Saona Island

Saona Island, is located in the province of La Romana in the southeast of the Dominican Republic and is one of the larger islands. Its elongated shape is 22 km long and 5 km wide. To give you an idea, it’s described as a Caribbean paradise where there are endless virgin beaches of fine white sand, surrounded by palm trees. Isla Saona is separated from the mainland by the Catuano channel and forms part of the Eastern National Park.

There is a picturesque settlement called Mano Juan with just 300 unhabitants, a fishing village  with wooden houses in pastel colors, which is also a center for island handicraft. On Isla Saona there are interesting caves such as Cueva de Cotubanamá, named in memory of the proud Indian chief who ran unsuccessfully from the settlers seeking refuge on the island, which in 1494 was discovered on the second voyage of Christopher Columbus to Hispaniola by an Italian friend from Savona who accompanied him. Columbus decided to name it Bella Saonese in his honor. It was amended later by the local people, and that is how it is called today. The aboriginal name, as it was called by the Tainos, was Adamancy.  

On Isla Saona there is an attraction called the Nature Pool, so called because of its shallow depth of 1 m. It is an area of clear water where you can see countless species, the highlights of which are the countless starfish that can be found swimming there. Species such as hawksbill, green, and leatherback turtles have also been identified. Among the birds, gulls and white-crowned pigeons can be seen, along with green parrots, which are in danger of extinction. Other fascinating animals like the rhinoceros iguana, manatee,  dolphin and fishing bats, are also part of the inhabitants of the Isla Saona. A tour to Isla Saona can be undertaken by catamaran or on speed boats leaving the beach near Bayahibe.