Catalina Island, Dominican Republic | Cruise port of call | CruiseBe
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Catalina Island, Dominican Republic

Catalina Island or Isla Catalina is a tropical island located 1.5 miles from the mainland on the south-east corner of the Dominican Republic, near La Altagracia and La Romana. It is an occasional destination for cruise ships on Caribbean routes. In particular, 

Geography

The island itself is only 9.6 square kilometers in size, and is a diverse preservation of eco-systems including sand dunes, mangroves, and reefs. Formed out of coral stone, the island contains three overlapping plateaus. The highest elevation on the island is only 60 feet above sea level. The seas around the Island are rich in wildlife, with many species of birds and tropical marine fish, and there are large areas where natural sandbars offshore bring the depth to just a few feet.

History

The island was... Read more

Catalina Island, Dominican Republic

Destination:

Catalina Island or Isla Catalina is a tropical island located 1.5 miles from the mainland on the south-east corner of the Dominican Republic, near La Altagracia and La Romana. It is an occasional destination for cruise ships on Caribbean routes. In particular, 

Geography

The island itself is only 9.6 square kilometers in size, and is a diverse preservation of eco-systems including sand dunes, mangroves, and reefs. Formed out of coral stone, the island contains three overlapping plateaus. The highest elevation on the island is only 60 feet above sea level. The seas around the Island are rich in wildlife, with many species of birds and tropical marine fish, and there are large areas where natural sandbars offshore bring the depth to just a few feet.

History

The island was baptized "Santa Catalina" by Christopher Columbus, who visited it in May, 1494.

William Kidd's Quedagh Merchant

On December 13, 2007, the shipwreck of a 17th-century merchant vessel was found at a depth of three meters roughly 70 meters off of the island. It is has since been identified as William Kidd's 1699 Quedagh Merchant, also known as the Cara Merchant, according to Kidd's original testimony during his trial prior to his hanging on May 23, 1701. A team of researchers from Indiana University led by Charles Beeker, Director of the Office of Underwater Science at Indiana University, first discovered the wreckage in 2007 and have since established a Marine Protected Area in an attempt to preserve both the archaeological remains of the shipwreck and its surrounding reef ecosystem. The famed shipwreck has been nominated as a Living Museum in the Sea. Living Museums in the Sea is a program started by Charles Beeker, with the goal of protecting submerged cultural and biological resources around the world, while also giving back to the public and local communities.

In a partnership with the Children's Museum of Indianapolis and the Officina Nacional de Patrimonio Cultural Subacuatico (ONPCS), Indiana University successfully recovered one of the 26 cannons found on the wreckage of the Quedagh Merchant. The cannon is now on display at the "National Geographic: Treasures of the Earth" exhibit in Indianapolis. At the Children's Museum of Indianapolis, Indiana University students conduct public outreach, teaching the museum's visitors not just about the Quedagh Merchant but the history of the country, maritime history, artifact conservation, archaeology, and the importance of protecting our planet's submerged cultural and biological resources.

Tourism

The island is a popular destination. There are daily ships traveling to Catalina from La Romana. 


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Catalina Island, Dominican Republic: Port Information


 Costa Cruises has a private beach on the island. Their ships anchor offshore and transport passengers to shore via tender.

Get around Catalina Island, Dominican Republic


It is a tiny island, and you can easily explore it on foot. 
Besides, you can get to ​La Romana on a ship. By the way, many cruise passengers who want to explore the island arrive at the port of La Romana.

What to see in Catalina Island, Dominican Republic


Enjoy wild nature, beautiful beaches, and incredible scenery. 
  • Captain Kidd’s Underwater Live Museum

What to do in Catalina Island, Dominican Republic


The Catalina Island beach has white fine sand and nice looking crystal clear water. The sea has corals very close to the shore which attracts people for spending their leisure time on the sunbeds and snorkeling.

What to eat and drink in Catalina Island, Dominican Republic


You can enjoy dining in cozy cafes, bars, and restaurants in nearby La Romana. There you'll find options for every taste. However, how about lunch right on the beach on Catalina Island?

Food in the Dominican Republic is typical Caribbean fare, with lots of tropical fruits, rice, beans, and seafood. Most restaurant meals will cost an additional 16% tax plus 10% service: for very good service, it is customary to leave an additional 10%.

Shopping in Catalina Island, Dominican Republic


There are several shops on the island, where you can buy gifts and souvenirs.
For more shopping option, visit La Romana.

