7 Questions to Ask Before Booking your Saona Island Tour

Catamaran to Saona Island

In this post, you will learn the 7 questions to ask before booking your Saona Island Tour. Every tour isn’t created equally and if you’re leaving your gorgeous resort, you want it to be the best day of your trip. With these simple 7 questions, you will figure out which Saona Island tour is best for you! 

A day trip to Saona Island is one of the most popular excursions the Dominican Republic has to offer. La Saona is part of the Cotubanamá National Park and lies off the southeastern tip of the Dominican Republic. The island is known for its mangroves, coral reefs, and palm-fringed beaches. Movies, including Pirates of the Caribbean and The Blue Lagoon, have filmed scenes here because of its pristine condition.

1. What Beach on Saona Island are We Going to?

There are a lot of beaches on Saona Island and although they all provide pristine white sand and turquoise waters, some are better than others. The least popular and therefore most untouched is Canto De La Playa. This beach is an absolute beauty on the southeast tip of the island; its location makes it one of the least visited beaches of Saona Island.  Other popular beaches include Playa de Gato, Saona Beach, and Palmera Turistica. The beaches are all made of crisp, white sand, however, our water was full of rough rocks and sharp shells. I would definitely suggest water shoes – I cut my foot on a rock while we were wading and have acquired a new scar.  

The Crowded, Yet Gorgeous, Beaches of Saona Island

2. How Are We Getting to Saona Island?

Catamaran, Speed Boat, or Sailboat, which will it be? This is important because a catamaran ride takes 2 hours, whereas a speedboat takes a mere 40 minutes. On our tour, we took the catamaran out. We sang, danced, and drank the whole ride to the island. On the way back we took a speedboat first to the natural pools, then all the way back to port Bayahibe. By this point, we were ready to be done with the day so having a shorter ride back was quite nice.


3. Where are we Stopping Along the Way?

Some tours offer stops on the way to or from the port. Almost all tours stop at the natural swimming pool – shallow water in the middle of the ocean where you might even see starfish. Do not touch the wildlife. Some tours even stop at Mano Juan. This small village is the only inhabited part of Saona Island and it’s full of culture! 


4. How Long will we be on Saona Island?

You don’t want to spend the majority of your trip in transit. You want to be soaking up the sun and soaking in the turquoise waters of the beach. We spent about 2 hours on the island, and realistically, I could have used more time for sure. We spent at least 45 minutes of this time in the water, and the rest of the time eating lunch and laying in the sunshine. 


5. What’s Included in the Open Bar?

Chances are you’re leaving an all-inclusive resort to head out on this excursion. It’s important to realize that the beverages you’ve grown to love will no longer be available. Our open bar included rum and coke or sprite; at one point they even ran out of sprite. 

Taking in These Gorgeous Turquoise Waters

6. What Kind of Food is at the Buffet on Saona Island?

Our buffet consisted of BBQ chicken and fish with sides. Pasta and sauce (strange), rice, veggies, and pineapple were included in our sides. The BBQ fish was delicious but it had the skin and bones which I know would throw some people off. The chicken was so dry that it was tough to eat. Our serving sizes were also very small -while we watched the individuals who work for the tour company take heaping spoonfuls- and when we went back up for seconds everything was shut down. This was a bummer and left us a little hungry for the remainder of our afternoon. Luckily, we remembered our snacks. 


7. How Many People Will Be On My Saona Island Tour?

Our tour had at least 35-40 people on it. This made for a cramped catamaran ride and an even more cramped speed boat ride. It made it very difficult for our tour guide to communicate with us because he was shouting at such a large group. I felt like we missed out on any interesting facts or history regarding the island. This large group also made us feel like we were being herded on and off of all the transportation. A small, more intimate tour, would definitely be worth a higher price. 

We LOVED Our Catamaran Ride to Saona Island… mostly

If you’re looking to enjoy a few excursions during your time in the Dominican Republic, you might want to check out my post on 9 easy ways to make extra money for travel. The more extra cash you can scrounge up, the more fun you can have during your trip!

Lounging on Saona Island, Dominican Republic

Published by expeditioneducation

Hi there, I'm Kati! I'm an outdoor recreation loving public school teacher who plans epic adventures on her school breaks. If you like to explore and experience beautiful new places on a budget, then let me help you plan your next trip!

