Saona Dreams
About
With +20 years of experience as an incoming tour operator, The SaonaDreams Group is positioned as one of the main tour operator for the Dominican Republic relying on a staff available 365 days for assistance. Our goal turns around our customer satisfaction, providing them the opportunity to enjoy a vacation of a life time.
Bayahibe, Dominican Republic

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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.

4.0
101 reviews
Excellent
43
Very good
28
Average
13
Poor
7
Terrible
10

exaaman
29 contributions
Jun 2016 • Friends
We were told that the journey from our hotel in Dom Julio to the catamaran wold be 45 minutes, it took twice as long.
The tour rep also said the boat would have netting between the hulls of the boat which it didn't and was a huge disappointment to my wife and her sister who love to lie there and catch the surf as it splashes up.
Other than those two issues we all had a fantastic day.
There were soft drinks and rum available on board the boat, all included in the price, no beer though.

The stop for snorkelling in the sea was ideal and much fun was had by all, even if the water was a little choppy.

At the beach on Catalonia we were fed a light lunch with no rationing, there was also cooled beer available, then a good couple of hours, or more to do your own thing, most of which time we spent snorkelling in the calm, shallow sea off the beach.
It's ideal for youngsters who may have been intimidated by the depth of water at the first stop.

I would highly recommend this trip.
Written June 22, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JuanOquendo
Lakeland, FL161 contributions
An absolutely fabulous day. Sail out to Saona island on a Catamaran, have a few drinks and either soak up the beauty or party with the locals. Make a stunning entrance to the beach and have a few more drinks. There is a buffet lunch which was very nice. Chicken, fish, pasta, salad and potatoes. This is one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever been to. The Water is a turquoise blue green and there are hammocks, picnic tables, lounge beach chairs and plenty of shade. There is a good amount of beach time. Then get on a speed boat and go to the natural pool. The water is only waist deep as it seems like you are out in the middle of the ocean. Have a couple of more drinks. Then speed boat your way back to the starting point. Excursion starts at about 9am and finishes at about 4:30pm. Well worth the price and the time. A must do.
Written March 16, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Hello Tanks for your review Regards
Written March 29, 2018
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Krystal411
London, UK27 contributions
May 2019 • Friends
We booked Sanoa Island Adventure VIP with AMSTAR and I’m so glad we did. Day started out with our guide Jose, witty and always cracking jokes as well as very informative and educational. The catamaran was fun and so relaxing, soaking up the rays while music plays and music flows, the boat staff would dance with over tourists sending out positive vibes all round. The natural pool was the highlight of the whole vacation, the crystal clear water and the rare sighting of a starfish was amazing. The beach lunch and time spent on the shore were mind blowing and worth every penny. Would recommend everyone to go and experience such a gorgeous and natural part of the world!!!!
Written May 18, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

VivaAQP
Veytaux, Switzerland24 contributions
Most companies sell this trip way overpriced, let alone hotels. I've seen up to USD 120 per person for this day trip. We paid less than USD 80 (4000 DOP) for the whole family (2 adults and 2 small children) by going to Bayahibe port directly and dealing with the first tout that appears. And this included the entry fee to the natural reserve (500 DOP per adult). The service is exactly the same, we got on one of the catamarans together with all the folks from the hotels in Bayahibe and Punta Cana. Of course this way you need to get to the port by your own means. Starting with a low price and haggling a bit in Spanish can get you a good deal.
The trip itself is really nice. Even if you are staying in Punta Cana with its already nice beaches, Isla Saona has such a stunning beach you can only see on postcards.
The catamaran is slow, it took us more than 3 hours, but it's fun with all the ambiance and drinks. Sometimes you can spot dolphins and flying fish if you're lucky. The trip back by speedboat is faster but there is a half an hour stop at Piscina Natural which is a nice sand bank out in the sea. All in all recommended if you get a good deal.
Written November 6, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tina A
Houston, TX35 contributions
Apr 2019 • Couples
My husband and I booked a snorkel trip to Saona Island from the Best Day Travel desk at the Westin Punta Cana. We told the representative that we loved to snorkel, and he said this trip would provide 2 snorkel stops – one out in the water, and another off the beach at Saona. It also included a seafood buffet, a stop at a natural swimming pool, and a catamaran ride home. It sounded fantastic. He also said there were only about 20 people on a boat – which sounded great. Unfortunately, that is not how the trip went.

