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Leisure and Culture

  • WHAT ARE THE BEST BEACHES IN PUNTA CANA?

    On the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic lies Punta Cana, a vast 35 kilometer long stretch of continuous white sand and dazzling waters. Punta Cana’s wide beaches are located in the Atlantic Ocean, have golden sand and warm waters making it safe to swim all year. Up north is the secluded Uvero Alto, Macao, and Arena Gorda. In Bávaro, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea, is El Cortecito and Cabeza de Toro, while on the eastern tip of the Dominican Republic lies Cabo Egaño - all of which make-up some of Punta Cana's best beaches.

    • ARENA GORDA

      In the north of Punta Cana is the voluptuous Arena Gorda, also known as Fat Sand Beach because of its large breadth, which slopes gently towards shallow, calm waters. Considered a family-friendly spot with soft sand and clean water, it's best for snorkeling, kayaking, water-skiing, sailing, and swimming.

    • UVERO ALTO

      Farthest north of the Punta Cana beaches is the secluded Uvero Alto, lined with quintessential Caribbean coconut palms and deep navy blue waters. Relatively underdeveloped, its white sand offers solitude from densely populated tourist beaches, while its moderate surf is suited to windsurfing.

    • MACAO

      Seaside adventure seekers head to Macao to ride its sizable waves and drive along its golden sands in beach buggies. Framed by nearby cliffs and dotted with coconut palm clusters, it’s one of the best beaches in Punta Cana for professional and beginner surfers.

    • EL CORTECITO

      Although in the Atlantic, the ocean water at El Cortecito beach, in the heart of Bavaro, still has an intense turquoise color. Between its many coconut palms are hammocks for beachgoers to soak up the hot sun’s rays and occasionally enjoy the cool comfort from a sea breeze. With light swells, its warm waters cater towards parasailing and refreshing swims.

    • CABEZA DE TORO

      Between Playa Bavaro and Cabo Engaño is Cabeza de Toro, surrounded by natural forests and Punta Cana wildlife. This long and narrow beach known as the sun’s birthplace and named after its shape - the head of a bull - offers decent snorkeling, swimming, boating and fishing adventures.

    • CABO ENGAÑO

      On the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic lies this quiet, scenic beach. It offers privacy, isolation and picture-perfect scenery of the Costa del Coco (Coconut Coast). Accessed by four-wheel drive, it's a great spot for windsurfing and family beach trips.

    • The Caribbean sun is powerful. Always use sunblock with a high SPF factor.
    • Too much sun combined with excessive alcohol intake can have negative health effects. Keep hydrated to avoid illness.
    • Some of the best beaches in Punta Cana have powerful waves, strong undertows, and dangerous rocks. Always check water conditions before swimming.
    • Stay clear from eating and drinking unpasteurized dairy products.
    • When in the water, stay within the designated swimming area. Often, there are buoys separating watersports and boating areas.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer to stop the spread of bacteria.
    • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially under the sun.
    • Drink purified bottled water to avoid an upset stomach and ensure water safety in Punta Cana.
    • While it's safe, holidaymakers are discouraged from visiting the beach alone at night.
    • Keep away from street food that has been standing out in the open
    • Punta Cana’s beaches are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Always respect the environment and don't leave litter lying around.
  • WHAT ARE THE BEST EXCURSIONS IN PUNTA CANA?

    Punta Cana, on the Dominican Republic's easternmost tip, is an ecotourism paradise with lush palm groves and golden sands. Together with Bávaro, it makes up the Coconut Coast, a lavish area hosting Caribbean holidaymakers from all over the globe eager to bathe in the sun and explore Dominican wildlife. Visiting the remote fishing village on Saona Island, learning about the island’s trade history in Bávaro, swimming in the impressive Hoyo Azul cenote, exploring unchartered terrain in Miches, boating to Isla Catalina and trekking through the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve are some of the best excursions from Punta Cana.

    • SAONA ISLAND

      Saona Island is acclaimed for its luminescent coral reefs, dense mangroves, and palm-fringed beaches. Part of the East National Park and sanctuary to giant starfish, endangered sea cows and dolphins, this 1-day excursion from Punta Cana offers a combination of archeological and ecological activities. Visitors are encouraged to stop by Mano Juan, the laid-back fishing village on the island, characterized by vividly colored wooden dwellings, as well as the Cave of Cotubanamá for its pre-Columbian rock art.

