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Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic: Breathtaking Day Tour

Planning to book a day trip or tour to Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic from your resort? This Isla Catalina tour is a Caribbean dream.

Where is Catalina Island the Dominican Republic? Not to be confused with Catalina Island in California. This Isla Catalina is a small historic island off the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic.

Catalina Island is a popular tourist destination in the Dominican Republic. At the present time, I call it “the most beautiful island in the Caribbean.” It’s a perfect day tour if you’re staying in Punta Cana or Bayahibe.

The water is Caribbean blue, the sand is white and it’s a great escape to another piece of paradise that the Dominican Republic offers. If you love to snorkel or dive, there is plenty of beauty to be found under the sea here.

We took a tour with Scuba Caribe during our week’s vacation at the Hilton La Romana. It was one of our best days there. Absolutely unforgettable.

My husband is still raving about the snorkeling there. I can’t stop thinking about the water… the prettiest crystal blue water I’ve ever seen. Catalina Island definitely won a special place in our hearts.

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In this post, we’ll share about our day and what to expect, so you can plan your unforgettable vacation day at Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic.

How do you get from Isla Catalina to the Dominican Republic?

You will want to arrange an excursion with your hotel or by booking with a tour agency. The best way to get to Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic is by boat.

What is the climate like at Catalina Island?

The climate is tropical with a dry season that runs from January through June and a hot humid season from July through December.

Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic

view of white sandy beach, dock and crystal blue waters
Upon arrival, head to the restrooms above and you will get a picturesque view of the island.

Booking an Isla Catalina tour

Scuba Caribe

We booked our tour via Scuba Caribe (not sponsored or affiliated). There are other tour agencies out there that do offer their own tours to the island. You may want to speak to the tour specialist at your hotel.

The Catalina Island Snorkeling tour we booked included: a boat ride to and from the island, snorkeling the coral reef, buffet lunch, snacks, and open bar.

Looking to scuba dive and enjoy Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic? Scuba Caribe also offers a similar tour with two dive sites. You’ll go underwater to explore the Catalina Wall and the Aquarium Reef.

From start to finish, Scuba Caribe did a wonderful job. They focused on safety, but yet made sure we had a fantastic time. During our 1st spot at the coral reef, they made sure everyone got a chance to snorkel. Even those that had never snorkel go the chance. The guides were so patient and held on to these non-swimmers with lifesavers. Of course, we were all wearing safety floats around our waists.

sea urchins, starfish and coral
This picture doesn’t do what we saw justice. Here you can see a few sea urchins and a starfish on coral.

That coral reef was one of the most beautiful reefs I’ve been to yet. There were schools of tropical fish and colorful coral. I really had no idea that the Dominican Republic had such amazing snorkeling.

Isla Catalina tours are available year-round.

starfish sitting at the bottom of the ocean

How long is the tour to Catalina Island?

It’s a full-day tour that starts at 8 am from Bayahibe. You’ll be back at your hotel for dinner by 5 pm.

Is the snorkel gear included?

Yes. Any tour operator you use should provide snorkel equipment. However, if you have your own that you are used to using, bring it with you.

Contact Scuba Caribe to book a Isla Catalina tour out of Bayahibe or Punta Cana.

Other Isla Catalina Tour Options to Consider:
Punta Cana: Full-Day Snorkeling Tour to Catalina Island [Book Tour]
La Romana: Catalina Island Full-Day Snorkeling Tour [Book Tour]

What to do in Catalina Island

  • Snorkel or dive
  • Swim and relax on the beach
  • Walk around

There isn’t essentially a ton to do in Isla Catalina besides enjoying this lovely piece of paradise. Beach time and relaxation may be the exact reason why you’re on vacation in the Dominican Republic.

turquoise waters and white sand beach at catalina island
Look a the water!

When you do finally arrive at Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic, you will be awestruck by its beauty. I sure was! Once you are done gawking, make sure you get the best beach seats on the beach.

As soon as the tour operator finishes giving you a quick summary of guidelines, seek out the assistants on the beach waiting to help you with beach chairs. Note, they are only allowed to handle the beach chairs. Find a spot under a palm tree and sit closer to the shore for the best view. Don’t forget to tip the lovely gentlemen.

Take a nice swim in the warm and clear water of Playa Isla Catalina. The after is exactly how you see it in the photos.