We had 38 people on the boat, not 20. We did our first snorkel stop only a few minutes after leaving the shore. The tour guide said we only had 15 minutes and told us to hurry. Everyone was a little confused that this was the first snorkel since we just sat down in the boat. There was no explanation about what to do and some people hadn't snorkeled before. Only a few people got into the water. My husband felt too rushed and so decided to wait until the beach snorkel. I don't think any of the crew got into the water. It didn't seem like a real snorkel stop and we were rushed. I got into the water and we could really only circle the boat since there were boats everywhere.

We were called in and headed to the natural swimming pool. That is a large sand bar where the water in the middle of the ocean is just about 4 feet deep and there is pure white sand below and clear water. No plants, fish, nothing. It was like a swimming pool. They had a floating bar and provided champagne to everyone, along with fruit kebabs and sandwiches. That was a fun stop.

Then we went to the island and it was a huge disappointment. It was pretty, but the beach was not nearly as nice as the one at our hotel. The beach was packed with people and the entry was very rocky and hurt our feet. When we arrived, there were many, many boats along the beach and only a small area to get into the water. When we got off the boat, we were told there was no snorkeling and nothing to see in the water. Several of us were angry, as we had been told this was a snorkeling trip. Since my husband had skipped the quick snorkeling stop, he didn't get to snorkel at all on this excursion. He was planning to snorkel off the beach. The seafood buffet was also a big disappointment. It consisted of hot dogs, pork chop, chicken, fish, and shrimp kebabs. That is not really a seafood buffet, and everything was very overcooked. We could not get the shell off of the shrimp because it was so overcooked.

Then came the scariest part of the trip. We had to climb from our speedboat onto the catamaran, which was parked out in the middle of the water away from shore, while the two boats moved apart and crashed together in the waves over and over! I was terrified! Of course everyone was wet and the boat surfaces were slippery and in constant motion. You had to time it just right or fall between the boats! My husband did end up falling onto the catamaran - and has a couple of bruises. I am 58 and don't have good balance - I was really scared and could not believe we had to do this not once - but twice to get back home. There were two elderly people and an older woman with a cast on her arm - I was very scared for them also! Someone could have been seriously injured. We have been on many boat excursions in Mexico, Honduras, Aruba, Belize, Virgin Islands and have never had to do this type of unsafe boat transfer.

I will say that the crew were all friendly and helpful, and the crew included photographers who took photos of everyone, but the bottom line is that we had paid for a snorkel trip (expensive at $165/person) and that is not what it was. I feel we were misled and it was falsely advertised. It also turned out to be a bit dangerous.

We and another couple complained to the Best Day Travel desk in the hotel when we returned, and they told us to write up all the problems in an email to the Best Day Travel customer service address. I wrote the company and received NO response. After another week, I wrote them again and still have received NO response. I will also be sending a complaint to the Westin Punta Cana (which was otherwise a fantastic resort, by the way).

Overall, Punta Cana was wonderful, and the people everywhere were so nice. But this Saona snorkel trip was terrible.
Written May 17, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
We dont do snorkeling trip to Saona. The snorkeling trip like you can see in the title is at Catalina. That's 2 different island and 2 different trip.. In some saona tour like the one that you buy (Best Saona) we have snorkeling stop (20 to 30 mins) but it's in Bayahibe because en Saona its al sand bottom (nothing to see). The snorkeling stop en Bayahibe does not have anything to see with the snorkeling that we do en Catalina. We are very sorry that your rep did not sell you the right excursion. Regards
Written May 21, 2019
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

7106Lora
Scotts, MI5 contributions
Jan 2019
On Janurary 31 with took a tour from Dreams Punta Cana to Catalina Island. When we left the hotel the bus filled up and still had more hotel pickups, stopped to order another bus. Waiting 20 mins on side of gas station. Got down to the pier, which was suppose to be by Catamaran, no pier had to get into a speed boat and hoisted up to the Catamaran. Doesn't sound like a big deal unless you have back issues and thought it was a simply a ride on a Catamaran. Arrived at island, again hoisted off Catamaran to speed boat to shore. Spent day at beach, to return, same setup.
On return we stopped 15 mins into our return because the bus broke down.This is something that could have been avoided, since regular maintenance is not done on their busses. Everyone off the bus! Husband worked on belt to try and fix it, to no avail. No busses available to come get us. The Tour Guide didn't have a clue what to do. After 1 1/2 hrs another bus came and took us 1/2 back where they had us switch busses again 3 separate busses to each hotel. Mind you, the tour guide got off with his "girl friends" who just so happened to hang out all day at the beach!!! After getting back to our hotel 2 12 hrs later than we were supposed too, Viator could care less what troubles you had along the way. A extra 3 hr tour is not what I paid for.DO NOT BOOK WITH THIS COMPANY, they only want your money. Viator uses the guide of great tours and they don't follow threw or much less care about the client.
Written February 5, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Pat G
Saint Thomas, Canada5 contributions
Mar 2018
Beautiful, Stunning Blue Lagoon Beach. It was amazing. Go if you can. We ate lunch on the beach, had a siesta and enjoyed the snorkeling.
Written April 5, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chloelouise
United Kingdom2 contributions
Nov 2019 • Couples
We were picked up from our hotel at 7:05am - we then traveled for around an hour to pick up people from an additional 2 hotels that appeared to be in the opposite direction to the Beach. I understand that it's a tour for many people, however, it does seem a little crazy to go completely out of the way to pick people up on the tour. After about 1hr15 of travelling, we were taken down a track to a building in case we needed to use 'the toilet'. When we arrived here, there was a man stood staring at us & smiling with a double barrel shotgun, clearly finding it amusing that we were intimidated. Honestly, if we weren't so far from our hotel & in the middle of no-where, I would have asked to leave the tour then & there, as I felt very uneasy - but we had no way of getting back to our hotel & I didn't fancy staying anywhere near the man with the gun.

