Bahia Principe, Cayo Levantado, Samaná Province, Dominican Repuplic.
Coordinates in degrees decimal: N 19.166397, E -69.277031.
Visited in November 2018. Photographer: Nigel Thomas. Cameras: Olympus Tough T5, Pentax WG-II and Sea & Sea 1G with DX1G housing.
Cayo Levantado is a small Island south east of Samana in the Dominican Republic. It lies in the North Atlantic Ocean. The resort has one main private beach on the southern coast of the island, while the western coast is a large public access area with two beaches. Snorkelling from all of these beaches is easy and a snorkelling boat trip is also offered by the resort, at a price.
The island is subject to swell from the Atlantic (to the east) for most of the year and has a maximum tidal range of just over one metre. This results in some unpleasant wave conditions on some of the beaches, if exposed to the easterly winds, particularly on the biggest tides. The other consequence is that the visibility is often reduced and may take several days to clear.
Marine diversity is not high, with approximately 110 species recorded over the period of 10 days. The species groups with the greatest diversity were the algae and the reef fish. Despite an overall low diversity some unusual species were noted including a brightly coloured local variant of the Hairy Blenny as well as multiple colours and forms, of the Beaded Anemone.