    • BÁVARO

      Go on a horseback tour from Bávaro through to Los Haitises National Park. Explore the Fun Fun Cave; admire Taino rock art and repel 20 meters underground to see epic lava columns. For those interested in Dominican history, the Aromas Museum in El Cortecito provides in-depth insight into the cultural history that Spanish colonialism overlooked, and explains the role of coffee, cocoa, and tobacco - the three commodities that propelled the Dominican Republic’s development.

    • HOYO AZUL

      This hidden cenote - a natural sinkhole - is at the bottom of a magnificent 75-meter cliff. Dive into its blissful waters and come face-to-face with one of the Dominican Republic's unique ecosystems overflowing with endemic Orchids, exotic ferns, and marine life.

    • MICHES

      Miches is an ecotourism-centered paradise in El Seibo province. To its east are twin lagoons, Redonda and Limon, which are part of a national park and prime spots for birdwatching. Lesser known is Media Luna, a half moon sandbank several kilometers offshore that’s accessible at low tide with the help of local fisherman.

    • INDIGENOUS EYES ECOLOGICAL PARK AND RESERVE

      Maintained by the Punta Cana ecological foundation, this lowland, subtropical forest reserve has twelve freshwater lakes and takes its name from the Taino Indians who referred to these large bodies of water as eyes. With a petting zoo, cultural exhibits and guided tours, it’s a perfect family excursion from Punta Cana.

    • ISLA CATALINA

      Ringed by delicate reefs teeming with fish, Isla Catalina has one of the best dive sites in the country called Muro. Its impressive wall descends over 100 meters deep and is covered in incredible coral and sponge formations. Isla Catalina also has various other activities such as art museums and zip lines tours for those who prefer to keep their heads above water.

    • The Caribbean sun is powerful. Always use sunblock with a high SPF factor.
    • Too much sun combined with excessive alcohol intake can have negative health effects. Keep hydrated to avoid illness.
    • Some of the best beaches in Punta Cana have powerful waves, strong undertows, and dangerous rocks. Always check water conditions before swimming.
    • Stay clear from eating and drinking unpasteurized dairy products.
    • When in the water, stay within the designated swimming area. Often, there are buoys separating watersports and boating areas.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer to stop the spread of bacteria.
    • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially under the sun.
    • Drink purified bottled water to avoid an upset stomach and ensure water safety in Punta Cana.
    • While it's safe, holidaymakers are discouraged from visiting the beach alone at night.
    • Keep away from street food that has been standing out in the open
    • Punta Cana’s beaches are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Always respect the environment and don't leave litter lying around.
  • WHERE TO HAVE FUN IN PUNTA CANA

    As the sun sets, the party begins. Punta Cana’s active nightlife is an eclectic mix of relaxed beach bars, high-end clubs, and spectacular dinner shows. It’s believed to have the best nightlife in the Caribbean and caters for all budget ranges and music tastes. Wondering where to have fun in Punta Cana? Dance the night away at one of the many discos, learn how Merengue, hop on a party boat, hang out at a casual bar or catch a spellbinding show. In Punta Cana, there’s fun for everyone.

    • EXPERIENCE THE EXCITING DISCOS

      With its variety of concerts, theatres and mind-blowing parties, Punta Cana is fast becoming one the hottest nightlife destinations in the Dominican Republic. Swing by some of the best clubs to experience dazzling feats performed by dancers, trapeze artists, and gymnasts, and celebrity impersonators while you party the night away. The nightlife is a combination of entertainment and clubbing in a magical setting full of excitement.

    • PLACE THRILLING BETS AT A CASINO

      Punta Cana’s many casinos offer gambling enthusiasts the chance to win big. Play poker, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, and Baccarat or opt for top-notch service in exclusive VIP areas.

    • LEARN HOW TO MERENGUE

      Punta Cana has an explosive nightlife with clubs and bars to meet locals, order cocktails and sway to the sounds of traditional bachata or contemporary salsa, rock and reggae. Heat up the dance floor and learn to dance like a Dominican by taking a merengue lesson.

