Reef Explorer

The Dominican Republic offers some crazy, cool excursions for tourists – giving them the opportunity to enjoy different options all over the country. My husband and I decided to go on an excursion when we were down there the second week of July. After looking through the options available, we decided to try The Reef Explorer.

The Reef Explorer is an excursion that is ran by the Marinarium located outside of the Punta Cana area. The Reef Explorer is a VIP exclusive excursion that includes transportation to and from your resort to the Marinarium, roughly 3 ½ hours in the Caribbean on a floating island, lunch, nonalcoholic drinks including smoothies, snorkeling gear, a 20 minute massage, and a long list of additional activities.

I must admit; I was extremely nervous about the thought of swimming with sharks! I honestly thought I had lost my mind when I agreed to do this. There was no turning back when the shuttle picked us up from the lobby of our resort. We were off on an adventure that would seriously change the way I thought about life.

Upon arriving at the Marinarium, we were loaded onto a speedboat that took us about a ½ mile offshore to a floating playground. Three levels of platforms allowed plenty of space and shade for us to relax and admire the amazing scenery. The one thing I loved about this excursion was that we were not on a set schedule and were free to do the activities we wanted, when we wanted to, and for as long as we wanted to. We enjoyed kayaking and paddle boarding. We relaxed on the loungers and ate sandwiches. We snorkeled in the open Caribbean Sea. The only thing we had left to do was to swim with the sharks and stingrays.

We spent most of our time in the enclosed areas where the sharks and stingrays were located. It was by far the greatest thing I have ever been able to do! Nurse sharks, some longer than my husband’s height (6’3’’), stingrays, starfish, sea urchins, conches, and a large variety of fish allowed us more than 2 hours of snorkeling fun. I can’t wait to return, with my children, and do this exact excursion again!

I highly recommend The Reef Explorer for those who want the freedom to choose their activities and how long they want to do each one. Overall, the Marinarium is a great tour company that offers several different excursion options in the Dominican Republic. – Amity Dobbs

Swim with the Nurse Sharks.