Tourist’s guide to Punta Cana in Dominican Republic: beaches and relaxation

If in the world somewhere there are “bounty” beaches, it is, of course, in Punta Cana (Dominican Republic). Here, beaches are still preserved, not sprinkled with flour and not tinted with bright colors in Photoshop. The real landscapes of the resort of Punta Cana practically do not differ from photos in glossy magazines and advertising booklets. It is not surprising that the coastline of a small town is completely built up with hotels and bungalows, and as a bonus, tourists can visit several national parks, a mangrove forest, admire exotic plants, birds, animals. The main contingent of travelers is families and admirers of a calm, leisurely vacation.

View of Punta Cana

Photo: Punta Cana

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General information about Punta Cana

Punta Cana is located in the eastern part of the island of Haiti in the province of La Altagracia. The distance to the capital of the republic is 150 km, area – 420 thousand m2. The population is 100 thousand people. Despite the fact that the resort is on the list of prestigious and elite, most of the locals are poor.

Interesting fact! The annual increase in tourists to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic is 6%.

First of all, vacationers are attracted by beaches, the length of which is about 32 km. The coastline is covered with coral sand, and the water has an unusual emerald hue. It is noteworthy that in this part of the Dominican Republic there are almost no strong winds and storms. The rich underwater world fascinates many lovers of snorkeling and diving.

The name of the city means “a place where palm trees meet” – and this fully corresponds to reality. Punta Cana is almost all covered with coconut trees and mango thickets.

Palm Trees in Punta Cana

For the first time they learned about the city in the Dominican Republic at the end of the last century, when hotels and bungalows decorated in a tropical style began to appear on the shore. Such buildings attracted the attention of European tourists, because rest in such conditions at that time was considered exotic. The distance between the sea and the hotel did not exceed 80 m.

Interesting fact! The official language in Punta Cana is Spanish, 95% of the local population profess Catholicism.

The city has large shopping centers, they sell clothes, jewelry, shoes, accessories. The price level corresponds to the European ones. To save money on shopping, you need to go to supermarkets located at a distance from the city, for example, in Bavaro there are many souvenir shops, shops, and there are also entertainment centers. For gifts and clothes with national symbols, it is preferable to go to the market, located next to the beach of El Cortecito. In the assortment of amber jewelry, a large selection of Lima dolls. Coffee, as well as branded tincture of mahuana, is recommended to be bought in supermarkets.

Roaming in the Dominican Republic (Punta Cana is no exception) is very expensive, so it is better to use the tariff of local mobile operators.

Advice! Orange has the best coverage, but Claro has the lowest service prices.

Claro operator sim card

Tariff plans with the most favorable conditions are offered by mobile communication salons. For purchase and registration you need to have a passport with you, the necessary amount to replenish your account.

Wi-Fi is easy enough to catch in any crowded place, in all cafes, so connecting to the Internet will not be a problem. In hotels Wi-Fi is often paid, but near the front desk, the service is free.

Beaches

The coastline of Punta Cana, suitable for a beach holiday, stretches from north to south, from the Atlantic to the Caribbean. The total length of the beaches is 32 km, you can quickly inspect them and choose the one that you like the most. As experienced tourists note, it is difficult to stay on one beach, since you can fall in love with everyone at first sight.

Important! The beaches of Punta Cana are public, in the daytime access to them is open to all comers, but at night they are closed.

From a tourist point of view, Bavaro Beach is considered the best, nearby is a picturesque coral reef near the sea, and on the shore there is everything you need for a comfortable relaxation. In addition, it is believed that in this place the most calm and warm sea. There are shops, pharmacies, banks, supermarkets. But Bavaro is far from the only beach in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

Rating of the best beaches of the Dominican Republic with a description and photos, see here .

Macau
Macau beach

If you are keen on surfing, you must have heard about this 5 km long beach. It is wild, there are no hotels, but it is very beautiful. Most often, tourists come here for one day with an excursion group.

Advice! Choose a weekday for your trip, as many locals come to Macau on weekends. The best place where there are no waves is at the very cliffs, in the eastern part of the beach.

If you want to eat in a cafe on the beach, find out the price of seafood in advance and be sure to check the weight of the fish.

For a more detailed description of the beach with photos, see this page .

Arena Gorda
Arena Gorda

Located near Bavaro and is considered one of the most beautiful in Punta Cana. Its name in Spanish means greasy sand. If you prefer big waves, choose a place in the western part, but as you move east, the sea becomes more calm.

If you see a red flag on the shore that prohibits swimming, you can spend time in the pool or spend time with other activities.

Arena Gorda has the widest coastal strip, the sand here is white, fine and soft. For the constant maintenance of cleanliness, the beach received the international Blue Flag Award. A coral reef runs along the coast, perhaps it is he who gives the water an amazing turquoise color.

Bavaro

The beach is characterized by white sand and calm water, but algae periodically occurs on the surface, but they are immediately removed. The coastline is 2 km long, an amazing feature of sand on Bavaro – it does not heat up even under the rays of the scorching sun.

