If you want a Caribbean vacation in a destination that has more white sand than almost all of the others, then go to Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Once a little known tropical paradise, Punta Cana has been steadily gaining in popularity as more and more people discover the beauty and adventure that awaits them at the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic.
Punta Cana has 30 miles of some of the most gorgeous beaches in the Caribbean that wrap around the eastern end of the island. Visitors will find there are beaches where the surf is good, beaches that are quiet and relaxed, beaches that are energetic with an upbeat party atmosphere and beaches that have all the water sports you’re looking for on your Punta Cana trip.
Punta Cana was established in 1969. The very first hotel in the area went up in 1971. It was small and less developed than what many of us have become accustomed to now with large, elegant all-inclusive resorts to stay at, but it was the beginning of what would turn into a very popular tropical destination for travelers from all over the world. By the end of that decade, the first all-inclusive resort did appear in Punta Cana and the rest is history, as they say.
Punta Cana became a renowned master planned community of luxury villas, hotels and amenities surrounding two beautiful golf courses. Succeeding Punta Cana, came Cap Cana located just south of Punta Cana.
The Neighborhoods of Punta Cana
The resort of Punta Cana is an inspired master planned community that features two golf courses, a shopping villa, marina, eco-park, tennis center, numerous white sand beaches and it's own airport. The exceptionally well designed resort offers guests luxury villas and hotels all within 5 minutes of an international airport. An easy luxury escape to enjoy the best of the Caribbean. Punta Cana has five primary neighborhoods each with it's own distinct style of villas and accommodations. The 5 neighborhoods are Arrecife, Corales, Hacienda, Marina and Tortuga Bay.
Arrecife is located in the central aspect of the resort offering extraordinary convenience to the beach of Playa Serena, La Cana Golf and Beach Club and Six Senses Spa. The villas in Arrecife tend to be located on the golf course and are among the larger villas.
Corales is regarded as the VIP neighborhood with it's lavish grand and beachfront estates that are owned by celebrities and influential moguls. The grand estates offering exceptional privacy. The Private VIP airport terminal is just a minute or two away offering guests unsurpassable convenience. Corales is also home to the magnificent coast hugging Corales Golf Course.
Hacienda is located on the hillside and home to the Oscar de la Renta Tennis and Fitness center that features clay courts, pro shop, gym and a wonderful children's training center. Villas in Hacienda tend to be well priced but lack the immediate access to beaches and views can be limited.
Marina is a wonderful and serene community located near Punta Cana's marina and La Yola restaurant. The Marina community is a wonderful option for boaters and for guests that want to spend their day on the water.
Tortuga Bay is a highly popular subdivision of Punta Cana. The villas offering convenient access to golf, beaches, andthe eco center. Tortuga Bay hotel anchors the Tortuga Bay community. Villas can be of exceptional value in this community. Villas are more proximal to each other in this community.
Things to Do In Punta Cana
The hardest thing about planning your itinerary of things to do in Punta Cana is narrowing it down to what’s most important to you. There is so much to do in this destination that there’s just no way to do it all. You’ll have your choices of golfing, zip lining, hiking, visiting waterfalls and cenotes, diving and snorkeling, paragliding, laying on amazing beaches, dancing the night away, gambling at casinos, fishing, boating and tons more. You can start with your favorites and then start planning your next Punta Cana vacation before you even leave to go back home.
Go For a Swim In Hoyo Azul
You’ll find Hoyo Azul, which means “blue hole,” in Cap Cana. It’s a cenote, basically a sunken lake, that’s part of Scape Park. Your day going to Hoyo Azul will include a little hike along a trail that will allow you to observe some of the plants and animals that live in Punta Cana. There is a suspension bridge that you’ll have to traverse to get to Hoyo Azul also. Once you get there, you’ll be so glad made the trip. The water is incredibly vibrant with turquoise and blue hues. It’s sure to be something you’ve likely never seen anything like before.
Spend the Day at Bavaro Beach
At Bavaro Beach, you can do everything from taking a nap in a hammock strung between two palm trees to flying high up in the sky on a parasailing adventure. You can get on the water, in the water or lay next to the water. Lay on top of the sand or ride a dune buggy throughout the land and along the water for the thrill of a lifetime.
