Cayo Arena (Paradise Island)

Cayo Arena, popularly known as Paradise Island, is a small island in the north coast of the Dominican Republic. With amazingly beautiful water that is so clear and blue, it is a great spot for a day of swimming, snorkeling and of course drinking with friends.

I visited for my second time with sailing friends Jon and Kach Two Monkeys Sailing - Mr&MrsHowe Blog and Nick and Kelly Sailing Satori. We made the 90 minute drive from Luperon to Punta Rucia, us in a rental car and Kelly and Nick on their motorbike. From here we took a fast boat to the island. With arguably one of the best snorkel sites in the country we got to hang out at an amazing beach and do some great snorkeling. 

The snorkeling was the highlight of the trip as Paradise island sits on a large and amazing reef! Armed with bread to attract the fish, we snorkeled around the edge of the reef, dropping crumbs and being surrounded by schools of beautiful fish. We also took turns trying to free dive a bit outside the reef, in about 12 feet of water. I wasn’t too successful because I found it tricky to propel myself down while simultaneously equalizing my ears. Either way were were able to capture some very neat photos with the fish. And look how well I am channeling my inner mermaid on the way back up! 😁

Jon was able to fly his drone and got some great shots of the island from above. How beautiful right? And from above you can really see that it looks more like a sandbar than an island, but beautiful nonetheless. Here are some cool drone shots, can you spot us posing down below?


These kinds of shots are so unique, makes us really want a drone that much mor

After drones, snorkeling, mini photo sessions in the water and several drinks, the tides started to come back in and it was time to head back to the hotel for lunch. Little did we know there would be a private tour of the mangroves on the way back! Sure glad we did for two reasons: one, the open ocean was getting a bit rough from the relentless trade winds that blow through each day and two, the mangroves were so serene and uniquely beautiful. 

All of this, At what cost you may be asking? Well since there was a group of 7 of us, Kach was able to negotiate the price down to $35 per person. Amazing considering it includes the fast boat ride to the island, drinks of rum and soda on the island, use of snorkel gear, a tour of the mangroves, and a buffet lunch back at the hotel. Plus you can use the amenities at the hotel, so after lunch we hung around for a bit, swam at the beach and then used the fresh water shower before heading home.

Stacy RiboliniComment