Things to Do and See in Punta Cana, DR: Five Famous Shipwrecks

The island of La Hispaniola was a favorite among pirates and buccaneers in the 18th century.

Do you remember when you were little and you read those pirate stories, names like Barbarossa, John Cook, Red Legs Greaves or Calico Jack? Their bravery and sassiness is still heard up until today and has inspired many songs and films like the Pirates of the Caribbean saga.

Now, put together the amazing blue waters of the Caribbean sea and pirates, treasures and ships, do a little math and what do you get? Shipwrecks! And the Caribbean has plenty of stories and hidden treasures to be found!

In recent years the Dominican Republic made it to the headlines when a Florida based group found what they thought was the oldest shipwreck in the Caribbean since by just scratching the surface they got about 700 coins dating back from 1535, that means that the wreck has been laying down the ocean for at least 450 years.

Wether the finding is true or false, is still unknown since the last information on the shipwreck came out in 2011 but one thing is for certain: you never know what you can find in the pristine waters of the Caribbean. Places like Punta Cana welcome divers from all corners of the world eager to discover what’s underneath.

Here are 5 shipwrecks that lay close to the Dominican Republic’s coast:

  • The Astron: Somehow a “young” wreck that broke in two and sunk in 1978 not far from the coast of Punta Cana, it can actually be seen from the beach.
  • Conde de Tolosa: This ship sunk in 1724 when it was hit by a hurricane and left to rest in Samana Bay. Another famous gun ship that sunk in the area at about the same period of time is the “London”
  • Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe: Apparently 17th century wasn’t nice to the ships that sailed the Caribbean because this Spanish galleon was sunk by the same hurricane that sunk the Conde de Tolosa near Samana Bay.
  • Quedagh Merchant / Adventure Prize: According to historical data, this was an Indian vessel that was capture by famous pirate William Kidd in 1696 who set it on fire before he was arrested for piracy. The ship was discovered in 2007 just off Catalina Island.
  • George: This ship was sunk on purpose to create an artificial reef in La Romana.

So, there you have it, if you are intrigued by shipwrecks there are 5 of them in your things to do in the Dominican Republic bucket list to cross off, they are not far from the island you will be able to visit and admire from a safe distance like the Astron or sink and swim around them if you are a die hard scuba diver or even snorkeling aficionado, just put your fins on, gear up and enjoy!

Looking for a Caribbean vacation? Check here!

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