Take a Catamaran Cruise Out to Catalina Island
Your Punta Cana trip will be complete once you’ve stepped onto a catamaran, took a sip of your tropical beverage and cruised out over the turquoise waters that surround the Dominican Republic. You’ll get to enjoy good music, good drinks and good company on your way to Catalina Island. Once you make landfall, you can get out and have lunch on the beach. You can even snorkel on your trip out for the day.
Check Out Downtown Punta Cana
This area is huge and full of things to do all day and all night. There are family activities like an inflatable obstacle course, shopping, and restaurants. And also places for adults to hang out like bars and nightclubs. You’ll find ice cream shops, kids parks and more. Grown-ups can have some fun at the well-known CoCo Bongo Show & Disco.
Punta Cana Points of Interest
Altos de Chavon
To the south side of Punta Cana is La Romana. And in La Romana y Altos de Chavón. For those who are looking to add a cultural experience into their Punta Cana trip, this European village replica that’s done in Mediterranean style will give you what you’re looking for. It’s a great place to take your kids to and explore this recreated historical city.
The island is a mile and a half off the coast of the Dominican Republic. Scuba divers will love Catalina Island because it has amazing coral reefs to explore that attract gorgeous tropical fish and other sea creatures. The beaches on the small island are full of bright white sand that meets up with water that is clear enough to see every small detail underneath.
A Punta Cana vacation isn’t just one to a tropical paradise, it’s also one to a golfer’s paradise. The scenery cannot be topped. An ideal golf destination, there are more golf courses in Punta Cana area than other parts of the Caribbean and many of them have been named in some of the big golf publications as being some of the top courses in the Caribbean region and in Mexico. Spend each day golfing a different course if you want to. There’s enough of them. Within Punta Cana proper are two golf courses: La Cana and Corales. Corales is a higher rated course. Adjacent to Punta Cana's gated enclave is the Punta Espada golf course in Cap Cana, a stunning and spectacular course.
Scape Park, Cap Cana
There are caves and caverns all over the Dominican Republic. You can tour some of these and check out remnants of the island people of the past. Scape park in Cap Cana has the Iguabonita Cave that has a series of caves that are linked together through tunnels. You’ll see striking formations made of limestone that will take your breath away. It’s an experience unlike any other.
Punta Cana’s Best Restaurants
Jellyfish Beach Restaurant
This restaurant is situated right on the beach in Bavaro. The building is made of natural materials and matches the backdrop of the area it’s in. The menu is full of items that included fresh fish and shellfish. Diners get to eat what was caught off the dock that day and cooked to perfection.
If you want to get out of your Punta Cana Villa and go for a nice dinner, then head to Celina Restaurant. There are a variety of different food items on the menu that are a mix of local fare and Italian cuisine. The atmosphere is warm and friendly and the views of Cortecito beach are incredible.
Montserrat Manor Restaurant
Visitors who want to have a fine dining experience on their Punta Cana trip can go to Montserrat Manor Restaurant. It’s only a few miles away from Bavaro beach. The restaurant serves up seafood and sushi, as well as vegan options. The restaurant is located within the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
Noah Restaurant & Lounge
This restaurant is a great one for those who are looking for a dining experience that includes some of the local cuisines. You can enjoy Caribbean food, seafood, sushi, and vegetarian dishes. There’s everything on the menu from fresh fish to steak to octopus salad.
Where to Stay in Punta Cana
Punta Cana has a unique positioning in the Dominican Republic that allows visitors to choose accommodations on the Atlantic Ocean side or on the Caribbean Sea side. The good news is that no matter where you decide to stay, the views from your Punta Cana holiday rental will undoubtedly be amazing. There’s beauty everywhere on the eastern tip of the island.
Corales features the best villas in Punta Cana. The neighborhood has large premium lots with many of the villas offering direct beach access such as Corales 13, a stunning 8 bedroom beachfront estate with a private beach.