We were then all told to get off the bus & given colored stickers to distinguish us against the other tourist groups also dropped off there & encouraged to go spend money in the tourist shop - at this point, all we wanted to do was get to our excursion, especially after over an hour of travelling, however, we were left for 20 minutes to look round the shop.

Finally, we were allowed to get back onto the mini bus & got back on route. After another hour of travelling, we finally got to Bahibe beach (around 9.15am) & were dropped off on the beach. Rodriguez, our tour guide, said we needed to wait 5 minutes & then we would be on our way - he then subsequently disappeared & could be seen eating his breakfast across the other side of the Beach with the other tour guides. We were all left in the direct sunlight standing up & were all being constantly harassed by the guys selling things on the Beach - there were a couple of elderly people also on the tour that could be seen struggling, however, none of us were offered refreshments, water, etc.

At around 10am (45 minutes after waiting) we were bought closer to the sea, but other tour groups constantly kept leaving infront of us - however, we were all patient as they were all leaving on Speedboats & we had a catamaran booked so assumed that was causing the hold up. At 10.10am, we saw a couple asking Rodriguez where our Catamaran was... it was only at this point that he announced we would be 'getting the Catamaran later' & would now be getting on a speedboat - it took someone getting quite aggravated by the wait for him to finally communicate any details to us! After waiting for an hour on the Beach - we finally all got onto a Speedboat. The departure time when I booked said we would departure from Bahibe beach at 8am - so we are now 2hr10 minutes later than expected. We get onto the boat at 10.26am - over 1hr after arriving onto the Beach.

We all get encouraged to take a seat on the Speedboat - we then travel for no more than 3-4 minutes (I can still very clearly see Bahibe beach) where we are told 'this is where we snorkel'! None of us could believe this was happening - we all actually could have swam to the snorkeling spot as it was so close & it made waiting over an hour crazy! Unfortunately, neither my boyfriend or I could partake in the snorkeling due to us not having our swim clothes on - we were told it was a Catamaran tour, so expected to have a place to get changed into our swim stuff. As it was a present for my boyfriends birthday we really tried to stay positive, so went to speak to Rodriguez, our tour guide, about getting a drink - it was an 'open bar' after all. We were told there was no refreshments on board & we would have to wait later for this.

After around 30 mins, everyone gets back onto the boat & we make our way onto the next step of our tour - the natural pools. We realize again we will have no where to get changed, so end up having to put our swimming stuff on over our underwear & get into the water. As promised on the 'what to expect' part of our tour - we were promised a Cuba Libre, however, this was no where to be seen. When we finally went into the water, the Boat driver started offering drinks out... firstly, we had been told about 30 minutes earlier that there was no drinks? Now, the 'open bar' had been opened... although the only thing that was offered was Rum (with coke or lemonade) - as someone that doesn't like Rum, i couldn't partake in the open bar.

After another 30 mins of spending time in the natural pools (we were held up here by the camera man taking photos of 2 girls) - we finally get back onto boat. At this point it's just past 11.30am & we still haven't read Soana Island, the Island we paid to see... at this point I made my annoyance clear & asked the photographer how long it would take to get there & how long we would have on the Island, he replied saying it was around another 30mins on the boat to the Island, but we would have 3 hours to enjoy the Island - we expected to be spending a lot longer there as the tour is described as a Day Trip to the Soana Island, however, at this point we were just happy to get off the boat.

