Punta Cana, Dominican Republic is a vacation paradise offering travelers both relaxation and opportunities for adventure among their varied landscapes and terrains. Here you can take a break from the everyday world by lying back on the soft sands of the shoreline or indulging in the pampering spa treatments offered by the area resorts.
When you’re ready to go exploring, you can choose from a variety of tours which include everything from calm safari rides to the local towns and farms to exhilarating bird’s eye views of the jungle from a zipline. You may even encounter the local wildlife along the way.
That being said, check out this Punta Cana travel guide below to help you with your future plans of visiting this humble island.
Main Attractions in Punta Cana
1. The Stunning Beaches in Punta Cana
The beautiful, sprawling beaches are what draw visitors to Punta Cana more than any other aspect of this region. Here you will find endless miles of soft pink sand along the amazing shoreline.
Punta Cana beaches are a wonderful place to relax in the sun, go for a run, or simply take in the sight of the scenic aqua blue waters. Local shops and beach bars add to the fun along with strolling entertainers and vendors. Here you will find something for all ages which makes it an excellent vacation attraction for everyone.
Some of the best beach destinations in the island are Playa Bavaro, Uvero Alto, Playa Blanca, Macao Beach, and Playa Juanillo among others.
Playa Bavaro or Bavaro Beach is an award-winning beach destination that boasts a long stretch of white sand beach, all-inclusive resorts, and popular tourist attractions.
Uvero Alto is quite opposite of Bavaro Beach. Although there are resorts in the area, they are more secluded which makes the beach significantly unspoiled compared to the more popular Bavaro Beach. If you’re a surfer looking for the best waves to ride while on your Punta Cana vacation, this beach is the perfect place for you.
Macao Beach is another popular destination for beach bums and surfers alike. It was recognized by UNESCO as one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, so that should give you an idea of what to expect during your visit. The Playa Juanillo, on the other hand, is a hidden treasure in the Cap Cana area where you can find some of the most luxurious Punta Cana hotels.
Punta Cana offers some of the most breathtaking views of the Caribbean sea from its hotels and resorts. You’ll never run out of choices in this beautiful island.
2. The Exotic Parks of Punta Cana
In addition to beaches, you will find everything from mountains and forested valleys to deserts and fields that you can visit through numerous Punta Cana excursions. Their natural parks offer a wonderful setting for exploring these landscapes. The most popular parks are the following.
- Hoyo Azul – This is the home of Punta Cana’s famous blue hole. Hoyo Azul is actually a small cenote that sits at the foot of Farallon Cliff. The area is surrounded by a unique ecosystem comprised of the island’s unique flora and fauna along with some endemic species.
- Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve – This park includes a forest reserve and 12 freshwater lagoons. This 1,500 acres of land is meant for research, conservation, and recreation. The reserve is where you can find the lagoons. The park, on the other hand, is home to the petting zoo, sugarcane exhibit, and iguana habitat among others.
- La Hacienda Park – Want to know more about the Dominican Republic from a different perspective? In this park, you can learn about the traditional Dominican life, go horseback riding and marvel at the different landscapes and wildlife in the area, ride a buggy while exploring the park, or simply enjoy different attractions like the Zipline and Quick Jump.
Punta Cana excursions are both educational and exciting. So, if you want a different kind of adventure, these parks are just some of the great places you can go to outside of your typical Punta Cana resorts.
3. The Dolphins of Punta Cana
A trip to Punta Cana would not be complete without spending some quality time with the dolphins. No experience is needed to swim with these spectacular creatures. It’s fun for the entire family. Try the following places for the best dolphin interaction.
- Dolphin Discovery – While spending time up close and personal with these amazing creatures you just might get a hug and kiss.
- Dolphin Explorer – This wildlife park also has fur seals, sharks, and stingrays.
- Dolphin Island – Here the dolphin great you with a handshake before you enjoy their acrobatic antics.
Other Things to Do in Punta Cana
1. Outback Jungle Safari
The Outback Jungle Safari is a great way to learn about the island’s rural industries and culture. You will start your adventure by climbing aboard a 4-wheel drive safari truck that will take you to remote sites, shops, farms, and through the area’s towns.
You’ll do things like sample fresh made chocolate at a cocoa farm as well as enjoy body boarding on the clear waters of the Caribbean Sea. During the tour, you will gain a new understanding of how Dominican families here live along with unique opportunities such as visiting a Dominican classroom.
2. Canopy Ziplining Adventure
Canopy Ziplining Adventure allows you to glide through Punta Cana’s amazing forest canopies on this exciting experience. See the jungle scenery below as you race over country roads and creeks. They have 15 platforms that reach up to 45 feet into the air. The double cables fly you over amazing landscapes as you turn and zip over 6,800 feet of Caribbean jungle.
You’re assisted by highly trained guides that ensure your ride is safe and enjoyable from start to finish. You’ll end the day with complimentary refreshments that include refreshing water and fruits.
3. Caribbean Pirates
The Caribbean Buccaneers dinner theater is the perfect evening out for families. The young and young at heart will love coming aboard the replica of a 16th-century galleon. Before setting sail, the crew of pirates will give you special instructions on how to avoid doom while out on the ocean waters.
You will be entertained by dancing, fighting, and audience participation as you head towards Shark Island. There you will feast like a pirate under the night sky, and after a relaxing meal get ready. The adventure continues as you make your way back to the shore.
4. For the Sporty Travelers
Punta Cana is not just a popular tourist destination for those who love the beach. If you are one of those travelers who would appreciate some sporty activities, golfing and fishing are some of the things you can do on the island.
There are around 5 golf courses to choose from, some of which may even offer you a discount depending on which hotel or resort you are staying. Deep-sea fishing is another thrilling activity to try while in Punta Cana. Ride a catamaran to Saona Island and catch some fishes while enjoying the turquoise waters at the same time.
Where to Stay in Punta Cana
1. Zoetry Agua Resort
Zoetry Agua Resort is located in Uvero Alto and is one of the top Punta Cana hotels. This beachside resort allows couples to indulge in gourmet dining, spa treatments, and activities such as snorkeling, golf, and yoga. Each cane-thatched suite along the 400 yards of beachfront land includes natural stone accents and hardwood floors.
Los Corales Village is ideal for budget-minded travelers and families. This Italian style village is located on a private beach in the Bavaro area of Punta Cana. Here, you’ll enjoy on-site dining, an outdoor pool, and free continental breakfasts. Rooms range from the two-person junior suites to superior suites with kitchens, sofa beds, and flat-screen TVs for six guests.
How to Get to Punta Cana
Punta Cana has its own privately owned airport due to its popularity as a top tourist destination. Most major airlines fly directly into Punta Cana International Airport. Once you arrive, you will need to buy a $10 (USA dollars) tourist card which is required by the immigration officials.
If pre-arranged transportation to your designated resort is not included in your vacation package, you can simply catch a waiting taxi to take you directly to your accommodations. All taxis have set rates according to the taxi union, are available 24/7, and are hassle-free.
Punta Cana will leave you feeling relaxed and exhilarated all at the same time. Enjoy a stay at the luxury Zoetry Agua Resort, Los Corales Village or any of the hotels and resorts on the island while taking it all in. You’ll discover beautiful landscapes such as the coastal beaches and the enticing jungles along with the friendly locals, the exciting activities, and amazing wildlife like the dolphins you can actually swim with.
This Punta Cana travel guide aims to give you a glimpse of what the island can offer. While all these sound enticing enough, we can assure you that these beaches, excursions, landscapes, jungles, and whatnot are far better in person. So, come and experience the Caribbean life yourself.
Pictures from depositphotos.com.