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Punta Cana DIY snorkeling?

Can anyone provide me with information on inexpensive closeby (walking, short taxi ride) snorkeling options?  We are planning on staying at the VIK arena blanca on BAVARO Beach and hoping to spend most afternoons in the region snorkeling.  We like to do our own thing and not very interested in the full day excursions that may involve one-two hours snorkeling, but instead finding places where we can spend most of the day snorkeling on our own timetable.

Any input would be really appreciated.

Also have read that small boats will take you snorkeling, will pick up up on Bavaro shore and take you to the reef off shore.  How much does this cost, any websites, and what is the snorkeling like?

Thank you

Don’t shoot the messenger, but …
In my humble opinion, snorkeling isn’t all that great anywhere in the Punta Cana area. Yes, there are some spots to be found, but none of them are what I consider good.

  1. The reefs are quite a ways off the beach. They’re very exposed and there’s about 3000 miles of ocean between them and land on the other side. Not much gets past the reef and for that reason you won’t find seashells on the beach. It’s usually pretty rough out there and you are in danger of being dashed into the coral by the large waves. I saw one of the hotel’s Hobie Cat boats get dumped out there and when it came off the reef the sail looked like last years laundry. He was lucky and didn’t get seriously hurt. Hope he took out the insurance.
  2. As I said, the reefs are quite a ways offshore. Once you swim past the hotel marked swimming area, there’s a lot (and I mean a lot) of boat traffic. Your head isn’t particularly visible to the boat operator, assuming he’s even looking.
  3. We met some avid snorkelers a few years back (at another hotel, not the VIK). They booked several day packages that went to the south coast and were for serious snorkeling. They said it wasn’t all that expensive and that the snorkeling was fantastic. And, the island isn’t all that wide at the east end so the drive wasn’t particularly long. The trips were arranged through the water-sports people at the hotel.
    So, you can snorkel near the hotel on a DIY basis, but I don’t think you’ll find it particularly enjoyable.