#1 thing to do in Punta Cana
We did a lot of things while we were in Punta Cana “for business.” The number one thing we did though was book a semi private tour with Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures. I looked up on Trip Advisor to see what kind of stuff we could do and I really wanted to take Torie snorkeling. Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures was ranked #1 on Trip Advisor so after reading the reviews I booked a tour on their website while we were in Punta Cana.
Their website is pretty easy to use. Immediately, there is a pop-up that asks you if you want a private tour or a semi private tour. Once you make your choice it then ask for you dates you are staying in Punta Cana and what resort you are staying at. Based on your answers their system populates some tour options and prices.
As long as your resort is relatively close they pick you up and drop you off right at the resort for free. Nice air conditioned van and they have a new bus. I chose the date I wanted from their options which was a morning tour as opposed to an afternoon tour.
I was thinking about avoiding mid-day sun.
I paid online through PayPal, but I chose to pay by credit card. They only charge you half up front and you can pay the other half when you arrive by cash or they will email you a link to pay the remaining balance online, which is what I did.
The day of our tour was perfect, but if the weather had been so bad the tour had to be canceled they would refund your money which is good to know. The only time they wouldn’t refund your money is if you didn’t show up, which is on you.
We stayed at the Royalton and the ride over was only about 15 minutes long. When we arrived we met with a few more people that arrived from another bus that came from the opposite direction. We were greeted by the staff and they were super friendly. They gave us a run down as to what to expect and we had the option to use the restroom before we headed off to the boat.
You get served seafood for lunch during the trip, but if you don’t do a whole lot of seafood like me they ask and will cook you a ton of polo (chicken). They actually give you a ton of food and drinks in general and it’s all good.
You will always have a drink in your hand unless you don’t want one.
We walked out to the beach and hopped on a smallish boat that then took us out to a larger catamaran that was very nice. We had less than 25 people with us and there was plenty of space to spread out. As soon as we were on board they started handing out drinks. They recommended no alcohol prior to snorkeling, but if you wanted it they’d give it to you. We chose to stay alcohol free the entire time and the drinks were still very good.
The first stop was to snorkel and it took about 15 minutes to get to the reef. The staff was hilariously entertaining and there was music and yet it was still peaceful.
Once we got to the reef we were handed our gear and jumped it. We were all loosely guided over the reef and we were each given a ball of fish food if we wanted. This wasn’t the best snorkeling, but for being in Punta Cana is was cool. There was a small reef and there were a lot of fish while they were being feed.
The overall experience of the trip is what made this so great.
After about a hour of snorkeling we were all back on the boat and headed to another location on the beach to watch a man slice fresh coconuts with a machete in his hand. They poured some sugar and some rum if you wanted it and gave us all fresh drinks.
The loco was the alcohol so we had coco with no loco. For the rest of the trip when we were offered drinks we could just say “no loco.”
From here we went back on the boat and headed down the coast line to another location. While we were in route to the next spot we were served with platters of food. A ton of food, I had chicken and they gave me four large pieces. The seafood platters had even more food and then they came back by and served even more.
They didn’t let you go hungry.
By just about the time we got done eating we arrived at the cove were we docked near other boats and just hung out in the water. The water was only about 4 feet deep and it was the perfect temperature. They had a floating bar and made sure everyone had a drink if they wanted. Torie and I got to pass a football around which was pretty cool while we all just hung out.
We noticed when other boats showed up they were completely packed with people, sometimes obnoxious people. The boats looked like they were stuffed with people, which was the complete opposite of our tour with Hispaniola Aquatic Tours and it made it just that much better.
After a little while we got back on the boat and headed back. A good half the day spent out at sea but not very far. Prior to getting back on the smaller boat to take us back to the beach we were told about the merchants that would try to sell us stuff. They said we could buy or not buy that they were not affiliated but if you did want to buy something to not take too long because once everyone was back to the van or bus they were taking us back.
The owner of Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures greeted us upon our return.
The whole day was awesome and I couldn’t think of anything that could have been any better. The perks just kept coming though. I noticed “Spaghetti” was his name was taking pictures the entire time. He also took pictures under water while we were snorkeling. he took posed pictures and candid pictures throughout the entire excursion. The taking pictures is very common and everywhere you go in Punta Cana people are trying to take your pictures for one reason, to sell them to you.
Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures did not try to sell us any of the pictures they took of us.
Not only did they not try to sell us pictures, but they took it a whole step farther by posting all the pictures they took on their Facebook page. From what I can remember they didn’t even promote this, but I had already seen their Facebook page and knew that is what they did, but they took it another step farther which surprised me and email me a links to view all the pictures on their Facebook page. Now if I wouldn’t have already seen the pictures and got email this link and this link I would have been ecstatic.
I was impressed before with Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures and them emailing me a link to see all the pictures of my trip after I had returned home was pretty awesome. They also do a very good job of encouraging people to review on Trip Advisor which explains why they have so many reviews. Just understand the good reviews are absolutely justified and if you find yourself in Punta Cana I’d encourage you to take a tour with Hispaniola Aquatic Adventures.
Our semi-private tour with about 25 people was only $99 per person which included unlimited food and drinks and entertainment. It included transportation to and from your resort, a coco loco drink made fresh on the beach by a guy with a machete, snorkeling and hanging out with good people. Not to mention the pictures they take for your memories.
If you have kids you are probably wondering if the tour would be appropriate for your little ones, the answer is yes absolutely. Our trip didn’t have any kids on it and it was pretty mellow, even with one girl celebrating her 30th birthday. If you look through their Facebook photos though you’ll see pictures with kids of all ages, since their is fewer people on board I’d feel safer with my kids on this tour than any others I saw while we were out there.
What stood out?
Top notch customer service, verything was easy, everything was enclusive and it was fun. Every other activity we did in Punta Can had someone trying to charge us for photos, including the memories was just over the top.
Look them up for yourself and let them give you a great time.