Saona island!

Written by Sam Van den Haute aka CheckOutSam

Yesterday evening I planned an organised trip to one of the top attractions of Punta Cana: Saona Island. The Saona Island is a paradise island in the south of the Dominican Republic. Famous for its beautiful beaches with swaying palm trees and the presence of lots of sea stars in the turquoise waters of this peninsula.

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Hi, I'm Sam, the blogger behind CheckOutSam!


Sam Van den Haute has been a full-time world traveler for ten years and has therefore gained a lot of travel and lifestyle inspiration on all continents. Do you still have questions after reading this blog? Ask them in the comments section or send me a message at [email protected] and I'll be happy to help you wherever I can!

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The beach of Saona Island in the Dominican Republic.

The beach of Saona Island in the Dominican Republic.

In the brochure, they asked us to be ready at 6:30 in the morning. About one hour later, I was finally picked up.
Once I boarded the car, an American family from Michigan greeted me with a bored sigh.

“You just missed the most exciting part! Right before we picked you up, we had to wait for thirty minutes for someone else, but that guy then just took another van. They almost started fighting with each other!”

Reassuring! I thought by myself.

The family was very kind and pleasant company, but I noticed quite soon that they weren’t used to much. I don’t think that they had seen something outside Punta Cana yet.
It seemed that they were in a state of shock once we passed the shanty houses and the poor people of the countryside.

When we arrived -with stopovers in a souvenir store and a fish store, which belonged to the driver’s brother,- we had to wait ten ‘Dominican minutes’ for other families to arrive before we could board the boat that would bring us to the island.

In the meantime we were bothered by locals who put monkeys, parrots and iguana’s on every tourist his or her shoulders.
When we finally left, the captain of the boat speeded things up and I noticed how many people started to tighten their grips on the boat.
After an unnecessary snorkelling stop, we went full speed ahead to the first must-see spot of this tour: the natural swimming pool. In fact this was nothing more than a big, shallow part of the sea.

At this particular spot, there could be found hundreds of starfish covered by sand and the beautiful see-through waters.
In other words: a perfect location for tourists who want to take a cool selfie with these cute sea creatures.

Foto’s met de zeesterren die voor het grijpen liggen in de Natural Swimming Pool!

Pictures with the abundant starfish in the Natural Swimming Pool!

Pictures with the abundant starfish in the Natural Swimming Pool!

The two guides seemed to push everyone a little bit to stand in front of their cameras and pose with a couple of starfish that were found.
At the end of the trip, they wanted to sell the photos for way too much money.

Since I had a better camera than the guides, and since I definitely didn’t want to pay for those pictures, I asked some other tourists to take some pictures of me.

Luckily, one of the guides was friendly enough to make a picture with my camera as well. At least now I have a cool souvenir to show off when I’m back home!

After forty-five minutes we head back into the boat, this time speeding to our final destination: Saona island

The island, indeed, is very beautiful. The sand looks much more white than the ones in Punta Cana and the palm trees are spread out a little more evenly over the island.

Saona island is definitely no secret, because soon enough boat after boat arrives and drops their loads of tourists at the beautiful beaches. The paradise beach soon becomes a busy beach with alcohol flowing freely.

After the barbecue, I decide to rest a little on the not so comfy sunlounger. I notice that behind me the party really has started.

In stead of heading back with the speedboat, we now take the catamaran back to the mainland. These huge boats can support a lot more guests and soon enough I can’t see any of my original boat buddies anymore.

Next to me, a couple of Dominican girls sit down and soon enough they can’t stop swaying their heads, hips and arms on the uplifting Spanish music.

A couple of people seem to have become very drunk, because they start to dance very promiscuous with each other. One of the drunk girls is quite a funny sight to see, since all she does is just walk around the boat without really doing anything.

When the very long boat trip is over, it seems she has become even more drunk and I notice her trying to jump over one of the fences of the boat.

The American family and me already sit in the little boat that will brings us back to land, and we can see it happen from miles away.

From the catamaran, the girls jumps on the smaller boat. Once she -without any accidents!- landed, she bows down as if she deserves applause for her dumb act of drunkenness.

The guide is furious and starts roasting her in the fastest Spanish I had ever heard.

“I wonder if she’s drunk?” the American woman sarcastically asks me.

The way back feels way shorter and I am the first one that gets dropped off at my accommodation. There, I meet a couple of other guests, Maria and Ricardo, and we keep talking for the rest of the evening.

Tomorrow, I didn’t plan anything. But hey… There’s nothing wrong with a day at the beach!

Saona Island, a true paradise!

Saona Island, a true paradise!

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Hi, I'm Sam Van den Haute. The last three years I've been traveling the world almost constantly. Heading out for an adventure and visiting the most beautiful places are what I love to do! Let me inspire you with great stories, beautiful pictures and handy tips from my adventures and travels. On my facebook page and instagram account you'll get to see the latest updates and photos to inspire you for your next vacation.
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