98 hotels in this place
Punta Cana is the name of a town and tourist region at the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic. The region, covering about 420,000 m2 (approximately 1,100 acres), is home to a coastline of sandy white beaches.
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Points of Interest in Punta Cana
- Santo Domingo: This is the first European settlement of the Western Hemisphere. It has preserved its colonial heritage for more than five centuries, and is recognized by UNESCO as a world heritage site. Come to visit the first cathedral of the Americas or the Alcazar de Colon, the palace of Diego, son of Christopher Columbus.
- Altos de Chavon: A modern-day artist's village resembling a 16th century Mediterranean town. It is set upon a spectacular hillside cliff overlooking the winding Chavon River. It is home to a 5000 seat amphitheater, an archeological museum, craft workshops, artist’s studios and an assortment of galleries and restaurants.
- Bavaro Runners: A highly popular safari excursion in the area, experience the real people, scenery and life of the Dominican Republic. During your day, visit typical Dominican homes, authentic sugarcane plantations, and go horseback riding on a spectacular beach.
- Saona Island: Take a day trip to this spectacular island set in the natural reserve of The Parque Nacional del Este. Relax on powder white sands, where palm-studded beaches meet the soft surf of the Caribbean waters, and sometimes even dolphins swim alongside your catamaran!
- Manati Park: For the animal lovers this park features exotic fish, horses, parrots and the chance to swim with real dolphins! Stroll along the lush gardens, take pictures of the beautiful orchids and tropical plants, or buy some local crafts in the souvenir shops. The park is controversial, some claim that the park is mistreating its dolphins and want to close the park because of animal cruelty.
- Juanillo is one of the most beautiful beaches in the Dominican Republic. Until a few years ago it was a very small village of fishermen a few mlles from the Punta Cana Airport. The entire village was purchased as part of a very large project called Cap Cana. In return for giving up their rights to occupancy, the occupants were offered alternative housing, money and jobs. While Juanillo was at one time accessible to the public, it is now only accessible to people staying at one of the Cap Cana hotels and to property owners within the Cap Cana project and their guests.
- There is a complete list of some 25 excursions departing from the Punta Cana Bávaro area at  o 
About Punta Cana
Punta Cana has a tropical climate. Although it is mildly windy, the ocean in the area is mainly shallow, with several natural marine pools in which visitors can bathe. The weather is fairly constant, with an average temperature of 26°C. The hottest season lasts from April to November, and during the day temperatures might reach 32°C. From December to March, temperatures during the evening are around 20°C. Very little rain falls around the area, mostly because of the flat landscape. The summer months tend to be very warm and very humid. It is suggested to wear loose fitting, cotton clothing – so pack light.
- Marinarium: In this water park you can experience some of the best snorkeling in the area, complete with nurse sharks and sting rays! Enjoy a Coco Loco as you cruise along the coast to your final stop, a waist deep natural pool in the sea.
- Aquatic Tours: 2-passenger speed boats where you can cruise the coastline in style. Snorkel equipment and instructions included.
- Dolphin Island: A short boat ride takes you to a floating platform where visitors can swim with trained dolphins right in the sea. The package includes 15 minutes of free time with these unique creatures.
- Seaquarium: You are provided with a diving helmet and allowed to walk the bottom of the clear waters with an unforgettable view of reef and coral life- no certification required!
- Rafting: Near the town of Jarabacoa, visit the "Dominican Alps" where 18 different waterfalls cascade between chasms of rock to water the rich, fertile earth below. If you're a whitewater fan, The Rio Yasque is the longest river in the Caribbean and offers challenging courses like the "Mike Tyson" which features a 12-foot vertical drop. There are no day trips to this area from Punta Cana, due to the distance.
- Helicopter Tours: Change perspective and take your pictures of the Punta Cana coastline from hundreds of feet in the air.
- Corales Golf Course, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. Designed by Tom Fazio, Corales is an 18-hole course with six seaside holes. Designed along the natural cliffs, bays, ocean coves and the inland lakes and coralina quarries. Members and their guests are welcome; additional access available to guests of Tortuga Bay and The Puntacana Hotel through the resort’s "Golf Experience" plans, or those who wish to play a la carte. The a la carte golf rates for the Resort’s guest are USD275 in season and USD195 during the off season. Subject to availability, the Corales Golf Club accepts a limited number of external guest players. All golf rates are inclusive of taxes and include eighteen holes with cart and an expansive practice facility. Also included in the golf rates are yardage books, towels, ice water, and tees are part of the golf cart’s setup. Cold apples are provided on the 10th tee and scented iced towels at the end of your round. There is a Caribbean view Grill and Nineteenth Hole Bar at the clubhouse and an on-course beverage cart. Caddies are mandatory.
- Ocean Adventures, Playa Corales, ☎ +1 809 3907418, e-mail: email@example.com. 4 different kind of water excursions. The first, Bavaro Splash, combines driving a high performance boat, snorkeling and SNUBA. The second, Dr. Fish Ocean Spa, is a three hour spa excursion offering gentle pilates/yoga and relaxing massages: a special massage on floating mattresses in the natural pool, detox foot treatments, and also a pedicure: these tiny fish called Garra Rufa will gently exfoliate your feet by removing the dead skin creating the feeling of a gentle massage. The third one, called "Sailing Adventure," is a sailing excursion with various activities that lasts about 4 hours 30 min. It includes open bar drinks and an Asian lunch buffet. The final option is the Stingray Bay, a trip by a double floor pirate ship toward a private and exclusive floating aquarium with nurse sharks and stingrays for a very safe interaction program, followed by the celebration of a Dominican fddestival. Price may vary depending on the excursion.
