Spot Punta Cana’s 5 most colourful fish

During a snorkeling or fishing trophy trip with Boat Trips Punta Cana, you are able to spot some amazing colorful fish. We listed our favorites!

Creole Wrasse

There’s no doubt these small, tropical colorful fish are eye-popping. The Creole Wrasse is found throughout the Caribbean, where they live in large schools in the deep outer reef. You can see them swimming around during the day, sticking out their little beaks from the coral, grazing for food. They lead a very slow and relaxed life: they are the first to go to bed and the last to rise!

How to recognize them:

The Creole Wrasse changes colors according to their age. So while the young Creole Wrasse is a very bright, violet purple, the adult Wrasse has several colors (a milder purple, blue and orange), and develops a yellow patch on the back of its body.

Fun fact:

The biggest male Creole Wrasse is typically the dominant breeding male. Whenever it dies, the largest female changes sex so they can still reproduce. This means they are hermaphrodites!


Mahi Mahi (dolphinfish)

Punta Cana is very well known for the Mahi Mahi fish. Most snorkeling instructors know exactly where to spot these local swimmers, so definitely ask them about it when you do a tour. Their name might be a bit misleading because the Mahi Mahi are not closely related to dolphins. Still, they’re worth spotting!

How to recognize them:

Mahi Mahi ’s also known as Dorado are tall and have compressed bodies, meaning that they are flat. Just like dolphins, the Mahi Mahi have very prominent foreheads, sticking out from the rest of their bodies. Their colors are dazzling. Fluorescent gold on the sides and bright blue and green on the back. It’s almost like they are radioactive!

Fun fact:

Mahi Mahi means ‘very strong’ in Hawaiian.  It’s true because they are not easy to catch. You will need strong arms to reel them in during our fishing trips.


African Pompano

Don’t be scared when you see this one: it looks very angry! Despite their name, these colorful fish are not typically African but swim in tropical waters worldwide. They don’t do very well in cold water and do not survive in winters. You can find them swimming around in large schools, on the hunt for smaller fish. But they have to be careful too because sharks usually find the African Pompano’s very tasty!

How to recognize them:

Well, how do we say this? It looks like they’re totally naked. That’s because they are scaleless, although they have very small embedded scales in their body. This gives them a very strange, but cool look: they are silver-metallic and sometimes a bit green. A bit like an alien. Could their nakedness be why they look so angry?

Fun fact:

They keep to themselves, so no one knows exactly how they reproduce or how long the female African Pompano is pregnant. So mysterious!


Fairy Basslet

We must say that this fish (also called Royal Gramma) is one of our favorites. Can you believe how pretty it is? If you spot this small beauty, you are definitely lucky, because they usually have good hiding places in the rocks. They are considered very good reef inhabitants, as they are peaceful and they remove parasites from other fish and clean the water by eating dead food, like fish flesh. Don’t be fooled by their appearance: they are tougher than you think! They guard their hiding spots very well, and sometimes even go after fish that go near them!

How to recognize them:

They have gradient colors, often light purple to deep violet often starting from their heads. Their color smoothly fades to yellow midbody, ending in a golden yellow tail. Two complementary colors: so unique!

Fun fact:

This colorful fish orientates itself by paralleling its body to the nearest surface. So they swim under cave roofs and under ledges…upside down! If there is a vertical surface, you can find them swimming straight up and down.


Queen triggerfish

These fishes are beautiful but could be hard to find. Unfortunately, they are near threatened, so there are not a lot of them left. The small amount that is left is very protective and guard their eggs with their lives. They also defend their nests against intruders, which are not only other fishes but also scuba divers and snorkelers. Whenever they’re in danger, they push out two of their three sharp spines, located in their back in. So be a bit careful when you see one!

How to recognize them:

Queen triggerfish are oval-shaped and compressed. The most interesting thing about this fish is that its colors are almost neon: a bright blue and pink with turquoise lines all over the body. These colors can change a bit to match the surroundings. This is usually when the triggerfish is experiencing stress.

Fun fact:

Triggerfish have a level of intelligence that is unusual to fishes. They have the ability to remember past experiences, and even learn from them.


Which colorful fish do you want to spot while snorkeling in Punta Cana? Let us know, and tag us @breakerboattripspuntacana on Instagram!