Corales Punta Cana Villas
Tortuga Bay is a highly popular neighborhood that is part of the Punta Cana Resort & Club. The grounds are well manicured and beautiful with tropical plants all throughout the property. We have a few different Punta Cana Villas within Tortuga Bay. Tortuga Bay B9 can house up to 8 guests and children are welcome. It has 4 bedrooms that all have en-suite bathrooms. There is a private courtyard that has a large pool for guests to enjoy. They will also have the services of a housekeeper and a butler included with their stay. The resort has a restaurant, a spa, and a bar that those who are staying in the Tortuga Bay Punta Cana Villas will have access to.
Tortuga Bay Villas
Also within the Punta Cana Resort & Club is the Arrecife subdivision. Arrecifie offers villas that are slightly larger than villas in Tortuga Bay. This is where you can find Villa Starfish. If you like modern and clean lines, you’ll love this Punta Cana vacation rental. This place is great for families with kids. There’s a room full of twin beds, a private pool, and a trampoline. This villa will truly be your home away from home on your Punta Cana vacation. You’ll have everything you need to stay entertained and cook entire meals in a gourmet kitchen. There are televisions in all of the rooms. There is also personal maid service every day except Sunday.
Arrecife Punta Cana Villas
Hacienda offers the best value villas in Punta Cana. These hillside villas are still within striking distance to the beaches but offer golf course views and easy access to the Punta Cana's Tennis and Fitness Center. This neighborhood is right on the P.B. Dye inland golf course. Those who want to spend some time golfing on their vacation should look into Villa Hacienda A13. You’re essentially staying right at the course. But your villa will keep you comfortable and give you somewhere amazing to relax by the private pool, eat a meal outside on the terrace or entertain other guests with the gourmet kitchen and media center.
Hacienda Punta Cana Villas
Punta Cana Beach Guide
This could easily be called the most popular beach in Punta Cana. The sand is soft and bright white. It’s easy to get there on an actual road. The backdrop is towering palm trees that you would see in a postcard picture. There are businesses in the area and a number of water sports rental places for those who want to have some fun in the water.
North of Bavaro on the Atlantic Ocean side is Macao Beach. While many of the beaches on your Punta Cana trip are good for relaxing on, this beach is one that is known for more activity than some of the others. It’s known for sightings of ATVs that are out on tours. It’s also a big surfing beach. There are far fewer businesses to check out at Macao Beach but there are a few restaurants for grabbing a bite to eat.
If you’re looking for privacy and seclusion on your Punta Cana vacation, then go to Juanillo. It’s on the Caribbean Sea side of Punta Cana near Cap Cana. This area is less developed than some of the other beaches in the region. There are some resorts close. You are able to go into the resort’s beachfront zones by simply allowing the gate guard to hold your ID.
This is the perfect beach to take small children to. The water is very shallow and crystal-clear. The kids can play in the white sand or in the calm blue waters safely. If you want to go into the resort’s beachfront area, you can. You’ll have to exchange your ID for access to the beach that is on the resort property. You’ll also be able to eat at a restaurant in the gated area and order beverages from the bar. You can usually have a little more space to yourself in the resort beach areas because they tend to stay less crowded than the open beaches.
Punta Cana Vacation Planning Tips
When to Travel to Punta Cana
As with most Caribbean locations, the most popular months for traveling to Punta Cana are December through March or April. That being said, that’s when it’s typically the busiest. If you go in the summer, you’ll have to be prepared for warmer temperatures and rainier weather. Probably the best all-around time to take a Punta Cana trip is in October or November. The temperatures will be nice with less humidity and the resorts and villas won’t be as busy.
Punta Cana Weather
In the winter months, you’ll get temperatures that range from about 65°F to around 80°F. The humidity will be lower than in the summer and you won’t see much rain at all.
The rain comes mostly in the summer. But there are tons of sunny days in Punta Cana regardless of what month you make your trip. Remember that this destination is in the region that has a hurricane season. That lasts from the beginning of June to the end of November. September is the month you would most likely end up seeing one of these storms in.
How to Get to Punta Cana
Most people traveling to Punta Cana will just fly into Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ). The airport is one of 8 within the Dominican Republic and is the busiest of them. It’s the second busiest airport in all of the Caribbean. You’ll want to make sure that you’re choosing a flight that lands at this airport because the country is pretty large so you could have a very long drive to get to Punta Cana if you choose to fly in somewhere else.
Dominican Republic Weather Forecast
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