Beach chairs are provided for on the beach and are part of your tour. When you arrive, have someone assist you to put the beach chairs exactly where you’d like. Relax on the beach with a drink in hand. Sink those toes in the soft white sand.

rocky cliffs by turquoise water at catalina islan
This is where you’ll find great snorkeling.

There is a designated area specifically for snorkeling by the cliff walls. When your snorkel guide is ready to snorkel or dive out by the rocky cliffs, head on out. Don’t miss it if you love to snorkel. I stayed behind because I really wanted to enjoy the beach and had snorkeled at the 1st spot.

orange starfish held against caribbean blue ocean
Beautiful Starfish found while snorkeling at Catalina Island. Note: We do not encourage touching or picking up any marine life while snorkeling or diving. This starfish was handled carefully and professionally by our snorkeling tour guide and put back exactly where he found it.

Hubby snorkeled almost our entire time and was in heaven. He got to see stingrays, sea urchins, starfish, and all sorts of fish. After this tour, he was inspired to finally get his Scuba Certification with Scuba Caribe during our time in La Romana.

woman walking down the beach shoreline in isla catalina

You can also take a nice walk down the shoreline. There are small trails above the cliffs that you can hike and explore. Warning, make sure to wear mosquito spray.

Fun fact: The highest elevation on the island is only 60 feet above sea level.

While you’re at it, don’t forget to take pictures. Have fun! You’re going to want proof of the time spent on this glorious island.

Restrooms are available on the island.

Lunch Buffet

The lunch provided by Scuba Caribe is a full spread of some traditional local foods. For me, it was a treat. Expect arroz con gandulez, macaroni salads, pork chops, bread, salads, and more.

Your tour operator will let you know which buffet station and open belongs to your group at the beginning of your tour.

The open bar is mostly soda and beer. On the boat ride back, they will serve rum.

There is a VIP tour that you can pay extra for a lobster lunch.

What to Be aware of…

A day trip to Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic is a wonderful tour to take and you won’t regret it. The only thing I’d be aware of on the island is the shop owners that approach you upon arrival. I noticed they will mostly approach the females.

The moment you sit, they come out to speak to you and give you a small gift (that I’m sure is made in China). Our was a wooden trinket on a black string. They try to charmingly persuade you to only shop at their gift shop.

My suggestion is to politely decline or they’ll get aggressive the moment you step into another gift shop that is not theirs. Speaking from experience.

This small part of the day and shouldn’t deter you from booking this fun day trip to Catalina Island during your time in the Dominican Republic.

What to Pack for a Day Trip to Isla Catalina

kathy splashing around in the beautiful ocean of isla catalina
Happily, in my element. Again, look at that water!

While I do have a beach packing list you can always reference, there are some things that you do not need for this tour. Keep it simple. Here are the items you should bring with you…

  • Mosquito Spray
    If you do plan to walk the short trails, definitely bring mosquito spray.
  • Beach Towels
    They are not provided. You can bring your beach towels from the resort, just make sure to bring them back with you.
  • Swimsuit
    So not exactly “packing it” but don’t leave your hotel without it already on.
  • Cover-up
    Something dry to throw over yourself and cover up for the ride to and from the island.
  • Flip Flops / Sandals
  • Snorkel Gear
    Your tour guide more than likely will provide it. If you feel more comfortable with your snorkel, bring it.
  • Waterproof Camera
    To record the memories you’ll be making on vacation.

    The majority of the photos above were taken with the GoPro 10. It was our first trip with the most recent GoPro release and I have to say I’m impressed. The photos are obviously shrunk in size for the blog, but the originals are sharp and vibrant.

Highly recommend booking this Isla Catalina tour. I can’t think of a better way to make your vacation more memorable than with a trip to Catalina Island. Book a Catalina Island tour today and make your vacation one of the best vacations ever.

If you have any questions, I’d be happy to answer any questions about this beautiful spot in the Dominican Republic.

Have you been to Catalina Island in the Dominican Republic before? What did you enjoy most while visiting?

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Lauren Elena

Sunday 16th of January 2022

I want to fly here now! That water looks unbelievable. I really really want to go. Snorkeling and swimming here would be so nice. You gave so many great tips and have really sold me on this spot. If I am lucky enough to go one day, I will definitely have to refer back to your post. Your pictures are so beautiful. I’m so glad you got to go on this amazing trip. Thank you for sharing!