- HorsePlay Punta Cana, ☎ 905-834-2380 809-917-4311. You can travel by horseback on a river ride, cattle drive, or romantic picnic package. Horseback riding experience is not necessary and you are accompanied by bilingual guides. Packages include transportation, food, horseback riding and zip lines.
- Bamboo Bar (Bamboo Bar) (Building Las Piratas, Los Corales Beach, Bavaro), ☎ 809 503 5098. Beachfront bar-restaurant-lounge. Enjoy the beach, relax music, and cocktails. Order a pitcher of their excellent sangria and enjoy the afternoon watching the scenery on the beach.
- Capitan Cook (Cortecito), ☎ (809) 552-0645. If seafood is your favorite, try what locals have declared the best lobster in town. With a huge open grill and enormous platters, it is hard for seafood lovers not to enjoy this beach-side restaurant. It is on the main beach strip. Captain Cook has an unusual atmosphere, and some may find the peculiar manner of service and ordering your meal intimidating or offensive.
- Las Lenas II (Plaza Friusa), ☎ (809) 552-6776. Spanish-style coffee shop and bakery with Wi-Fi. Comfortable seating, urban clientele, and great food along with the rustic decoration give this place a welcoming character. The bakery provides hotels in the area with the choicest deserts and is the best place to have breakfast in Punta Cana.
- Drinking from the faucet is not recommended. You should be okay using it to brush your teeth, but don't swallow it. Most hotels provide bottled water in the rooms; restaurants and bars use purified water and ice for your food and beverages.
- All-inclusive resorts have an endless supply of liquor. You may also drink at neighboring resorts within your own property, but you may have to pay or let them know your room number and resort name at the very least.
- With the sun constantly beating down on you (much stronger since it is right next to the equator) and the endless supply of alcohol, dehydration is a constant danger. Be sure to make sure you hydrate yourself often with water or you may end up in a doctor's office suffering from dehydration and a fever!
- Mamahuana is a local concoction of rum, wine, root or tree bark, and honey. However, there may be different recipes for the same beverage that locals say functions like liquid Viagra.
Presidente is the most popular national brand of beer, and it is readily available anywhere. It is available in both regular and lite versions. For a beer with a bit more taste, you should try Bohemia, made by the same company, but with a fuller flavour...also available in a lite version.
They also specialize in many different types of rum:
- White Rums are generally light-bodied. They are clear and have a subtle flavor. These are primarily used as mixers and blend particularly well with fruit flavors.
- Golden Rums also known as Amber Rums are generally medium-bodied. Most have spent several years aging in casks, giving them a smooth palate.
- Dark Rums are traditionally full-bodies, rich, caramel-dominated rums. The richest of these rums are consumed straight up.
- Anejo and Age-Dated Rums are aged rums from different vintages or batches that are mixed together. The youngest rum in the blend contains a blend of rums that are at least 10 years old.
Most often, you will be offered Brugal or Barcelo products.
Highly recommended rums include Burmudez "Don Armando" and "Anniversario 1852" as well as Macorix "Eight Year".
Though in most Latin and Central American countries coffee is produced primarily for export, most of the coffee grown in the Dominican Republic is savored within its borders. And Dominicans, like Europeans, enjoy their coffee strong and black. One useful phrase for tourists to learn when ordering coffee is "sin azucar" (no sugar) for the simple reason that the locals measure by tablespoon rather than teaspoon.
The local currency is the Dominican Peso.
If you are planning a day tour to Santo Domingo, you will find that everything is much cheaper than you would at the resort. Souvenirs, clothing, artwork, liquor, etc., will be about 1/4 to 1/3 the price at your resort. Also, in the area all shops, restaurants, bars, excursion companies accept US dollars, Euros, Canadian dollars, British pounds, but it is a bit cheaper to pay in Dominican pesos.
Do not exchange money outside a recognized bank or exchange house!
If you walk outside your resort to the city/area internet cafes will also be half the price (yet still pricey by ordinary Dominican standards. For example, $8 per hour in the resort, $4 per hour in town in Punta Cana or Bavaro. In other parts of the DR, internet cafes are $2 per hour or often less!)
Make sure you spend the remainder of your Dominican pesos. It is next to impossible to convert your pesos back to US dollars or Euros.
There are a variety of shops that are along the beachfront of each resort. These shops are owned and operated by the locals of the Dominican Republic. Shopping outside of the resort complex in Punta Cana/Bavaro can be kind of an adventure. In most shopping plazas, you can expect to be approached by one or more friendly but insistent salesmen. The people of the Dominican Republic love to barter for the price of items. You can expect that once in one of their stores you will definitely be taken for a ride. You will initially be quoted ridiculously outrageous prices. It is imperative that you get the item for as cheap as you can. This can become quite an ordeal as the shopkeeper fights with you, insults you for your frugality, etc. Often times, the locals will offer you a price for an item that is much more expensive the actual value of the product.
When walking along the beach also realize that the people at the shops will bother you to come buy something from them. It can often times become annoying because they will keep pestering you until you come and look at what they have to offer. Realize though that all you need to do is tell them that you are not interested and keep walking. The best way of letting the locals know that you are not interested is to tell them that you have no money and they will leave you alone. The people of the Dominican Republic are very friendly and become offended when you walk right past them without at least acknowledging their presence. A simple "no thank you" may sometimes work, but in most cases, they will not take no for an answer and will continue to chase and harass you.
Do not buy dried animals (turtle shells, sea shells...etc) because A.) It is illegal, so you will not be allowed to bring them through customs, and may get arrested trying; and B.) It encourages the locals to kill these creatures. Reef life should stay in the sea, so help to preserve these endangered animals by buying other types of souvenirs.
This article is based on Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike 3.0 Licensed text from the article Punta Cana on Wikivoyage.