    • HOP ON A PARTY BOAT

      A Caribbean holiday would be incomplete without a boat party. Hop on board a catamaran or arrange a group get together where drinks are plenty and the music is pumping. Let the crew take care of everything as the sun rises or sets and you and sail along palm-fringed coastlines.

    • HANGOUT AT A LOCAL BAR

      Punta Cana's bars open till late, providing plenty time to try their Presidente beer or a Cuba-Libre, a caffeinated alcoholic cocktail. Some screen sports events, while others host live music or DJs. Ask around to find out what’s on offer in Punta Cana’s bar scene.

    • WATCH A SPECTACULAR SHOW

      Get into the party mood by catching a dinner with an accompanying musical spectacle. These shows provide evenings of top-class entertainment and tasty cuisine whilst combining audiovisual effects, 30 dancers, resounding beats and glittering costumes.

    • The Caribbean sun is powerful. Always use sunblock with a high SPF factor.
    • Too much sun combined with excessive alcohol intake can have negative health effects. Keep hydrated to avoid illness.
    • Some of the best beaches in Punta Cana have powerful waves, strong undertows, and dangerous rocks. Always check water conditions before swimming.
    • Stay clear from eating and drinking unpasteurized dairy products.
    • When in the water, stay within the designated swimming area. Often, there are buoys separating watersports and boating areas.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer to stop the spread of bacteria.
    • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially under the sun.
    • Drink purified bottled water to avoid an upset stomach and ensure water safety in Punta Cana.
    • While it's safe, holidaymakers are discouraged from visiting the beach alone at night.
    • Keep away from street food that has been standing out in the open
    • Punta Cana’s beaches are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Always respect the environment and don't leave litter lying around.
  • WHAT TO EAT IN PUNTA CANA

    The Dominican Republic’s gastronomy is rooted in indigenous Taino, African and European Spanish cooking traditions. Called Comida Criolla by locals, their flavors combine a food history spanning three different cultures and continents. When deciding what to eat in Punta Cana, visitors will discover many of their traditional dishes are accompanied by staple starches such as potatoes, yucca, bananas, and rice, as well as proteins such as fish and meat. The base of most Dominican cuisine is sofrito; a mixture of spices and herbs sauteed together to release their hearty flavors. Typically, a sofrito comprises parsley, onion, green pepper, garlic, cilantro, and vinegar. It’s used as a base seasoning for delicious rice, stew and bean dishes, such a Locria, a poultry dish similar to Paella. Other appetizing traditional meals like Mofongo, a ball of fried plantains with bacon and garlic, and Chivo, braized goat, are also favorites, as well as the indigenous, alcoholic drink Mama Juana, and café con leche, aromatic coffee served with milk. Here’s a quick guide to Punta Cana’s Caribbean cuisine, including a few tips on dining dos and don’ts.

    • THE BEST TRADITIONAL FOOD FROM SANTO DOMINGO

      Dinner is considered the most important meal of the day. Main courses include a tasty tripe stew known as Mondogo, Mofongo, a combination of pork rinds and flavorsome plantains or bistec encebollado, a grilled steak topped with onions and peppers. On the sweet side, deserts such as Dulces con Coco or Dulce de Naranjes, made with molasses, chocolate or orange remain ever popular. There's also Flan de Maiz, a custard made from corn, or the option to go organic and try Chinola, Dominican passion fruit.

    • HOW TO MAKE MANGÚ

      Put 3 green plantains and one quart of water in a saucepan. Bring to boil, and cook for 20 minutes until the plantains are tender but firm. Drain the saucepan and the keep the liquid. Allow the plantains to cool before peeling.Heat a ¼ cup of olive oil in a pan and saute 1 onion until tender.In a separate bowl, mash the plantain with the leftover liquid, adding 1 ½ tablespoons of salt. Add 1 cup of Anaheim peppers and continue to mash, then puree using a processor. Serve topped with the sauteed onions.

    • LIQUORS AND DRINKS YOU MUST TASTE IN SANTO DOMINGO

      Extolled in by the Taino for reviving sexual potency and curing ailments, Mama Juana is possibly the most famous Dominican Republic beverage, besides its fragrant coffee. Made with rum, red wine, honey, tree bark and herbs, this elixir is sold widely in stores and bars.Other delicious drinks include Morir Soñando, made with orange juice, milk, cane sugar and chopped ice, as well as Mauby; a thirst-quenching drink made tree bark beverage that’s sweetened boiled and strained.

