- Where to Go
- The Best of the Dominican Republic
- A Nature Lover’s Dominican Trek
- The Sexiest Dominican Beaches
- Historical Dominican Road Trip
- A Dominican Culture Tour
- Carnaval and Its Masks
- Planning Your Dominican Wedding
- Dominican Adventures
- Golfing the Dominican Republic
- Dominican Music and Dance
- La Ruta del Mango
- Day-Tripping in Monte Plata
- The Best Small Resorts
Isla Catalina is the second largest island off the southeastern coast of the Dominican Republic. Named “Toeya” by the Taíno, it was renamed in honor of Saint Catalina by Columbus. Its beaches are powdery white and its waters are shallow and warm. The island itself is uninhabited, but the coral reef just offshore is populated by many sea creatures, which makes for a good afternoon of diving or snorkeling.
The island is just two kilometers off the coast of La Romana and is mainly accessed via Casa de Campo’s shuttle boats (about a 45-minute boat ride). This resort has set up a restaurant and bar on the island, making it all very civilized. Other excursion companies from Boca Chica, Juan Dolio, Bayahibe, Punta Cana, and the surrounding areas can arrange a trip for you as well. This has become a very popular day-trip destination.
Isla Catalina is used by many cruise ships as a stopping point for their patrons to stretch their sea legs and get in a day of snorkeling and hiking. The highest elevation on the island is seven meters above sea level. Diving excursions are possible off the coast of Isla Catalina at the drop-off called The Wall, where scads of fish and coral can be seen along the vertical plunge, which starts at 5 meters and dips down to a depth of 40 meters.
© Ana Chavier Caamaño from Moon Dominican Republic, 4th edition