Isla Saona – The jewel in the crown of the Dominican Republic
Isla Saona is considered by many to be the jewel in the crown of the Dominican Republic. In fact, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the entire Caribbean, attracting millions of thousands of visitors each year. Fortunately, it’s also an easy day trip from Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic’s most popular vacation spot.
Saona Island is not accessible by car, but tour operators and others offer daily boat trips. The quality of these organized tours varies widely, so do some research before choosing the one you want to take, or get a strong recommendation from someone who has been on the tour you’re considering.
Incredibly beautiful beaches are the biggest attractions of Saona Island. The most famous beach is called Canto de la Playa. Many movie directors and commercials have shot scenes on this beach. This includes scenes from the Hollywood blockbuster, “Pirates of the Caribbean.” The white sand beaches are lined with spectacular groves of coconut palms. When you go, you may be lucky enough to receive a message with coconut oil harvested on the island. Some excursions to the island also offer a barbecue on the beach with delicious traditional Dominican food.
Another popular attraction on Saona Island is the picturesque town of Mano Juan, located on the southwestern side of the island. These are the only people living on the island and there are only about 400 residents. If you are lucky enough to be on the top rated Saona Island tour, you will be invited to tour the village. The only electricity they have is what a few solar panels can provide. As you enter the village, the first thing you’ll notice is the line of brightly colored wooden houses and buildings. This provides the perfect photo opportunity. You can also get to see the sea turtle conservation project in which the children of the town are involved.
Today’s Isla Saona is also known as “Isla Saona” in the predominantly Spanish-speaking Dominican Republic. Increasingly, however, Dominicans are pushing to call Saona Island “Adamanay,” which is its original indigenous Taíno name. The Taíno people occupied the island in pre-Columbian times and their language belongs to the Arawak language family, which includes several South American indigenous languages. You can also see other Adamanay phonetic spellings.
Whatever name you personally decide to call Isla Saona, I am sure that the experience of going there will affect you deeply. The landscape of the island and the people of Mano Juan will captivate your soul and fill your mind with memories that will live in your heart forever.