Paradise Lost and Found: Experiencing Cayo Paraiso

I recently returned from a family vacation to Dominican Republic’s Playa Dorada resort area. As many know, an all-inclusive resort experience is its own source of entertainment (and amusement) but even with all the organized activities and nightly stage performances one eventually feels the urge to roam a little farther. So after having spent one day exploring Puerto Plata itself, we organized a group trip to Cayo Paraiso.

We managed to tour Puerto Plata on the cheap so for our trip to Cayo Paraiso (or Paradise Island), which required a one-hour bus transfer to the starting point of the tour, we splurged a little and booked the VIP excursion.

The day started early with a coach ride through the north-western part of the island’s tropical countryside en route to Punta Rusia, a small fishing village. Here our group was treated to lunch on the beach before boarding a luxury cruiser to head out into the turquoise waters. Mid-way to the main attraction of the day the drinks started flowing and everyone was handed a water noodle to jump in and enjoy a bevy in the middle of the beautiful Caribbean.

After the refreshing dip the group climbed back on board and as the boat continued on everyone relaxed in the warm sun and enjoyed the views and refreshments. Before we knew it, Cayo Paraiso started to come into view.

Cayo Paraiso is a natural sandbar ringed with a stunning coral reef that claims some of the best snorkelling in the Dominican Republic. It was like approaching an oasis of white sand amidst an ocean of blue water. The view just kept getting better as we approached.

Cayo Paraiso

Cayo Paraiso

Everyone hopped off the boat to enjoy the pristine beach before throwing on their snorkelling gear and heading back into the water to enjoy the tropical fish and colours of the coral reef that was surrounding us.

There was plenty of time to enjoy the island paradise but it was still hard to leave when the crew gave the signal to return to the boat. Heading back we were taken for a short tour of the mangroves in Monte Cristi National Park. The day trip to paradise had come to an end. IMG_0744

So why the title, ‘Paradise Lost and Found…‘? Well, my little group certainly felt as though they had found a little slice of paradise that day. I however, lost out on the experience. I didn’t even make it onto the bus transfer at the resort. Instead, I was on an impromptu day trip to the hospital with my 4-year-old. We too had a comfortable transfer to our destination (an ambulance) and even received a souvenir from our experience. I highly recommend the Cayo Paraiso trip over the Hospital though, you’ll go home with much better pictures.


Thank-you to my husband for sharing the details and photos of the trip to Cayo Paraiso. I almost feel as though I was there too. Almost. And don’t worry, my daughter is now perfectly fine.

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