in Mano Juan. There they collect the turtles as soon as they are born and keep them for 3 or 4 days and then release them into the sea. This increases the number of specimens that reach the sea.

Isla Saona

On the island, snorkeling is one of the most requested activities. As soon as you submerge your head in the water you will see the multitude of multi-colored fauna. Above all there is a great variety of starfish. Be a responsible traveler and do not take them, do not touch them and of course do not take them out of the water. Avoid taking the typical photograph catching a starfish, because they are still animals that suffer so that we can win a like on social networks. You can really enjoy watching them perched on the bottom (barely one meter under the sea, where you can swim above while snorkeling and photographing them from a distance.

The whole island is one huge beach, and sometimes anyone will tell you that it is the beach of Isla Saona, but this island has three large beaches; beautiful beach, cat beach and Canto de la Playa beach.

The beaches of this island are a heavenly place that invites you to get lost. Turquoise waters, white sand and a green background made up of mangroves, coconut palms and palm trees.

Near Catuano, is the Cotubanamá cave. The story goes that the former chief of the Tainos, Cotubanama, once took refuge here, who was finally murdered at the hands of the Spaniards. This cave can be reached by a perfectly indicated path from Catuano.

The island has several lagoons. Inside the largest of them, the Secucho lagoon; in the southern part of the island, several lagoons such as the Laguna Canto de la Playa or the Laguna de los flamencos. These two lagoons are separated from the sea by narrow sleeves of land that enclose them and separate them from the already calm waters of the Caribbean.


The best way to get to Isla Saona is to do it with a tour, in which they pick you up at your accommodation, it includes transportation, boat, food, drinks and the day on the Island. It is very cheap if we compare it with the vast majority of Dominican Republic tours.

Isla Saona

Tips for visiting Saona Island

Forget about taking a boat or going with someone who offers to take you closer to the Island with their boat!... They usually charge the return trip, and sometimes I have received comments that they did not wait for them, then they had no way return... The little you will save is not worth it!

On the other hand, I do not recommend booking the tour once you arrive at your hotel at the destination "they are usually much more expensive!!" and you can check it throughout my month in the country. They take advantage of the fact that you are already there to raise prices a lot and depending on the level of your hotel, even more. BOOK online to guarantee a good price.


I hope you enjoy your trip to the Dominican Republic very much and that this article has been useful to you. You can continue reading many more related articles on the blog.

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A hug and see you soon!


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