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  • Writer's pictureNaureen Chhipa

Caribbean Beach Day Trip; Isla Saona

Updated: Feb 20

Isla Saona (Saona Island) was one of our favorite places in the Dominican Republic. This Caribbean beach is one destination that seems unreal/ too perfect to be true. You can see every shade of blue and green on the unpolluted Caribbean Sea, offering crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkeling, perfect-looking palm trees, and ultra-soft white sand that will massage your feet with every step you take. Beautiful places like this are rare; if you travel to the Dominican Republic, I highly recommend adding a day trip to this Island.

Dominican Republic Beach.
Isla Saona | Saona Island | Dominican Republic

Isla Saona is located in the Caribbean Sea, off the southeastern tip of the Dominican Republic. You can access this Island from almost anywhere in the Dominican Republic, but the shortest/most popular day trips come from Punta Cana, La Romana, and Bayahibe.

Getting to Isla Saona

Punta Cana- The best way to get from Punta Cana to Isla Saona is via an excursion/day trip since staying overnight on the Island is prohibited. You get picked up and dropped off at your hotel by arranging and excursion and having everything pre-arranged. Isla Saona is reachable only by boat. You can opt for a group or private tour. Group tours to Isla Saona offer the best value. Usually, the groups are between 15-20 people, and the price includes hotel pick up/drop off, all activities, a buffet lunch, an open bar, and onboard entertainment.

On the other hand, private tours offer you freedom on how long you want to stay at a location and save time. With a private tour to Isla Saona, you bypass multiple pickups and drop-offs to other hotels, heading straight to the Island instead! We had a private tour, which was the best way to go. We arrived at the beach early and had the entire island to ourselves for 2+ hours. Full-day tours from Punta Cana to Saona Island typically last 8-10 hours. I highly recommend booking your day trip to Isla Saona with Sun Sand Spirit Dr ; they offer excursions throughout the Dominican Republic, including yoga retreats and boutique hotel accommodations.

Santo Domingo- My favorite way to get from Santo Domingo to Isla Saona is to rent a car and drive. I recommend driving from Santo Domingo to Bayahibe and staying overnight. You can make stops and explore places like La Romana and Altos de Chavon by driving. Renting a car in the Dominican Republic:  I recommend making car rental reservations beforehand. You can arrange for car pickup and drop-off in different parts of the Island; this is hugely beneficial and time-saving when flying in and out of different airports. We rented our car from Discover Cars and had a great experience. They offer competitive rates, as they search all the big car rental companies for the best price. I always love using this site to find cheap car rentals worldwide. You'll need a credit card to rent a car in the Dominican Republic, but you don't need an international driver's license. If you prefer to avoid driving, excursions from Santo Domingo to Isla Saona are also available.

La Romana- Since you're already staying in La Romana, I recommend booking an excursion from La Romana to Isla Saona. Travel time is approximately 45 min, and you can choose between a speed boat or a catamaran cruise.

Bayahibe- Bayahibe is a Caribbean Beach Resort town in the Dominican Republic located the closest to Isla Saona. We stayed at Tracadero Beach Resort for two nights and absolutely loved being surrounded by nature. We took a private speed boat from the dock at Tracadero Beach Resort in Bayahibe, and our total travel time was only 25 minutes.

Where to Stay in Isla Saona

Unfortunately, you can't stay overnight in Isla Saona. Isla Saona is only accessible via boat and on a day trip. We recommend staying at Tracadero Beach Resort in Bayahibe, the closest to Saona Island. This resort has the best sunset by the beach.

Things to do in Isla Saona and Nearby

  • Cruise the Open Caribbean Sea on a Speed Boat or Catamaran

  • Go for a Swim on the Beach

  • Relax Under a Palm Tree

  • Explore the Island on foot (bring water shoes.)

  • Get a Dominican Deep Tissue Massage (a little pricey but worth it!)

  • Drink some local coconut water

  • Visit the Mangroves

  • Stop at Mano Juan, a colorful fishing village

  • Pass by the Private Filming Island where Pirates of the Caribbean was shot.

  • Swim with Wild Starfish in Las Piscinas Naturales

  • Have an Authentic Local Dominican Lunch (we had the best fried fish near this Island.)

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