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“Not as expected.”
Review of Isla Saona

Isla Saona
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: More than 3 hours
Reviewed 6 April 2018 via mobile

I read about Saona Island before traveling to the DR and it seemed like it would be an amazing day. My husband and I went with another couple and all 4 of us were disappointed. A small van picked us up in the lobby of our resort and drove us about 20 minutes where he told us we were meeting a bigger bus. We waited outside for 30 minutes for the bigger bus to arrive. Our tour guide on that bus was very informative on the cultures and history of the DR. We traveled about 45 more minutes to the marina to board the catamaran. We waited there in a throng of people all awaiting their catamarans to pick us up. They took us about 1/4 mile away from the marina to snorkel. Everyone got back on the boat and we traveled along the coast to a “natural pool in the middle of the ocean” where we would “see an abundance of starfish.”
There were many catamarans full of people all
In this location which was in reality, just a shallow area just offshore. (People actually walked thru the water to the shore.) No one on our boat saw a single starfish. Everyone boarded once again where they were going to take us to a secluded beach on Saona only for VIP’s which we paid an extra $90/couple more for. What a joke! The beach was full of people and boats came in dropping passengers off and then boats would come in picking them up. It was nonstop! The water was very clear but rocky and hurt your feet. The lounge chairs were just old plastic ones and the gourmet lunch they prepared left the 4 of us all with traveler’s diarrhea the next day. We were on that beach about 2 1/2 hours where we boarded a speed boat which took us back to the marina. We boarded the bus which took us to a small shopping area which at this time, we were done and just wanted to be back at our resort. We were there for about a half hour, everyone got back on the bus and they drive us about 15 more minutes and pulled off on the side of a highway where they told the 8 of us from Secrets Cap Cana to get off the bus and get in the smaller van which then returned us to our resort at 6:30 in the evening. We were very sad because instead of enjoying our last day in paradise (which our resort was!) we felt like we wasted our last day doing a lot of traveling.

1  Thank Rlhand27
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 4 April 2018 via mobile

We took a tour to saona island and when you’re pulling in on a boat you feel like you’re coming to paradise. Beach is soft white sand..water is turquoise...palm trees waving in the soft breeze. No one bothers you to buy anything. We had a delicious lunch here with beverages on our excursion. Bathrooms were questionable but other than that it was a day of paradise.

Thank Rhonda W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

This was our 3rd trip to Saona Island and the best ever. Make sure to wear swim wear and bring plenty of sunscreen, a hat and sunglasses. (be sure to put the sunscreen on the tops of your feet as well. they burn easily in the salt water) We were picked up at our resort and taken directly to the Marina where the boats were waiting. Past experience was we were picked up by a mini van and taken to a drop off point, where there was a "shopping experience" while we waited maybe an additional 25 minutes or so for the big bus to pick us up and take us to the Marina. The pickup experience this time was much better. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable about the Dominican Republic, the history and also added information about Haiti. Very good speaker and educational. We enjoyed it. As always, I would recommend this trip for anyone who enjoys boating and being on the water. We all boarded the speed boat and took a leisurely ride out to the catamaran. Once we all boarded the crew explained the snorkeling would take place here. We did not participate but our friends did and they said they would have appreciated to snorkel in an area where there weren't as many people and there were more things to see. Not much to see here. There were many catamarans with tourists doing the same thing. The snorkeling lasted maybe 25 minutes, everyone boarded and off we went. It is a beautiful ride along the coastline to Saona. The water is crystal clear, aqua blue. The weather couldn't have been better. Sunny, blue skies. They put the sails us and we were sailing. They served rum and cokes and had dancing. You could participate or just enjoy the ride. We went to a private beach where there were maybe only 3 or 4 other catamarans. Others have said the public beach is much more crowded with boats and people. Once we arrived we were greeted with a cold drink and then our tour guide explained the process. Where our designated beach chairs were and lunch would be served soon. We participated in the VIP level which included lobster, pork chops, chicken and many sides. It was very nice. My husband certainly enjoyed the lobster and had as much as he wanted. (mine too!) The tables were set with linens and done very nicely. Once we were done with lunch we just relaxed on the beach. It was beautiful. We must have been there about 2 1/2 hours. Then the speed boat came and picked us up. Everyone with life jackets on enjoyed the speedy ride back to the Marina. Even though I say speedy, the distance made the ride maybe 45 minutes. Once back, we were able to use the rest room and then boarded the bus. Now comes the bad part of the trip and the part they could cut out. They take the loaded bus, after a day of the beautiful ocean/beaches, everyone is tired now and ready to get back and they stop at the shopping center for 20 minutes to use the rest rooms. This was horrible. The rest rooms were disgusting, had to wait in a long line and the shopping is mostly anything you could get right at the resort on vendor night. The 20 minutes turned into 40. Many, many buses stopped here. Very crowded. They could do without this stop and just get us back to the resort. This is the only negative about this whole day so all in all, it was a great trip.

1  Thank captainschoice
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 April 2018

Our excursion to Saona Island was spectacular, a must do when in the Dominican Republic. We were staying in Santo Domingo and used the services of ATA excursions, our tour leader was Luiz, i highly recommend him. We traveled by bus to Bayahibe. We left on a Catamaran and sailed to Saona Isla with entertainment and drinks on the boat. Then we had a very tasty buffet lunch on the beach, just note there are sharp rocks as you go into the sea at Saona Island but we just used our flip flops.The only put off is on the island itself where the local ladies want to massage you for 2000 pesos, we had to say no 5 times to the same woman, she just would not back off. Even when i was lying down to sunbathe she just sprayed oil on me and started massaging without my permission. We were collected by speedboat and taken to the 'natural pool" Just note that there are some starfish that you can see from the boat as you approach the pool but not where the boats stop, you cannot see them to pick them up(not that i wanted to) just a bit of false advertising on this.Do not take small children it is more of a adult thing. Loud music, drinking and a lot of sun, this is a full day outing.This excursion is very enjoyable.

Thank Catharina V
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 3 April 2018

Such a beautiful place a must see.. turquoise waters fun boat ride lots of rum but a long day not recommended for small children

Thank Andrea C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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