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Thread: Isla Saona Day Trip

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Isla Saona Day Trip

    I plan to be in SD in mid-October with a small group of friends and we want to take the day trip to Isla Saona. The trip looks like fun in the travel brochure: the tour company picks us up at 6:30 am, we head out to La Romana, take a catamaran to Isla Saona and return in the late afternoon. All foods and drinks included for US$75.00 each. My question is: Have any of you done this trip? Any recommendations on what to take besides the sun tan lotion? Things to watch out for? Inquiring minds want to know!! Thanks for any info!

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    Excellent trip, take some snorkel equipment.

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    i have always heard its a great trip..and its something that i always plan on doing....but the quote of $75 usd seems a bit high. I have always been quoted around 50--all included.

    personaly...what i would like to do is spend a few days near the isla and hire a local to take me out there....but so far no one has ever answered just how to do that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jrzyguy View Post
    personaly...what i would like to do is spend a few days near the isla and hire a local to take me out there....but so far no one has ever answered just how to do that.
    That's how we did it, from Bayahibe. Stayed in a room rented by a local family, and got a nice young bloke with a boat to take us to the island for the day.

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    Default Trip to Isla Saona Last Year

    I took the trip from Boca Chica last year. Overall I had a good time but I think that had more to do with the company I was with than anything else. The trip out and back were pleasant in a comfortable and air conditioned bus. After a stop at the large tourist stop on the highway for cigars and souvineers, about 1/2 an hour, we arrived at the embarcation point. I was kind of shocked, after reading the brochure with pictures of an uncrowded tropical island, to arrive at Bayahibe and find 15-20 other large busses of people, mostly from AI's, also waiting in the parking lot to take the trip. So much for uncrowded. We were hearded around like the cattle that we were and quickly boarded the motorboat to the island. The trip out was very nice and included a stop for a swim, and they did insist on life jackets. The island itself was very scenic but pretty crowded with revelers. I was told that only a couple of dozen people actually live on the island. If you did not mind walking a bit, and being away from the food and drinks, you could find some seclusion. The food was OK though somewhat bland. The drink were limited to rum punch and Cuba Libres made with bargain basement rum and mixed in large plastic containers. and beer. They did not offer Presedente but instead had Bohemia and Quisqueya. It was a festive atmosphere with many "animation" like activities going on, including vollyball games. As everyone seemed to be at least somewhat pickled a good time seemed to be had by all. The trip back on the catamaran was just a continuation of the party, at least untill the outboard engine died. It seemed that none of the "crew" on board had the slightest clue as to how to troubleshoot or fix it. Their best attempt to remedy the situation involved kicking the engine, scratching thier heads and pouring more Cuba Libre's. After 45 minutes of this the suggestion was made to sail the boat in, as this was indeed a sail boat. It was then revealed that none of the crew had any clue how to operate a sailboat. Strictly "animation". The party continued through all of this with various discussions of swimming in ( SHARKS ??) or what we would do when we got to Portugal. Truth be known we were never in any distress as there are so many boats making this trip eventualy we would be "rescued". Our worst problem was a lack of a bathrooms and the dwindling supply of Cuba Libre's. Eventally the correct method of kicking the engine was discovered and with power restored we headed for port. I actually enjoyed the whole experiance and got to meet and converse with a group of very pretty girls from Quebec, by way of Juan Dolio. The trip back to Boca Chica was a blur of trafic jams in La Romana. All in all a very pleasant, though crowded, trip and well worth the $50 (?) I paid. The next time I may try the trip to Isla Catalina for snorkling and maybe a few less drunken tourists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chirimoya View Post
    That's how we did it, from Bayahibe. Stayed in a room rented by a local family, and got a nice young bloke with a boat to take us to the island for the day.
    can you pm me some info on how you found the room. i looked at Bayahibe..and all i can find is big AI's around the area.

    also..how much did the bloke with the boat cost (aprx)?

    This is something that i very much have wanted to do...but piling on a bunch of boats with a bunch of other tourists doesnt sound like my kind of excursion.

    I figure if we hire some guy with a boat..he can show us some really cool and isolated places. It looks like a big enough isla that we could find some place away from the hords of tourits.

    puh-LEASE send me some info about where you stayed!!!! I have asked petteri and el candil...and he just points me to the usual Tour thing.

    thanks!!!!!!

  7. #7
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    We just turned up in Bayahibe late in the afternoon and asked around, and were directed to the places - rooms with bath that local families rent out. There were about eight of us and there was space for everyone. The room Mr C and I stayed in was quite basic but clean.

    It was about four or five years ago so I don't have any contact details, and can't remember the prices. I vaguely remember that the people who rented out the room were related to a Dominican woman married to an Italian man who ran the small restaurant where we ate. The only thing I remember about the boat owner was that he was said to look like Pedro Martinez... We found him by asking around, or he may have found us because I think the boat owners accost newcomers, trying to get their custom.

    Sorry I can't be more helpful... hopefully someone who has been there more recently will have more specific details.
    Buen viaje!

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    Thumbs up

    To BPL888:
    It seems that all in all you enjoyed the trip to Isla Saona. My question is: Did you go on a Saturday or Sunday? We are planning to go on a weekday, so we may avoid the tourist crowds on the weekends, besides October is not a great month for tourism on DR. What do you think? Colonial Tours quoted the US$75.00, but if we make it on our own to La Romana and return on our own to SD, they charge US$50.00 for the trip to Saona (with evrythinng included), but who wants to have to drive back to SD after a loong day of activities instead of relaxing on an air-conditioned bus? Thanks for narrating your experience!

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    Default More Info

    Latinorican, To the best of recolection I took the trip on a Thursday in January so it was high season. I think the AI's offer these trips everyday so I'm not sure the day of the week will matter. On the other hand I think most AI's rent thier rooms Saturday to Saturday so most people would not be on an excursion on the day they are comming or going. Maybe someone else can shed some light on this. I did find the bus, especially the trip back, to be a good idea as they were generous with the Cuba Libre's. I think $75 is a bit high but if you are comming from the capital maybe not. I myself would rather not be navigating into the capital with darkness approaching and a buzz on. There are several differant companies that run this type of tour so shop around. There may be a link to some of them on the Boca Chica web site. (try Google).

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    ok...i guess the extra 25 from the capitol isnt TERRIBLE...you couldnt really take a guagua to BC in the morning as they tour leaves around 7am i think. So if you are traveling from SD it is worth the extra $$ for the ease of the transport....ya'll are on vacation after all..so whats an extra 25.

    I cant see the difference between doing the trip weekday vs weekend as tourists are the only ones doing these AI tours..and for them its weekend 24/7.

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