Cayo Arena Beach Resort at Punta Rucia, for visiting Cayo Arena and Montecristi mangroves!
We knew Cayo Arena was a special snorkeling place, so we included it in our vacations. The Punta Rucia town was a bonus to our trip, because we weren't expecting the extraordinary views. We didn't know that we could reach the mangroves at the coast, right in front of Cayo Arena. While Punta Rucia belongs to Puerto Plata, the mangroves and Cayo Arena belong to Montecristi province. The scenery all around is just amazing, a must see. We stayed for two nights, but it wasn't enough.
When arranging your trip to Cayo Arena, if you want to see the mangroves (when returning from the Cayo) make sure you specify it, and agree price before leaving. It is cheaper to go along with more visitors in the same boat, and there are two or three "official" tour offices at the beach for boat trips (with signs and even guides in uniforms). Make sure you use the service of one ot these. Ask for advise at Cayo Arena Beach Resort if in doubt.
Being a fishermen town, of course seafood is fresh. We dined at Cayo Arena Beach Resort both nights (the chef cooks fabulous!), and had our free american breakfasts there too, and during the day we ate snacks, while exploring the area, so we didn't eat at any of the town's restaurants or cafeterias. The closest town, more developed and with more services (banks, supermarkets, etc.) is about 10 minutes away by car (Estero Hondo town). We took our trip to Cayo Arena from the town's beach, but it can be arranged from the hotel to have a boat go pick you up.