No wonder that marine archaeologists and treasure hunters from all over the world have been coming here for almost four decades. Especially northern coast of the island is known according to the experts in this matter as one of the biggest cemeteries of historical shipwrecks in the whole world.
New surveys and studies have shown recently that there are at least 450 historically documented shipwrecks and most probably other hundreds of so far unmarked wrecks not found in the archives yet rest on the sea bottom around this island as well. Island of Hispaniola, as this beautiful tropical paradise was called before, was also highest point of interest for pirates for more than 250 years.
Even the most famous of them, such as Henry Morgan, Francis Drake who sacked also Santo Domingo, Blackbeard, Olonés, Jack Bannister or Roberto Cofresí who was nicknamed Robin Hood of the Caribbean, all these black personalities were waiting for their victims exactly here, in the coastal waters of this island and it has been historically confirmed. Many pirate ships were also lost in shallow waters of today’s Dominican Republic but it is not surprising because well-known pirate lair and base of operation, Island of Tortuga is only 55 nautical miles from the city of Montecristi on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic…
Famous world treasure hunters like, for example, Burt Weber, Captain Tracy Bowden or Richard Berry and their professional teams permanently extend their legal contracts with the government of this country for other period and they know very well why they are doing that.
The Museum of Atarazanas will be ceremonially re-opened in Santo Domingo in December of 2009. Only artifacts from the shipwrecks found in the Dominican waters will be on display there. There is not small number of historical shipwrecks loaded with treasures that were found in the coastal waters of the Dominican Republic.
We can name here just some of them: “Nuestra Señora de la Concepción”, the galleon that sank here in 1641 with more than 5 million of Dollars only in silver coins on board, or galleons “Conde de Tolosa”, “Guadalupe” and “Scipion” that shipwrecked close to the beautiful Bay of Samaná on the northern coast of the island in the second half of the 18th century. But dozens and may be hundreds more shipwrecks are still waiting to be discovered.
Cave diving is becoming to be more and more attractive in the Dominican Republic recently but according to the experts Dominican beautiful flooded caves will attract very soon more divers than famous cenotes and caves in Mexico. You can find flooded caves practically all over the island but they are from 90% not mapped and examined yet.
There are two or three diving bases on the island specialized on cave diving but new localities are found practically every month. Only on the southern coast there are over ten wonderful caves with different level of difficulty waiting for cave divers from all over the world. Rock carving and petro glyphs at least 500 years old made by original inhabitants of the island, Taino Indians, can be admired in some of them as well.
For all lovers of scuba diving, whether recreational or professional will cave or archaeological diving in Dominican Republic will be real paradise on earth.