Snorkeling in Dominican Republic
La Romana's clear waters are perfect for snorkeling. (Photo: dominican republic image by TEMISTOCLE LUCARELLI from Fotolia.com )
Located on the Dominican Republic's southward, Caribbean-facing shore, La Romana is blessed with the clear, warm waters that make snorkeling such an enjoyable way to explore the underwater world. Snorkel boat trips leaving La Romana visit nearby Catalina Island, Saona Island farther south, and many points in between.
Viva Shallows is southeast of La Romana, in 15 to 27 feet of water. La Romana is on the Caribbean coast of the Dominican Republic, with visibility in those clear waters ranging between 60 and 100 feet, so the entire stretch of the Viva Shallows is visible from the surface. The area has something of a "Spanish Main" atmosphere to it, as the bottom is dotted cannon balls, a pair of cannon and an old anchor. Stingrays, octopi and lobster all live in and around those remnants of a bygone era.
The Atlantic Princess
Most shipwrecks are beyond the reach of snorkelers, but not the Atlantic Princess. This 120-foot passenger boat was sunk in an accident in 2009, going down in only 20 minutes. The boat rests in roughly 40 feet of water at its deepest, but it was 30 feet high and so much of the upper superstructure can be easily reached by snorkelers on skin dives. Even without the skin diving, the entire ship is visible from the surface.
Frequently visited by diving and snorkeling boats operating out of La Romana, Catalina Island's east side is marked by a dramatic, coral-decorated wall that plunges down to a depth of more than 140 feet. The top of the wall is at a more reasonable 10 to 20 feet, however, making it suitable for snorkeling. The wall and its top are thick with corals, sponges and reef based-sea life, while the combination of deep and shallow water makes Catalina Wall a logical place for divers and non-divers to enjoy together.
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