Catalina Island. This small island of just 10 km2 is located just minutes from the La Romana and Bayahibe tourist zone on the southeast coast of the Dominican Republic. Considered a protected area, it is an unspoilt nature reserve protected by a coral reef that attracts thousands of diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.
Catalina Island is known as Serena Key to the cruise lines that go to this beautiful island of white sand and crystal-clear waters where no buildings exist. The beaches are called East, West and North, although currently only the West is used for tourism. Besides the beaches that occupy more than two-thirds of its coastline, Catalina Island has very unique rocky shores to the south that form cliffs.
One of the best dive sites in the Dominican Republic is the spectacular Wall. From the beach, a gentle slope leads to the impressive wall, with two steps from 25 to 40 metres deep. The entire slope of the beach to the wall is an incredible exposure of corals and marine life, a platform of thousands of square meters, ideal for diving. Every inch of the bottom is covered with sponges, corals, sea urchins and multicolored fish. The depth of this exceptional and unique terrace varies from 1,5 to 9 metres.
Another diving point is The Aquarium - the name says it all.
Did you know that... During the sixteenth century, Catalina Island was a refuge for pirates, buccaneers and privateers, who waited there for ships arriving and departing from Santo Domingo. This island was called Toeya by the natives, and the name is credited to Christopher Columbus, who named the island Catalina in honor of the daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain upon his arrival.