Much more than simply Isla Saona, which is all that most people see on a group tour, the Parque Nacional Cotubanamá (formerly known as Parque Nacional del Este) also includes eight emerged reef terraces, 400 or so caverns, some with pictographs and ceramic remains, and Islas Catalinita and Catalina. Designated a national park in 1975, it stretches over 310 sq km of territory, the majority of which is semihumid forest.
The park is also home to 539 species of flora, 55 of which are endemic. There is also a good variety of fauna: 112 species of birds, 250 types of insects and arachnids, and 120 species of fish. There are occasional sightings of West Indian manatees and bottlenose dolphins, and the much rarer Haitian solenodon, a small bony animal with a long snout and tiny eyes.
There’s a park office off the parking lot in Bayahibe, where you must pay your entrance free and obtain a mandatory wristband. One entrance is at Guaraguao, a ranger post 5km past Dominicus Americanus. The other entrance is in the town of Boca de Yuma, on the eastern side of the park. Both have ranger stations but no formal services. A road leads along the coast for several kilometers and has a number of nice vista points.