My sister and I were in Punta Cana from August 22nd to September 7th and made a bunch of dives through Dressel Bavaro. After completing our open water certification, we went on the Saona excursion.
The excursion leaves around 7:45am and arrives in Bayahibe after about an hour and 15 minutes drive. Once there, you go to the Iberostar Hacienda Dominicus to the dive center to get your gear. The scuba divers head out on one boat and the snorkelers on the other. I think it took about 20-30 minutes to arrive at the first dive site where you make a 50 minute dive around a beautiful reef. Our guide was Matias, who was absolutely wonderful! He ran through a quick briefing of what our dives will be and then headed out for the first dive. The whole time he was very patient and made excellent use of his new toy (a noise maker, hahah) when he saw something cool; it was really good that he pointed out all the different species he saw so everyone got a chance to see them as well. We got to see a tons of fish, eels, sting rays, crabs, etc. The reef is gorgeous and there is sooooo much to see.
After the first dive, the boat heads to the island where there is a BBQ waiting with something for everyone (pork/chicken, salads, fruit, bread) and alcohol for the non-scuba divers. You get about 2 hours to relax on the island before heading out for the second dive. It took about 5 minutes to get from the island to the second dive site. The reef was different from the first but just as beautiful. Matias was also great on the second dive. He continued to point out all the different species underwater. We even got to see a sea turtle which was the one thing I wanted to see really bad!
After the second dive, the group heads to the natural pools where there are lots of other people. You get the chance to have some rum/beers and relax in the warm shallow waters for about 45 minutes before heading back to the hotel and the bus. The ride home is just as fun because you can continue to drink. We had a bus full of German people who were absolutely hilarious and kept us entertained the whole way. You arrive back at your hotel around 6:30.
The excursion was absolutely fantastic - great instructors/guides, beautiful diving and lots of fun! Definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to spend a day away from their hotel seeing some new places.
If you own or manage Dressel Divers, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.