Like Punta Cana Ecological Park , Marinarium Marine Park (Cabeza de Toro/Bávaro, tel. 809/689-5183, www.marinarium.com , US$72/adult and US$36/ages 2–12) is another simultaneously fun, educational, and ecotourism-minded activity. A half-day cruise with the Marinarium starts with your Safari Express from your hotel to the launching point along the coast at Cabeza de Toro.
After boarding what looks like a giant pontoon boat with a viewing chamber on the bottom (watch the fish and coral go by!), you’ll take a short ride to the controlled section in the ocean, which stretches for some 40,000 square meters and reaches depths of three meters. You’ll snorkel with sharks, rays, and much more tropical marine life.
Even though it is a little spendy, it is a good excursion for families. Cost includes drinks, snacks, and snorkel gear. Kids also enjoy the educational trip back to shore with a chance to win a free T-shirt. English, Spanish, and French are spoken. Reservations are necessary and can only be made through hotel excursion desks.
Adults and teens (over 13) can go on the half-day Reef Explorer excursion (US$89) to a floating island where you can have a snorkeling tour on the reef, have a close encounter with stingrays, take a kayak, or lounge in the water on floating mats. You can even get a relaxing massage. There is a health bar with fruit juices and snacks.