Bavaro Beach

Bavaro is a popular destination in the Dominican Republic , but like other resorts in the Dominican Republic, they are clean, therefore the beach is awarded the Blue Flag award.

Good to know! Bavaro is the safest place in the Dominican Republic, as it is protected from wind and storms by a reef, which, by the way, is popular among divers and snorkellers.

Today Bavaro is not a fishing village, but a rapidly developing city in the Dominican Republic, where there are medical centers, pharmacies, restaurants, shopping centers, banks and other objects of tourist and social significance.

Huaniyo

Located in the elite area of ​​Cap Cana, resort hotels, restaurants, a pier for boats and yachts are built here. There is a restaurant right on the beach, marked with the Excellence certificate from Trip Advisor.

Huaniyo Beach

Good to know! Huaniyo is on the list of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

By the way, if you are planning a wedding ceremony and want it to be remembered for many years, choose Huaniyo beach. This is a favorite place for newlyweds. The coast, 3 km long, covered with snow-white sand, is washed by clear turquoise water. For tourists, sun loungers, umbrellas are installed, there are pillows and even comfortable sofas. Children can frolic in trampolines or ride a roller coaster. If beach relaxation seems boring, take a ride on boats, kayaks or catamarans.

Important! Huaniyo is a closed territory, access is possible only by passes, as well as for those who have booked a room in the hotel, or are planning a photo shoot.

Things to do in Punta Cana

Of course, the resort town in the Dominican Republic is not only a beach relaxation. We will tell you where to go on your own in Punta Cana, and what to do in your free time from the beach.

Diving and snorkeling
Punta Cana Diving

The first thing that comes to mind when asking what to do in Punta Cana is diving and snorkeling. The resort has everything for diving into the Caribbean – warm water, a diverse underwater world, picturesque grottoes, and sunken ships. The equipment is offered by numerous diving centers that operate along the entire coastline. Here both experienced divers and beginners are happy to receive.

Along the coast there are many interesting places where you can dive. Some are located closer to the shore and are more suitable for beginners, while others require some preparation and skills. Visibility in water reaches 30 m.

The most interesting places to dive are in the Caribbean, but the Atlantic Ocean in this sense is poorer and less interesting.

Important! Diving rates vary and depend on your personal training and the Center that provides the service. On average, you will have to pay about $ 105 for two dives.

Punta Cana Snorkeling

If you have completely explored the Punta Cana region, go on an excursion to the nearby islands. The most interesting in terms of tourism is Catalinita. People come here for diving, water safari and snorkeling.

Tourists note that Punta Cana is ideal for beginner snorkelers and divers, as you can admire the seabed at any depth.

Interesting fact! The water temperature near Pnta Cana throughout the year remains at + 24- + 26 degrees.

Since the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea meet near the Dominican Republic, powerful winds often blow here – and these are ideal conditions for windsurfing and sailing.

Fishing

Despite the fact that the Dominican Republic is an island state, there is a culture of fish consumption, there are no large fishing fleets and processing enterprises in the country. Fish and seafood are purchased in neighboring countries. Only poor local residents and tourists are engaged in fishing in the hope of catching an exotic specimen harder. By the way, fishing is one of the ways the Dominicans make money – they offer paid excursions to the Dominican Republic in Punta Cana, during which you can try your luck right from the boat.

Punta Cana Fishing

The best way to fish in the Dominican Republic is from a boat, called trolling. By the way, for a good catch and serious fishing, it is better to choose the Atlantic Ocean, since the Caribbean Sea is more of a tourist attraction. If you want to catch deep-sea fish – moray eels or stingrays, it is better to choose a sea bottom.

Important! Professional fishing alone will require a special license – Licencia de pesca. You can buy it at any port of the Dominican Republic.

In Punta Cana, tourists are offered two types of fishing – for tourists and professional. In the first case, you will find pleasant and fun entertainment rather, and in the second, a trip to fishing places with a full set of gear. You can catch white and blue marlin, wahu, dorado, yellowfin tuna and fish on the shores of Punta Cana, sailboat. The weight of the fish varies from 10 kg to 200 kg.

Good to know! The price of fishing is announced either for a boat – from $ 450, or per person – from $ 80.

Punta Cana Fishing Catch

Tips for tourist fishermen:

  • it is better to fish in the Atlantic Ocean;
  • the boat must be rented for 7-10 hours;
  • the best period for catching huge marlin is August and September;
  • take your motion sickness pills with you.

Night clubs

Punta Cana is a popular tourist resort, it is not surprising that the nightlife here is in full swing. Tourists can have a great time without leaving the hotel, since almost everyone has a disco and bar, evening shows, performances are held. If you feel bored at the hotel, outside the hotel, in the city, there are probably places to go to the Dominican Republic in Punta Cana.