Safety in Catalina Island, Dominican Republic


The Dominican Republic is generally a safe country.
Still you need to take common sense precautions:
  • Try to avoid being alone in cities as muggings are fairly common.
  • Very few streets are lit after dark.
  • Wild dogs are common throughout the country but largely ignore people (feeding these dogs is not recommended as this may induce aggressive behavior).
  • Western travelers should dress casually and remove rings and other jewelry when away from tourist destinations, but common tourist destinations, particularly the more expensive and the luxury hotels and areas, are very safe.
  • There are no laws dictating the maximum amount of alcohol that can be drunk prior to driving. However, there is a 0.05% limit for professional drivers. Be wary of vehicles, especially during the late evening, as there is a much higher possibility at that time that the driver is intoxicated. It is illegal for tourists and visitors to drink and drive and besides it being a bad idea you may be penalized for doing so.
  • The level of professionalism of the National Police is somewhat debatable. To protect income from tourism, the government has established the Politur or "tourist police" for the safety of foreign tourists. Travelers should contact this agency if any problems are encountered as they will have a much more positive response than with the national police.

Stay healthy

Malaria can be a rare issue around rainforests if travelers don't take protective measures such as repellents against mosquito bites. No cases have been reported over the past 8 years within the tourist areas. Be sure to consult with a physician before departure.

There is a risk of dengue fever and chikungunya fever which is contracted through mosquitoes that bite during the day and during some seasons of the year. No vaccine is available, so again using mosquito repellent is advisable.

Many of the local foods are safe to eat including the meats, fruits, and vegetables.

Visitors, however, should not drink any of the local water and should stay with bottled water or other beverages. It is important for visitors to stay hydrated in the hot, humid climate.

Sunburn and sun poisoning are a great risk. The sun is very bright here. Use at least SPF30 sunblock. Limit sun exposure.

The country's adult HIV/AIDS prevalence is reaching 2.0% or 1 in 50 adults, which is almost 3 times higher than the USA.

Respect

Dominicans are kind and peaceful people. Attempts at speaking Spanish are a good sign of respect for the local people. Be polite, show respect, and do your best to speak the language, and you will be treated with kindness.

Avoid talking about Haiti. Although relations have improved, many Dominicans, particularly of the older generations, harbor resentment towards Haitians. Santo Domingo was invaded and occupied by Haiti for a good part of the 19th century, and the Dominican Republic actually fought its first war of independence against Haiti, not Spain, after which the Dominican Republic faced several other invasions from its neighbor.

Trujillo's dictatorship massacred tens of thousands of Haitians in the 1930s, which fueled the resentment between both nations. Nowadays, about a million Haitians (which is a lot considering the small populations of either country) live in the Dominican Republic, most of them illegally. Some Dominicans' opinions towards illegal immigrants from Haiti are similar to some Americans' attitudes towards Mexican illegal immigrants, with the major difference that, unlike the US, the Dominican Republic is a small and poor country by world standards, but still much much richer and more stable than Haiti. Gang wars can erupt along the border, so stay cautious and be sensitive.

Still, the issues remain very complex and Dominicans often find their position to be misunderstood by foreigners. For example, the Dominican Republic was the first country to come to Haiti's aid in the 2010 Haitian earthquake and has made impressive efforts to help its neighbor during this crisis. This shows that despite their historical, linguistic, religious, cultural and ethnic differences, Haitians and Dominicans still consider each other to be brotherly, yet proudly independent, nations.

It is advisable to tip for most services. The Dominican Republic is still a fairly poor country and tipping the people who serve you helps them better their sometimes dire economic situation.

 

Language spoken in Catalina Island, Dominican Republic


The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish. You will find some Spanish-English bilingual locals tourist areas. If you speak some Spanish, most Dominicans will try hard to meet you half way and communicate. If you have a problem, you can probably find someone who speaks sufficient English (or probably French and possibly German, Italian or Russian) to help you out. Dominicans are quite friendly and will be quite helpful if you are polite and respectful. Haitians living in the DR may speak Haitian Creole and you may hear a few African and Arawakan words interspersed with the Spanish, especially in rural areas. Communication should not be a problem even for those who speak only a minimum of Spanish.

LOCAL TIME

8:21 pm
June 25, 2019
America/Santo_Domingo

CURRENT WEATHER

27.13 °C / 80.834 °F
moderate rain
Wed

28.27 °C/83 °F
moderate rain
Thu

27.97 °C/82 °F
moderate rain
Fri

29.01 °C/84 °F
moderate rain
Sat

29.75 °C/86 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

DOP

1 USD = 0 DOP
1 EUR = 0 DOP
1 GBP = 0 DOP
1 AUD = 0 DOP
1 CAD = 0 DOP

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