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“Beautiful island and beach, thats about it”
Review of Isla Saona

Isla Saona
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Sanoa Island Helicopter Tour from Punta Cana
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Oak Ridge, North Carolina
Level Contributor
212 reviews
36 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 95 helpful votes
“Beautiful island and beach, thats about it”
Reviewed 23 June 2014

We bought our excursions from a vendor at Dominicus beach, the price was very reasonable as we negotiated. We were still leery as we had not been in the country even 6 hrs and we had no knowledge of who we were using. We returned the morning after w/ our receipt and were warmly greeted. After a short wait the boat arrived (whew, so far so good). We boarded the "speed boat" and waited a few minutes for another family. We then started our journey to the catamaran in Bayahibe harbor. A short ride later we arrived and transferred to the catamaran. The wait was long as we were one of the first groups, I think an hr passed before we actually departed for Saona. Forgot to mention, there was a photographer. The ride over was full of music, drinks (alcohol and non) and general happiness. It was rather long, maybe 1.5 hrs but we had no watch. We arrived at Saona Island and after a treacherous transfer to another "speed boat" we set foot on the beach. We were told 2 hrs and that lunch was almost ready. Lunch was a buffet of rice, spaghetti and fruit, not a grand meal but something to be expected. No vendors hassled us but we also stayed in the water most of the time. There is also a set of bathrooms but no flushing toilet. The areas of entry are rocky so bring water shoes (sunscreen and portable camera for pics). The photographer showed me her disc of pics before we left. The price was quite high and we came w/ little money but I did negotiate that too, cant guarantee you will be able to. After 2 hrs we boarded another "speed boat" to the natural pond of starfish. Short ride over staying for about 15 mns. We found two starfish and took pics using our disposable underwater camera (walmart). Then we returned to Dominicus beach and walked right to our hotel. We had two teenagers with us, they were bored on the trip over. Shady spots on catamaran were limited just an FYI. Since we got such a good bargain I cant really complain but know different vendors and operators use different equipment and have different itineraries. We could not snorkel while at Saona, but it came in handy looking for starfish.

Visited June 2014
2 Thank gingerflowers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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English first
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
6 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Isla Saona”
Reviewed 23 June 2014

Was awesome and we stay in my middle of the ocean which the call it out there natural pool. We went snorkel and get to see different color of fish and nice blue water, we party in the middle of the ocean so much fun.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank JuniorPierre2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Raleigh, North Carolina
Level Contributor
33 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Beautiful island”
Reviewed 22 June 2014

I loved everything except the locals harrassing us to buy goods. The island was lovely. They said the sand was white and as soft as baby powder. That was not true but it was a GREAT all day trip!

Visited June 2014
Thank ladykb
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
75 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
“Rocky, but great!”
Reviewed 21 June 2014

The speed boat ride to the island was quick, and the catamaran back to the bus was slow but outstanding!! The isle itself was ok....the water was great but rocky underneath. Make sure you wear beach shoes for the rocks. The lunchtime meal was buffet and it was pretty descent. All in all not a bad excursion.

Visited June 2014
Thank Ronniestew
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
“Dont waste your time!”
Reviewed 21 June 2014

We went to Saona Island on Monday 6/16. We booked through the Hotelsextra rep in our lobby who we've used before. We have been to the DR 4 times and have always talked about doing this excursion. I am so glad this is out of the way and we will not do it again nor do I recommend it.

The bus ride was about 1.5 hours long which we had expected. As soon as we got off the bus we were bombarded with street vendors trying to sell us things. They will NOT leave you alone even is you say no 10 times!

We boarded a speed boat and rode out to a natural pool to drink warm rum and coke and take pictures with what seemed to me fake starfish which 'just' appeared out of no where! We then boarded the speed boat again and they took us to the island.

After our guide told us everything about what time lunch was and where the bathrooms were we were bothered for the entire 3 hours by vendors trying to sell you hats, and jewelry and cigars and the massage people wouldn't leave us alone. The food was sub par and I see other reviews about lobster.. we only had spaghetti?? (I didn't eat it) and some rice and a couple other side dishes I didn't know what they were, and then grilled pork chops and chicken.

I got in the water for about 3 minutes. There were so many rocks, one guy went back and put on his sandals so he could get in. The beach at your resort is by far 100% better than Saona Island and that is a fact!

After eating and fighting off the bees that would hover around your drink for another 2 hours we finally got back on the speed boat which took us back out to the catamaran. There was too much on and off the speed boats and like someone else said, it is dangerous trying to do that when the ocean is acting up with big waves and they are trying to rush you onto the boats.

I could not wait to get off these boats and back to that dreadful bus ride because I knew in the end we would be back in the paradise oasis of our resort.
This is all just my experience and opinion of this excursion but I would not do it again.

Visited June 2014
1 Thank TeriMD
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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