Punta Cana is a well-known luxury holiday destination that is situated on the east coast of the beautiful Dominican Republic. Punta Cana has so much to offer with its scenic beach views and upscale hotels. There are more than 50 miles of white sandy coast running from Bavaro to Uvero and beyond, and as most of it is backed by coconut-filled palm trees, it has more than earned the title of ‘The Coconut Coast’…
Where to stay
There are many fabulous places to stay in Punta Cana but a place I’ve stayed at a couple of times now is this beautiful Bávaro beach resort in Punta Cana. All-inclusive’s don’t get much better located than this! Just a 1-minute walk from white-sand Bávaro Beach, it’s a sprawling upscale resort which is home to not one but six pools (one of which is a very impressive two-tier infinity swimming pool), eight restaurants, an adults-only bar, a theatre, plenty of sports activities on offer, an onsite casino and a hotel-run kids’ club too. It was hard to leave!
What to do in Punta Cana
Whether you want to sunbathe by the sea or explore the island, Punta Cana has something for everyone. With crystal clear waters, Casa de Campo’s world-renowned Teeth of the Dog golf course, and all types of water sports available, whatever you choose to do, in Punta Cana, you’re sure to have a ball. With this in mind, here are 12 must-do things to tick off your bucket list, should you be visiting this beautiful destination on holiday by yourself, with your partner, or as a family. How many of these great activities will you be tempted to try?
Explore the colourful coral reefs
It doesn’t matter if you are an experienced diver or this is your first time out in the water; Punta Cana offers top-quality diving adventures just a short boat trip from most resorts. It also has the longest coral reef in the Dominican Republic, where you have the opportunity to swim through reefs and explore the spectacular coral passages. In Punta Cana, the best time to go diving is in the afternoon when the coastline is calmer; this gives you a unique experience offering ultimate relaxation along with top-class diving experiences.
Relax on a boat
For the chance to admire Punta Cana’s glorious white beaches from the ocean, you can hire a sailboat and explore where you like. Or, you could book an excursion – these often come paired with a snorkelling experience too. This gives you the chance to see all of the tropical fish from the glass bottom of the boat. These excursions mostly include drinks too to keep you hydrated throughout your exploring.
Hop into a Jeep and take an adrenaline-pumping ride through every nook and cranny Punta Cana’s beautiful scenery – and you’ll learn something too. You’ll not only visit the beautiful Macao beach, but traverse the sugar cane and rice fields too. You’ll spot beautiful butterflies, exotic plants and even learn how coffee and cocoa beans are harvested, before visiting ranches where you could learn about cigar production too!
Visit the underwater museum
This stunning destination also has its very own Underwater Museum, which is the perfect snorkelling destination. It contains submerged sculptures, embodying important symbols of the native Taino culture. Corals have been strategically planted around these Taino sculptures, so you’ll find some stunning varieties of fish while viewing these surreal and wonderful underwater exhibits.
For water lovers that want to be on top of the water, windsurfing is something you need to try. Punta Cana is an excellent place for beginners. Macao Beach is the best for windsurfing, which is just a short bus journey away from any resort. If you are a little more experienced, Cabarete is a perfect spot, as beginners and intermediate windsurfers can also enjoy this spot too. Windsurfing is a fantastic sport, and the gear is affordable, which is useful if you are interested in just trying it out. The best time of the year is the summer in Punta Cana for windsurfing as this gives you the best conditions, as the eastern wind is stronger. The wind picks up early morning and then gets tougher as you go into the afternoon.
Brave wreck diving
If exploring wrecks is more your style, the Patricia and Enriquillo are two shallow wrecks that are easily accessed from Punta Cuna’s coastline. Here, you will come across all kinds of fish, corals and sea creatures amongst the wreckage. If you can, take an underwater camera, as you’ll sure to come across some fantastic sights.
Zipline across tropical scenery
Whether you are an adrenaline junkie or want to conquer your fear of heights, you will come across a few opportunities to go zip-lining while holidaying in Punta Cana. Options include Monkey land, or you may choose horse riding and zip-lining excursions. However, if you want the full zip-lining experience, Zipline Adventure in Punta Cana is one of the most popular zip-lining locations. They own one of the longest zip lines in the Caribbean. Traverse along 12 different zip lines soaring across 18 platforms with a sumptuous tropical mountain backdrop – this would get any thrill seeker’s adrenaline pumping!
Go wild dolphin spotting
Forgot swimming with dolphins in parks and aquariums which just fuel a very cruel trade and encounter these beautiful mammals in their natural habitat instead! And there is arguably no better place to do it than in the warm Caribbean waters near Punta Cana. There are several boat excursions leaving from the island and if you’re lucky you may even spot whales too!
Find time for you with a spa day
Make sure you take time out of your holiday to relax and be pampered. There are lots of different spa days available in Punta Cana. You could enjoy a spa by the beach with an island getaway in Bavaro. They have their own botanical gardens, and you receive wine alongside all the treatments you could wish to have. This could be the ultimate in relaxation. Or, you could explore one of the other spa packages available on the island. Choose the treatments and the backdrop that suits you best and you’re sure to leave feeling refreshed and revived.
Try night-diving with natural night lights!
Excursions are also available that include night diving. Night diving is an entirely different experience altogether from what you’ll get to see during a daytime dive. Wait for the sun to set, launch yourself into the depths and be prepared to see some unique and breathtaking sighs as the ocean reveals its nightly delights. You’ll spot creatures emerging from the reefs, and plankton lighting your way – all coming together to create an experience you’ll never forget.
Go kayaking on the lakes
If kayaking is something you want to do, you will come across a few excursions or kayak rentals available daily around Punta Cana. However, it is possible to bag yourself a local, authentic experience if you look around. Kayak Limón is a prime location for kayaking. If you come across a local guide, you may be able to go kayaking a little off-the-beaten-track to see the natural wildlife and explore the lakes. Punta Cana has some amazing scenery, much of which can be experienced via kayak, so do make sure to take a camera to capture something not everyone will get to see.
Dance the night away at Coco Bongo
It wouldn’t be a visit to the Dominican Republic if you didn’t experience a visit to Coco Bongo. This dance party show and disco is often known as the best party on the planet, and it’s not hard to see why. With over 40 performers in one night, you’ll experience an eclectic mix of entertainment, including everything from movie skits, acrobats, dancers and trapeze artists – and with mainstream dance music as your background, you’ll dance the night away. Packages are relatively inexpensive, and if that’s not enough to convince you, there’s an open bar too!
Whether you’re visiting Punta Cana for a few days, a week or more, try and fit in as many of the above as you can to enhance your Punta Cana experience and build memories you’ll keep long after this fantastic holiday is over.