Saona Island annually receives around one million tourists and 20% are local
Located 19 kilometers south of the mainland, the beautiful beaches of Isla Saona attract more visitors than all Dominican national parks combined. A protected area of 110 km2 and part of the Cotubanamá National Park, formerly Parque Nacional del Este, Saona is a dreamy tropical escape, where extensive beaches of brilliant white sand and giant coconut trees seem to melt into iridescent turquoise waters. You can make day trips to enjoy the beaches through a variety of options ranging from speedboats to catamarans. Sailing along the stunning landscape of Saona is something worthwhile.
There are 2,500 visitors every day to Saona Island, around one million people each year, of which only 20% are local tourists.
That is why the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources promotes the attractions of this park, located in the provinces of La Romana and La Altagracia, with a total area of 420 square kilometers.
The island is inhabited by around 500 people in 110 homes, in the community of Mano Juan, and as more people visit it more opportunities to improve their economic status have the villagers.
Most of the excursions start from the beach of Bayahíbe village. Excursions to Saona include a stop at Palmilla, a stretch of white sand with a large natural pool, and another stop at Mano Juan, the only populated part of this island. Isla Saona is also the most important nesting site for turtles in the Dominican Republic.