If you have followed along on my journey in the Dominican, you will know that we boarded a speed boat in the small fishing village of Bayahibe. Our eventual destination, with many stops along the way would be Saona Island. Saona is a tropical island located a short distance from the mainland on the south-east tip of the Dominican Republic. It is a government protected nature reserve and a popular destination for tourists from all over the Dominican Republic, thousands of people arrive in fleets of catamarans and small motorboats every day. The Island is famous for the natural beauty of its beaches, and has been used on many occasions by film-makers and advertisers looking for a stereotypical ‘desert island’ setting for their film or product. It is promoted among European visitors as the setting for the famous Bounty chocolate bar adverts.
The seas around the Island are rich in wildlife, with many species of birds and tropical marine fish, and there are large areas where natural sandbars offshore bring the depth to just a few feet. These are once again popular with the tourist trade, with small boats stopping hundreds of meters off the beach and disgorging tourists into the waist-deep shallows where they snorkel, drink and check out the fields of starfish indigenous to the region. However, those adventures are for my next blog entry.
Yesterday I posted about of the serenity of the area. Today, you can see even more relaxation and beauty. The soft white sands and crystal clear waters along a beach full of different types of vegetation definitely makes you feel as if you have discovered paradise.