Night clubs

Nightclubs are located on the territory of shopping and entertainment complexes, artists who are popular in Latin America often come here. And in Punta Cana there is a unique night club, which has no analogues in the whole world – it is located right in the caves, which are interconnected by corridors.

Accommodation

The resort is 60 km long and is divided into nine districts. There are few hotels directly in Punta Cana, but for transportation it is a convenient transportation hub, buses stop here, including intercity buses, and the airport is also located nearby.

Cap Cana is a fashionable area, respectively, service and prices are quite high. If you want silence, tranquility and solitude, the beaches of El Cortecito and Cabeza de Toro are your choice. On the first there is a decent selection of shops, markets, and the second has the Blue Flag award.

Hotel grounds in Punta Cana

Bavaro has almost the entire tourist infrastructure, night clubs work, but in Macau there are no beach amenities, but the sea and the coast are the safest in Punta Cana.

Hotels, bungalows of the resort in the Dominican Republic – these are two and three-story houses, built among lush vegetation. Almost all work on an all-inclusive system.

  • Cheap guesthouses, hostels offer accommodation at a cost of $ 16 per bed and from $ 26 for a double room with breakfast.
  • If you are attracted to a “wild” vacation, you can rent a tent among palm trees, the cost of such housing is from $ 12.
  • There are not so many middle-class hotels in the resort; most hotels are of 4 and 5 star categories. For a double room in a 3-star hotel you will have to pay from $ 20, and for a double room in a fashionable hotel – from $ 40.

Food

Cafe in Punta Cana

The national cuisine of the Dominican Republic is, first of all, an original combination of traditional products, for example, taino – pancakes stuffed with meat, order in the cafe San Cocon – a rich soup of different varieties of meat and vegetables. And do not forget about coconuts, numerous fruits. In the original way, bananas are prepared in the Dominican Republic, they are fried and served with bacon and cheese.

In large restaurants, restaurants necessarily operate; accordingly, it is not necessary to enter the city. However, on the streets of Punta Cana there are many establishments where dishes of European and Dominican cuisines are prepared.

Fruit in Punta Cana
  • A check in a cafe with an average price policy ranges from $ 13 to $ 21.
  • Very popular are small family establishments built on the coast. These are inexpensive establishments, lunch here costs from $ 10, but a snack in a chain of fast food restaurants will cost $ 7.
  • In restaurants, the cost of a dinner for two varies from $ 34 to $ 66.

How to get around the resort

Public transport in Punta Cana is in poor condition, namely, buses. The technical condition is causing concern, and the schedule is unstable. Get ready to have to endure the heat and importunity of the local population. Ticket price – $ 1.

Important! Public transport stops in Punta Cana are not marked. To find at least one, you will have to make an effort.

Buses can be stopped right along the route, just raise your hand.

Bus in Punta Cana

Since the problems with public transportation in Punta Cana are obvious, most tourists prefer to use taxi services. A trip will cost 10 times more than the cost of a bus ticket, but it’s safe and convenient. An official service is available in Punta Cana, where taxis are offered at fixed rates. On average, a trip around the city will cost $ 12, and from one resort area to another – $ 47.

Good to know! In Punta Cana, tourist taxis run, they are more comfortable and have higher prices.

If you plan only beach relaxation, renting a car does not make sense. Taxi service is very popular; it can be used to get from the airport or travel to waterfalls or other attractions.

Be prepared for the fact that the roads to Punta Cana are not in the best condition – you will have to drive through the pits, face the aggressive driving style of local drivers. It is noteworthy that there are practically no traffic jams, since there are much more motorcycles and mopeds than cars.

Important! You can park in the city everywhere if there is no prohibition sign. As a rule, insurance is not included in the price of a taxi, for it you need to pay from $ 11 to $ 15.

All prices on the page are for October 2019.

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Climate, weather

Monthly Weather in Punta Cana

Throughout the year, Punta Cana has hot weather, without sudden temperature changes. The average annual temperature is +30 degrees. The hottest period – from May to October – +35 degrees. At the same time, the resort rains, the most protracted and strong begin in late spring and last until mid-summer. In the fall, the hurricane season begins, but more falls on the island of Haiti, so when the winds and storms reach Punta Cana, they subside significantly. From the end of autumn until mid-spring, the air warms up to +20 degrees.

When to go to Punta Cana for a vacation:

  • winter is a high tourist season, but be prepared that the sea can be restless;
  • April-early May – comfortable temperature of air and sea;
  • March is the period when tourists in the Dominican Republic can see whales.

Prices for holidays in winter and spring are the highest, and the lowest – in late May and early autumn.

Despite the fact that there are not so many places to go to Punta Cana for lovers of historical and architectural sights, the resort is confidently on the list of the most visited and popular.

Punta Cana (Dominican Republic) is, first of all, a magnificent coastline covered with soft sand, dense thickets of palm trees, washed by clear, turquoise water with a rich underwater world.

Beach in Punta Cana and first impressions of the resort:



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