Need to know some awesome places to snorkel around Barcelo Beach, and is it any good outside of Barcelo Bavaro Resort? :
The resort you are going to is not great for snorkeling, take an excursion, called the Marinarum and snorkel with the rays and sharks. It will be available from the resort your desk.
The dive / snorkel tour operators also have packages that take you to overland to the south coast. That’s not a long drive and the snorkeling is awesome. I’ve not done it myself but we met a man there a few years ago that did it and he loved it. He didn’t stop talking about it for 3 days…
I did the Marinarium a few years back and it was a blast, good time was ahd by all actually. I would do it again also
Is it less expensive to pay (book) BEFORE we go, or is it the same at the resort?
Personally, I’d book at the resort. Then you can talk to them about options and where you’ll be going. You’ll also get to play with weather conditions. I wouldn’t expect any pricing difference.
The Marinarium was a complete RIP-OFF!!! These young men had no idea what they were doing!!! There was NO instruction teaching people how to snorkel, we had 4 couples panick and get back on the boat. It was so RUSHED that we could not catch our breaths, we saw only 2 pens out of 4, and rush, rush, rush… got yelled at literally for TRYING to use my own camera on a sting ray… They thought we were al drunk after 2 shots of “poko-loco”? Played the music SO LOUD you couldn’t talk to each other… Went for the swim in the shallow water after the “so called snorkeling” (didn’t get to see any reef things, it was so rushed)there were about a dozen other “excursion boats” out there with their stereo’s FULL BLAST!!! THEY BROUGHT OUT ONE BEER TO EACH PERSON IN THE WATER (FROM THE TOUR)then we saw human “FECES” floating in the water coming towards us. EVERYONE started quickly swimming back to the boat. IT WAS AWFUL!!! THIS TOUR IS A TOTAL RIP-OFF!!! See if there is a more personal one on one way to see the nurse sharks and manta rays, we’re pretty sure there is.
I stay in Bavaro beach each winter for three months, just down the beach from the Barcelo I hire a local boat to take me and some friends out to the reefs and the natural pools. It costs 45 american per person group of three to eight max on the boat. No blaring music the captain is there for you and makes sure you can use the gear and bring lots of stale bread to feed the reef fish. There are many of these independent snorkel tour groups just explain to the operator what you want. The Barcelo Bavaro Palace deluxe is down the beach from my condo and I know they have a snorkel dive tour on site. the girl who runs it knows her stuff and when we used to do resorts and stay there we always hired them to take us out.
Any updates on this topic? My wife and I are spending a week at the Barceló Bávaro, in late Feb, and would love to go snorkeling, if there is anything to be seen. It will be our first time in DR. We have snorkeled in Cozumel several times, in the past. Thanks for the help.
It’s been a number of years since we’ve been to that end of the country. As I recall, most of the beach area(s) are behind a rather large reef. There’s not much to be seen on the beach proper, and the reef area has too many large breaking waves. There may be something to be seen, but it’s too rough and dangerous. Not only that, you have to swim through an area with lots of boat traffic to get there.
We’ve met a lot of avid snorkelers there that have booked snorkeling trips with the local operators. In almost all cases, they were trucked over to the south coast where the snorkeling was awesome, to use their words. The island isn’t all that wide at the east end so it’s not that long of an overland trip. Hope this helps.