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a beach with palm trees

“Have you never been to Isla Saona?? Really, didn´t you go, you must go!!” This is something you might hear a few times when you are visiting or living in Punta Cana.

Most people go to Isla Saona for a day. But wouldn´t it be adventurous to do things a bit differently and spend a few nights on the beach there? In this edition of BOP places, we strip you away from luxury and have you experiencing beach life in a totally different way!

Tropical bliss on Isla Saona

A popular day trip to Isla Saona would be driving to Bayahíbe first. This is a fishermen’s village, with a laidback vibe. Bayahíbe is around a 40-minute drive from Punta Cana. We will dedicate an article on this village soon, in which we share our best local spots.

From Bayahibe you are able to take a boat to Isla Saona (40 to 45 minutes). A tropical island located in front of the south-east coast of the Dominican Republic. If you were born in the eighties and lived in Europe you would probably recognize it from the commercials of the chocolate brand Bounty. For the ones who were born years later, just imagine the first thing that comes to mind when you think about a tropical island. We assure you it is all there. Clearblue water, palm trees, flamingos, turtles, fresh fish and more.

On the common boat tour, you will make a stop on the way to visit the natural pool and do some snorkeling. A place in the sea where the water is shallow and gives you the feeling of being in a swimming pool. Seeing giant starfish on the bottom of the clear blue seawater will have you thinking you are dreaming. Just one little BOP tip. Picking up starfish can harm them as a result. Just admire them in their natural habitat and let them lay down in peace.

Sleep on the beach

Usually, the one day-trippers leave Isla Saona after a day full of activities. You, on the other hand, will stay on the island. Do not expect a luxurious hotel, leave your high standards behind instead and go more basic. Casa Rural El Paraíso is the place where you can do just that. Located on the beach in the small Mano Juan village, it is a simple Bed & Breakfast, with 10 private rooms that have a bathroom.

Special place

“We are the only place located in the middle of the nature reserve on the beach”, owner  Sara explains. “Here you can disconnect. There is no signal for your phone, so do not expect to get incoming calls. If you really want to call, there are antennas in the village, that will get your phone to work when you are close to them. We also support a local guy who invests his time in preserving sea life. When it is turtle season our guests can go with him at night and set baby turtles free in the sea. Or they can see turtles lay eggs on the beach! Turtle season is from March till the end of November. You can also see flamingos in a Salty pink lagoon, which is actually quite rare.”

Do not know how to get there? Give Casa Rural El Paraíso a call (+1 809 401 6346)  and they can arrange transport by boat for you.

Casa Rural El Paraíso is located on C/ Principal s/n, Pueblo de Mano Juan, Isla Saona, Mano Juan 23000

We loved this special place!  Tell us about your experience of sleeping on Isla Saona and we will feature it on BOP.

Photo: Casa Rural El Paraíso