We finally arrived at Soana Island at 12.10pm (5hrs after our hotel pick up) & by the time the boat docked & we all managed to get off onto the Beach, it was around 12.30pm. At this point we were told that we all needed to meet back at the Beach in 2hrs?! 2hrs... we expected a full day tour, then was told we would have 3hrs & then this had been taken down to 2hrs. We had paid for the VIP experience which meant we had a VIP area with an open bar on the Beach, which no longer seemed worthwhile doing considering we only had 2hrs to spend there.

We were led to our VIP area - which admittedly was beautiful. We appeared to be the only ones in there - but were later joined by a family of 4. We were led there by our photographer on the boat & were told that a bartender would come & bring us drinks shortly. We waited for around 30 mins for the bartender to arrive (now only 1hr30 left on the island) where he finally bought us our Champagne as promised & were told that lunch would be served shortly. At about 1.30pm a buffet was laid out for us that we could help ourselves too... I had to ask for the Lobster, which they had clearly forgotten to bring & they returned with this around 15 minutes later. After lunch we wanted to make the most of our last 45 mins in the VIP area, however, at this point, all the Tour Guides turned up, ate the remaining buffet & helped themselves to the Bar. This really took away the romantic part of the trip as they were talking, shouting, laughing loudly & took away from the area being the beautiful, peaceful area it should have been. Shortly after, the 4 entertainment dancers arrived on the Island, where they were wolf whistling people & making lots of noise. We chose to leave early & make our way back to the meeting point.

We got back onto the speedboat at 2.30pm & were finally taken to the Catamaran we were promised at 2.40pm - nearly 8hrs after we were picked up from our hotel!!! We made our way onto the open deck & they came over with 1 drink of Beer & played some music. We enjoyed chilling out on the boat, however, were disappointed that we weren't offered another drink - my boyfriend actually went up at one stage to ask for another drink & it took him 10 minutes to find someone to open up the drinks.
We were removed off the deck at 4.10pm, where we were told we had to wait in the seating area (a tiny area for the amount of people on the boat) until our speedboat picked us up - which they did at 4.20pm to take us back to shore. We had a total of 1hr30 enjoying the Catamaran - even though this is advertised a 'Catamaran Day Tour' - I actually got onto the speedboat in tears, as I felt I had completely let my boyfriend down with this as a birthday present & because of how poorly we had been treated for the whole day. Before getting onto the speedboat, a plastic tip bottle was shoved under our noses & a girl asked us for money... we explained that we had no money, but also really didn't feel that the service was worth a TIP. She was visibly annoyed & stormed off!

Finally, we got back onto the Island for 4.30pm & were escorted straight to our mini bus. At this point a man got onto our bus & gave us all a bottle of rum with our photo on it, that had been taken at the beginning of the day. Both my boyfriend & I though this was a lovely touch & actually made us smile - that was until he demanded $15 for the bottle, where everyone handed it straight back to him & again, he stormed off unhappy that we hadn't purchased.

We left Bahibe Beach & made for the long journey back to the hotel - they once again drove to the gift shop & did try to get us all back in their, however we all made it clear we weren't getting off the bus!
We got back to our hotel around 7pm feeling devastated about the waste of a day, the waste of money & the treatment we had experienced throughout the day.

I have contacted the Tour Company directly & have been ignored - I have contacted Viator who were not interested in dealing with the issue & didn't even ask me what my issue was, just that they Tour Company denied everything.

DO NOT BOOK - I wasted money & was treated incredibly poorly the whole day.
Written November 12, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

AmandaNickel
19 contributions
Sep 2019 • Friends
It had rained a lot the days before our trip which is not conducive for visible snorkeling. Otherwise it was fantastic! They had rum and coke and beer with the open bar. There was dancing and music. It was relaxing and enjoyable.
Written September 25, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Elisabete M
3 contributions
Jul 2019 • Couples
We booked our VIP Saona excursion from Punta Cana at our hotel with Amstar. It’s a full day but it was worth it, You start with a bus ride (about 1 h or less) to LaRomana where you board the catamaran, it was smooth sailing, its a long journey but the crew is great to keep you entertained with dance, drinks, and snacks, lots of fun. Our guide was Papa Raymond and he was so knowledgeable and nice, We had Evelyn leading our entertainment and she is a lot of fun and a fantastic dancer, trying to get everyone in the fun. We made 2 stops before arriving at Saona, one for snorkeling and one at the sand bar, Both were great, The island is beautiful! The blue of the water is unforgettable. We had a delicious lunch and then relaxed and swimmed at the beach. The return is on a speed boat which is great because by then you are already tired, Would highly recommend, Don’t forget the sunscreen !!!
Written July 23, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Saona Dreams - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (with Photos)

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