Every destination I visit, I check where I can go diving. The ocean comes first, and then if it is more of an industrial or inland location, I check for lakes and other ideas of dive spots.
When planning my trip to Dominican Republic, Puerto Plata was chosen by my husband. I had to find us the best spot on the northern coast to dive. Even though the DR is in the Caribbean, it is actually the Atlantic Ocean that meets the coast at the northern shore.
On my hunt of where to dive in Puerto Plata, I honestly could not find much initially. Most of the beaches are rough, which means they are perfect for surfing and kite surfing. Still, I knew there had to be some coves or protected bay areas for exploration.
I finally found the perfect neighborhood outside downtown Puerto Plata – Sosua.
Sosua is quite the town, full of many bars, restaurants, and homes all in a few blocks radius. Between Santiago and Sosua, I did not see such a neighborhood. Think not a major city, but a small village that provides almost everything you need. It can be like the towns of Bermuda or the busy part of Key Largo. It is only 25 minutes from downtown Puerto Plata if you need access to other supplies or businesses.
The best part is, Sosua is in a protected bay area. Although it is located north, the land of DR curves and Sosua actually faces west. You can see the city of downtown Puerto Plata from there and the sunsets fall smack into the middle of the ocean.
There is the public, locals beach in Sosua as well as the two smaller cove beaches surrounded by cliffs at the Casa Marina Beach & Reef Resort. This is where I stayed, and I could not have been happier with my choice.
The second I saw the name of the resort in my Google search, I knew there had to be a reef nearby. From TripAdvisor reviews and the amount of dive shops (probably about 7 of them) that show up on Google Maps in Sosua, this is by far the #1 spot for diving in Puerto Plata.
After researching the dives, I could see that the reef dives are about 5 minutes out by boat. There is no shore diving ( I asked), as it is too much paddling out to the reef and the waves may get a bit rough at times. There are cliffs that surround the beaches for the waves to crash on and to break the wake. On the roughest day I saw, the waves were still not big enough to surf but they were small and sharply would crash on you. A girl broke her leg on the beach when getting sucked under a wave!
From Sosua, the dive boats go out even further to caves and other dives following the coastline. For those dives, you need to book in advance so they get the boat ready, but the reef by the beach is actually amazing. The clarity was better than I expected, and you could see about 60 feet away. When I snorkeled the first time, I could tell it gets deep fast and is very clear.
Stay tuned to hear more about the diving and ocean fun in Sosua!
Have you visited Sosua?