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Cayo Arena

Take in a panorama of blue-green ocean and spot local manatees as you explore this small Dominican island.

Spend a full day exploring the Caribbean islet Cayo Arena. This coastal area just off the north coast of the Dominican Republic, offers some of the best snorkeling and diving locations in the country. 

At 2,000 square feet (200 square meters) in size, you can see every inch of Cayo Arena’s coastline. Enjoy uninterrupted views of the blue-green waters surrounding the tiny islet. 

Depart for the island by boat from Puerto Plata with a guided tour. Tours leave through a picturesque mangrove river system. Watch as experienced boatmen navigate around the complicated network of plants and vines. Bring a camera to capture views from the water back onto the white-sanded Dominican coastline.

Once you arrive, the islet provides a few palm-frond huts for shade while you change into swimsuits or enjoy a meal provided by the tour company. The surrounding waters make it easy to imagine being on an island lost at sea. 

The island’s main attraction is its surrounding reef, which has remained untouched by human development. Wade out into the waist-high water with a snorkel and spot tiny fish darting around the seabed. Ask your guide for the best places to see interesting reef formations.

If you’re feeling adventurous, take a diving tour. One of the area’s most sought-after sights is the manatee, a gentle sea-dwelling mammal. 

The boat trip to Cayo Arena takes around 2.5 hours each way. Be sure to let your tour guides know about any about food requirements you might have and bring your own lunch if necessary. Make sure to bring extra water and sunscreen. 

Book tours to Cayo Arena through local agents around Puerto Plata. Tours are appropriate for children of all ages. 

It's worth giving yourself heaps of time at Paradise Island. Here are the best things to do:

Why not think about trying out a Paradise Island Snorkeling & Beach Day and a Full-Day Paradise Island Cruise with Lunch?

If you're looking for even more options, take a look at our Punta Rucia things to do page.


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