Saona Island is absolutely considered ‘the place to go’ in the Dominican Republic. It has dreamy beaches, it’s stacked with coconut palms and it featured on a Bounty advert. It’s quite literally paradise. That said, it does have a few cons to balance out its pros, which I’ll sum up later in the post. For now, here’s everything you need to know about our trip to Saona Island.
Who did we book with?
There are so many companies that offer this trip, you could lose a whole day of your holiday just deciding. I’ve heard that if you go with recommended local companies you’ll get way more for your money, but being the untrustworthy person that I am, I’d rather have some sort of fallback. In this case, a worldwide company like TUI. As we booked our holiday with TUI we had access to their excursions, so we chose them at our welcome meeting on day one.
What our trip cost
Generally trips start around £50 depending on who you go with. They can get really pricey though. With TUI, the Saona Supreme is about £95 per person. With this you get you own piece of beach and slightly fancier food, apparently. I heard the word lobster and wasn’t bothered, so we chose the Saona Simple package instead, which cost just under £60 each.
What our TUI trip included
- Early pick up at around 7am/8am depending on your hotel location
- Coach to Bayahibe Marina with a toilet stop
- Speedboat to the Caribbean’s largest natural pool (20-minute journey and 45-minute stop)
- Speedboat onto the Island (10 minute journey and 2.5 hour stop)
- Lunch and unlimited rum/beer/soda on the beach
- Catamaran back to Bayahibe Marina (2-hour journey)
- Coach back to your hotel with a toilet stop
Pros and cons of Saona and the trip
Pros: seriously stunning location so make sure you explore, great range of food on the beach, unlimited drinks is a nice touch, free sun loungers on the beach, excellent and knowledgeable guide (shout-out to Obama, if you know you know), great party vibes on the catamaran and a good mix of transport to keep the day interesting.
Cons: it’s a long day at least 12 hours, the coach transport means you will stop at tons of other hotels if you’re the first pick up and last trop off, we didn’t get to see the starfish that everyone raves about, the island’s beach is super busy, the Insta-worthy pina coladas in pineapples are seriously overpriced at $10 each and the toilets although maintained were a bit nasty.
Things to note if you go to Saona
- Book the trip when you’re there so you can plan it around the weather
- Sneak some supplies out of the breakfast buffet for the coach journey
- Also take some bottled water from your hotel room
- Take a book or music for the coach trips
- Take sun cream for your sun cream because the UV rays don’t play out there
- Take your camera and a GoPro if you have one because you’ll want to capture it all
- Take towels to use on the beach’s sun loungers
- Take a hat because a peeling scalp isn’t cute
Find out more about the trip with TUI here – and let me know what you think of Saona Island if you’ve been!
How would I rate the TUI Simple Saona trip?