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Paradise Island, Cayo Arena, Dominican Republic

By on February 25, 2017 in Caribbean Travel with 0 Comments

Paradise Island, Cayo Arena, Domincan Republic “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” – Jacques Yves Cousteau

When I traveled to Puerto Plata with Elaine and her parents, Elizabeth and Alexander, our days were filled with tropical breezes, aquamarine water, mouth-watering food, and Vegas-style entertainment. We were spoiled and pampered at our resort, but we also wanted to venture out and see the island. One of the activities we picked was snorkeling at Paradise Island.

Dominican Republic

Elaine and I took a bus from our resort to a beach, where we waited for our little boat to pick us up. We hung out on Miami-style beds looking into the ocean, wondering what was in store for us. Would we spy lots of colorful fish? What would the island be like? We were soon whisked away to our destination, jumping the waves, saltwater on our skin, hanging onto the sides of the boat to avoid being thrown over. The ride was wild and fun — quite an adventure in itself.

As we approached, I spied a few huts in the distance. The boat in front of us looked bigger than the entire island. I wondered where I would put my stuff. I saw the water hit the island making one side smaller. The guys who worked there responded by moving the huts to the other side of the sand. I realized the island was a large sand dune with little huts… I had never seen anything like it before.

Paradise Island   Paradise Island, Dominican Republic

We were dropped off at the island, where we gave our bags to the guys to hang up in the straw huts. We put on our snorkel gear, and off into the water we went. We swam to the reef, where we saw a plethora of colorful, tropical fish playing in the bath-warm water. The tour guide scolded me for venturing out a bit too deep into the open water. I was drawn by the fish and did not realize how far I had wandered. We leisurely circled the reef before coming back to “shore” for some fruit.

Paradise Island, Cayo Arena, Domincan Republic   Paradise Island, Cayo Arena, Domincan Republic

We played in the water, amazed by its color and the majestic mountains in the distance. I fed the fish some bread, and I was shocked by their frisky nature. I felt their teeth pierce my skin, as my blood dripped into the water.  One guy chuckled at me and threw bread my way to attract more feisty fish. I am the girl who will act like a shark is attacking her when a piece of seaweed grazes her leg. Sad, but true.

Paradise Island, Cayo Arena, Dominican Republic   Paradise Island, Cayo Arena, Domincan Republic

When our time was up, the little, speed boat picked us up. On our way back to land, we rode through some beautiful mangroves, which had a similar feel as Florida. We were served a not-so-great lunch before we boarded the bus and headed to a cigar shop. Here, we watched one of the locals roll cigars and learned about the process. We then checked out the shop, where I bought some Dominican coffee and cacao.

Cigar Rolling, Dominican Republic   Mangroves, Dominican Republic

Paradise Island is truly a wonder. The mountains and crystal-blue water were exotic, and I felt like I was a million miles from civilization. I was very happy we discovered this hidden gem where tropical fish are plentiful, the huts are cute, and the water is soothing. I would definitely recommend this spot to anyone who ventures off to the Dominican.

Paradise Island, Cayo Arena, Domincan Republic   Paradise Island, Cayo Arena, Domincan Republic

Paradise Island, Cayo Arena, Domincan Republic   Paradise Island, Cayo Arena

Paradise Island, Domincan Republic   Paradise Island

Cigars   Cigars, Dominican Republic

Check out more pictures from my trip to the Dominican Republic.

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