    • The Caribbean sun is powerful. Always use sunblock with a high SPF factor.
    • Too much sun combined with excessive alcohol intake can have negative health effects. Keep hydrated to avoid illness.
    • Some of the best beaches in Punta Cana have powerful waves, strong undertows, and dangerous rocks. Always check water conditions before swimming.
    • Stay clear from eating and drinking unpasteurized dairy products.
    • When in the water, stay within the designated swimming area. Often, there are buoys separating watersports and boating areas.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer to stop the spread of bacteria.
    • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially under the sun.
    • Drink purified bottled water to avoid an upset stomach and ensure water safety in Punta Cana.
    • While it's safe, holidaymakers are discouraged from visiting the beach alone at night.
    • Keep away from street food that has been standing out in the open
    • Punta Cana’s beaches are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Always respect the environment and don't leave litter lying around.
  • WHAT ARE THE BEST THINGS TO DO IN PUNTA CANA?

    Punta Cana’s wonderful waters and soft sand beaches are its main attractions, but beyond the allure of the Coconut Coast, there’s an excess of adventurous outdoor activities, each a testament to the region’s splendor. With feeding the monkeys, greeting the dolphins, parasailing high above the ocean, scuba diving in the luminescent coral reefs, visiting Samana by plane or ziplining through Dominican treetops, it’s not about what to do in Punta Cana but rather when.

    • SWIM WITH DOLPHINS

      Take advantage of this once in a lifetime chance to swim and interact with these intelligent marine mammals. Choose between a variety of different parks that offer the opportunity to watch the dolphins do acrobatic tricks, shake their fins or grab onto their dorsal fin to hitch a fun water ride.

    • TAKE A MONKEY SAFARI TOUR

      Take the family deep into the Dominican Republic’s luscious jungle. Travel in a Safari truck through local cocoa and coffee plantations before stopping off to walk with and feeding Squirrel monkeys as part of the tour.

    • PUNTA CANA PARASAILING TOUR

      Watersport devotees can experience the thrill of the open air and view Punta Cana’s long, golden coastline from 150 meters above turquoise seas. Enjoy the vast overhead view with a partner or dare to go alone experiencing one of the best activities in Punta Cana.

    • SCUBA DIVING AND SNORKELLING

      The tropical waters surrounding Punta Cana, where coral gardens and underwater caverns dwell, are excellent for scuba diving and snorkeling. Further out, off Bávaro’s shores, lies the Astron wreck, a frequented scuba diving spot where if lucky, divers sometimes hear the songs of Humpback whales.

    • EXPLORE SAMANA BY PLANE

      Fly to the resplendent Samana Peninsula and spend the day traversing wild coves and unbridled fauna and flora. Look out for whales in the surf, quell appetites with fresh, local cuisine and horse ride to the Salto de Limon waterfall to enjoy a swim under its rejuvenating cascades. The Samana Peninsula has a marvelous mix of outdoor and cultural adventures, not to mention its glorious panoramic views, making it one of the best activities in Punta Cana.

    • GO ZIPLINING

      Take part in active tourism in Punta Cana and seize the opportunity to cruise through tree top canopies at a speed of 70km/h by going ziplining. Feel the surge of tropical air whoosh past from 160 meters high and view nature differently though an adrenaline-fuelled perspective, suitable for kids and adults.

    • The Caribbean sun is powerful. Always use sunblock with a high SPF factor.
    • Too much sun combined with excessive alcohol intake can have negative health effects. Keep hydrated to avoid illness.
    • Some of the best beaches in Punta Cana have powerful waves, strong undertows, and dangerous rocks. Always check water conditions before swimming.
    • Stay clear from eating and drinking unpasteurized dairy products.
    • When in the water, stay within the designated swimming area. Often, there are buoys separating watersports and boating areas.
    • Always wash hands with soap and water or hand sanitizer to stop the spread of bacteria.
    • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated, especially under the sun.
    • Drink purified bottled water to avoid an upset stomach and ensure water safety in Punta Cana.
    • While it's safe, holidaymakers are discouraged from visiting the beach alone at night.
    • Keep away from street food that has been standing out in the open
    • Punta Cana’s beaches are a UNESCO World Heritage site. Always respect the environment and don't leave litter lying around.