24 thoughts on “7 Questions to Ask Before Booking your Saona Island Tour

  1. littlemisadvencha – Cebu City – Cha of littlemisadvencha is a Filipino Civil Engineer, researcher and a fur mom. She came from General Santos City and finds that everything in life teaches her a lesson. She is inspired to write about and out of her experiences, but later found out that it was her experiences that actually inspire her.
    littlemisadvencha says:

    It’s a great set of questions before the travel. Although spontaneous trips are the best, it’s also good to get to know the place well before going so that we can maximize the travel. I love this post!

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      Hey! I’m not sure you read the entire post but it’s all about an excursion! Spontaneity is awesome, but if I’m spending extra money and leaving my resort for the day I definitely want the real deal experience in my side trip Hope you’re well during this crazy time. Take Care

  2. This looks like a wonderful trip! I’d love to go to an island like this and relax a bit. The water is so blue!

  3. The island looks so gorgeous, look at the color of the sea! However, the tour there seems a bit of a rip off, especially with so many people! I don’t know how i would cope in a group of more than 30 people. I am used to maximum 10.

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      Yeah. It was by far too many peeps!

  4. I think these are excellent questions to ask about any trip. You always want to know if it will be quiet or busy with a lot of fellow travelers on the trip. The pictures are gorgeous.

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      Thank you! And yes, I’d be willing to pay more for something more private.

  5. It certainly looks like a beautiful place to spend the day, but I may have a hard time leaving the resort. I do love rum and coke, but on a trip like that I would be wanting some of the more exotic drinks! And I wouldn’t expect sharp rocks in the water when the beaches looks so smooth and perfect!

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      Right! I cut my foot hahaha and missed my coco locos quite a bit hah

  6. The Saona Island looks an amazing and attractive point for tourists. Your post is well organized with set of all possible and specific questions. Thanks for sharing good information!

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      Thank you! It was certainly beautiful.

  7. Shruti and Delta – Hi everyone, I am Shruti and I am starting this blog to describe my life with my little furball, Delta Bunny. How his presence has changed me, how I see the world so much different ever since his presence. I would also like to take this opportunity to present my opinions on taking care of street dogs in neighbourhood, helping out with small doggo problems. If you have anything specific to know, just leave it in the comment section below the blogs and I will surely write about it.
    Shruti and Delta says:

    The water and the environment looks so inviting and mesmerizing. Your questions are excellent and to the point.

    1. expeditioneducation – Hello! My name is Kati. I am currently a Middle School Teacher and three season sports coach in upstate New York. If you take a look at my blog you will learn that I love being outside, exploring places near and far, and aspire to create this website into something that inspires others to connect with what's around them. My hope is that you read something here that inspires you to learn more and challenge yourself every day. Don't be afraid to leave your comfort zone for that is where true growth​ begins! Thank you so much for reading!
      expeditioneducation says:

      The water was sooooo mesmerizing! Beautiful.

  8. Priya Doshi – London – Priya blogs on How To Be A Positive Parent. She blogs about parenting, affiliate marketing, blogging, self-improvement for Mums. She is also a Freelance Writer for Hire.
    Priya says:

    What a beautiful place! It look like a very relaxing place. The food is the only disappointment , but it shouldn’t be a problem if you are carrying a lot of snacks with you!

  9. STWFBLOG – London – My name is Tunrayo aKa 'Tee' I'm a 20 something years old Nigerian born living in London. I love pretty things and have an uncontrolled addiction for nail paint. I'm not a stylist, I just love dressing up...come along with me on my journey, not sure where it's leading but it's going to be an interesting one! (Philippians 4:13)…
    Tee says:

    This island looks amazing know I would lien to visit

  10. Chantal Gray – I felt like it was time for me to speak my truth and bring about healing oneself. I have been going on my journey in the past 10 years and I have definitely been learning along the way. It was not been easy but learning to understanding though my darkest days, have given me insight of my growth. People have to deal with challenges or changes each day of their lives. Coming together and bring about support, guidance and strength for anyone who needs it. We need it more than ever.
    Chantal Gray says:

    Saona Island looks so beautiful. I love being near water and sand. I can visualize myself there right now. So calming!!!!

  11. What a beautiful sight to see! I would love to experence traveling there… maybe when this coronavirus goes away I’ll go with family and/or friends, we’ll need an uplifting fun venture afterward!

    your photos are amazing!

  12. Mommy Sol – PHILIPPINES – To know more about me, please visit my site: http://www.solrazo.com/ Follow me: Instagram - @certifiedWAHM Twitter - @certifiedWAHM Facebook Page - Certified WAHM
    solrazo.com says:

    Very informative guide questions, thanks for sharing this! The island has an astonishing view, and I would also prefer a much lesser crowd if possible.

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