Fodor's Expert Review Isla Saona
Off the east coast of Hispaniola and part of Parque Nacional del Este lies this island, inhabited by sea turtles, pigeons, and other wildlife. Indigenous people once used the caves here. The beaches are beautiful, and legend has it that Columbus once stopped over. However, the island is not nearly as pristine as one might expect for a national park. Getting here, on catamarans and other excursion boats, is half the fun, but it can be a crowded scene once you arrive. Vendors are allowed to sell to visitors, and there are a number of beach shacks serving lunch and drinks. Most boats traveling here leave out of the beach at Bayahibe Village. Most tourists book through their hotel. Please note that there is little to no refrigeration on the island and the sun is strong, so take caution when dining.