Diving in Cabarete, Dominican Republic
Discover the underwater world in ideal conditions.
The underwater world is a magical and mysterious place where many dream of exploring. The warm, crystal clear waters of Cabarete and the surrounding area provide the perfect conditions to delve deeper into this seemingly surreal environment.
There are various beaches, from right at our doorstep to a little further, that offer diving conditions for first-time and experienced divers alike. Cabarete has three main diving and snorkeling reefs: Cabarete Bay, Kite Beach, and Encuentro, all of which are within 5 minutes of each other. However, most of the action takes place in the sheltered waters of Sosua, just 15 minutes away from our condos. Sosua Bay is more protected than Cabarete, meaning less wind and waves keeping the water clear and providing a calm environment for ocean life. Not to mention, fishing is banned here, which ensures marine life is plentiful. There is also an exciting coral rejuvenation project where divers can view the coral restoration and nurseries. Sosua has several schools and centers, offering rentals, tours, and PADI qualifications, so there is something suited for the entire family. All these locations are easily accessible by foot or public transport.
What can you expect to see in our tropical waters? Get ready to feel lost in an abundance of colorful sea life, mysterious caves, and prickly corals. We suggest you don’t forget to bring a camera because close encounters with nosey tropical fish like Nemo are guaranteed! These little guys spend their days cleaning the reef and checking out the divers.
If you look closely, you can often find octopus, squid, lobster, starfish, conch, eels, seahorses and sea urchins shuffling along the ocean floor and hiding in the crevasses of caves. And it’s not just the little guys that have personalities; our local barracudas are known to be quite sassy, sneaky and inquisitive. There are certain barracudas whose appearance and diva attitudes are easily recognizable since they’ve lived in the same spot for years! These guys may sneak up on you, but don’t be afraid, they’re just being nosey and checking you’re not going to steal their cave or fish. Another curious marine mammal often spotted in our waters are dolphins. These are a little trickier to find, but majestic and spectacular when you do. And let’s not forget the turtles who have been known to be quite shy at first, so be careful not to startle them, they’re quick when they want to be!
But it’s not just what you can see; sometimes you have to close your eyes and listen. From January through March, we are blessed to have the Humpback Whales passing to and from their breeding grounds. The Dominican Republic is home to two of their breeding grounds, with only a few throughout the entire world! If you hold your breath and sink below the surface in total silence, you can hear the enchanting songs of the adults and calves. The reef acts as an amplifier, making their lyrics very clear from up to 50 miles away. From the shore, you’ll be able to see tales thrashing, spouts spraying, and the youngsters showing off.
So when is the best time to go? The wind and waves tend to churn up the water reducing visibility, so diving is the perfect activity for those rare windless days, pre-kitesurf mornings and no/small surf days.
To protect this magnificent environment, we ask everyone to respect our oceans, as every piece of coral, shell, and creature great or small plays a crucial role in the underwater ecosystem. This includes not feeding the fish since certain foods like bread can harm them. It’s important to acknowledge and uphold the breeding seasons. Lobster season is March 1st to June 30th, and Lambi (Conch) mating season is 1st July to 31st of October. During these times, please do not to hunt, buy or consume these animals, as it’s essential they flourish and reproduce to keep our reef alive. Parrot Fish is another vital individual who cleans and keeps the reef healthy. Sometimes they can be found for sale or on a restaurant menu, but if we don’t feed the demand, these fish will be left to do what they do best, keep our reefs looking fabulous! Another way to keep our reefs healthy is to make sure any trash goes in the bin. Sadly, trash too often finds its way in our ocean, but if you do find any, pop it in your pocket and put it in the bin and consider that your good deed for the day!
Learn more about why we should all love and protect the Cabarete reef.
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