The north coast of the Dominican Republic is a sports enthusiast heaven. The prevailing easterly wind and waves from the Atlantic make it perfect for surfing, wind surfing and, the increasingly popular, kite surfing. There are mountainous regions for trekking and cycling as well as waterfalls for canyoning.
Normally the conditions in the Atlantic would make scuba diving a challenge but the geography of the island has provided us with a perfect diving spot, Sosua Bay. The beautiful sandy beach faces west and the surrounding hills have created a large sheltered area away from the wind and waves.
This is an all year round dive destination. For most of the year the sea is very calm with great visibility. There are around 20 different dive sites which are accessed by boat and offer a good range of different diving options, suitable for all levels of diver.
One of the most well known of these is Airport wall. This area, which is at the end of the Puerto Plata airport runway, is so big that it actually has 3 distinct dive sites. The top of the wall ranges from 12m to 16m with the bottom reaching depths of up to 40m. The wall has spectacular corals and sponges which are home to a wonderful range of tropical fish. There are also swim-throughs and crevices to be explored.
For the advanced divers there is also a spectacular wreck. The Zingara Wreck was deliberately sunk 20 years ago for diving. When she was being towed into position she started to take on water before she reached her planned resting place. This means that she is sitting on her hull at 36m rather than the intended 20m. Over the years the corals have grown and she is now home to a flourishing colony of fish including a school of grey angel fish and a large green moray eel.
Most divers stay in the towns of Cabarete or Sosua so they are close to the dive shops that dive in the area. Cabarete is the home of the kite and surfing community and has a very cosmopolitan feel with great bars and restaurants which stay open late into the evening all along the beautiful beach. If you want to combine your diving with another water sport or you are looking for a more intimate, Caribbean experience this is the place to stay.
Sosua is a larger resort town where the day is spent on the beach (the beach is closed at dusk) and the night in the many bars that line the main street of Pedro Clisante. Here the atmosphere is loud and brash with singles and groups enjoying the mood.