By Victoria Curiel
Cayo Arena (also called Paradise Key) is one of the most beautiful and heavenly corners of the Dominican Republic.
This coral key is located northwest in the Dominican Republic, right on the shore of Punta Rucia, in Puerto Plata province. Incredibly astonish, this small key is so beautiful that people would think they are in a dream. Just imagine lying on the sun in a lost little island surrounded by white sand beaches with water so crystalline that you can see the bottom with incredible detail and the ocean color shifts from blue turquoise to aqua.
This sand bank is surrounded by coral reef, emerging from the Atlantic Ocean, is reachable just 30 mins., by boat off Punta Rucia’s shore; during the trip you will enjoy the wonderful and colorful nature of this virgin Mangle reserve. It is frequently visited by hundreds of tourists; Furthermore, this place is a Nature’s marvel and a true Caribbean paradise. It is hard to tell the extend of this key due to its constant shrinking and expansion, depending on the marine currents season.
Cayo Arena is located in one of the driest zones of the Dominican Republic.
We encourage you to do this wonderful tour, which can be purchased through a tour operator or it could be planned by yourself leaving from Santo Domingo or any other starting point in the Country and then taking the main route north or just direct yourself to Puerto Plata, while enjoying on the way beautiful mountain landscapes and vegetation from the middle island; if you are coming from Santo Domingo, make a pit-stop in Bonao or in Santiago de los Caballeros, second largest city in the Country.
Go on the road until reach Punta Rucia, a charming small fisher’s town on the coast of Puerto Plata; Punta Rucia’s beach is located on La Isabela Bay, a zone known for its magnificent white sand beaches and for having one of the driest desert-like terrains in this Country.
Once you make it, go on board in a tour boat; during the boat trip enjoy the flora and fauna of the aquatic tour while visiting this national park, the trip will take you through mangles of amazing natural colors’. If you are really lucky, you could have a close encounter with a Manatee, also known as Sea Cows, they are mammals of the Sirenias order but only this specie survives today. The word Manatee is an actual Caribbean Indians word that means “with mammas”.
After 45 minutes enjoying this unforgettable boat tour, your lanch will finally arrive to Cayo Arena, the fascinating piece of sand beach in which, according to your wishes, there will be time to do snorkeling and observe many species of fishes of all colors, take pictures around, go into the crystal-clear waters, have a chat with local fishermen that arrive to the key or just relax lying on its fine sand beaches. ENJOY!
Translating: Eduardo Houellemont C.