Saona Island is a tropical island located a short distance from the mainland on the south-east tip of the Dominican Republic, near La Altagracia Province. It is a government protected nature reserve and is part of East National Park .It is a popular destination for tourists from all over the Dominican Republic, who arrive in fleets of catamarans and small motorboats on organized excursions every day. The Island is famous for the natural beauty of its beaches, and has been used on many occasions by film-makers and advertisers looking for a stereotypical "desert island" setting for their film or product. It is promoted amongst European visitors as the setting for the famous Bounty chocolate bar adverts.
The island was baptized "Saona" by Christopher Columbus, who discovered it in May 1494 during his second voyage to the Americas. The name was meant "... to honor Michele da Cuneo, [Columbus'] friend from Savona." Columbus named Michele da Cuneo the first governor of the island.Saona Island and Savona (now part of Liguria, northern Italy) still have twinning relationships. The small powerplant in Saona Island is a gift of Savona.