Punta Cana is located in the southeast of the Dominican Republic. The Dominican Republic is a tourist destination famous for its beaches, and the Punta Cana and Bavaro areas have the best. Punta Cana is the easternmost point of the country, and although many travelers recognize its name, there are only a few resorts here and a beautiful golf course by the sea.
Known for its sparkling turquoise waters and long white sand beaches lined by exclusive all-inclusive resorts in Bavaro and Punta Cana, and for its world-class activities, including fishing, golf at world-renowned courses designed by Pete Dye and Jack Nicklaus. Among others, Punta Cana is undoubtedly the number one destination for vacations and meetings in the Caribbean. Its multiple enclaves facing the sea, Bávaro, Punta Cana and Cap Cana, offer a unique atmosphere.
Adventures on land and sea abound for group getaways and incentive trips. Go fishing in Cap Cana, enjoy one of the best golf courses in the Caribbean in Punta Cana, sail along the coast of Bávaro or try surfing in Playa Macao. On land, the freshwater lagoons of the Indigenous Eyes Reserve are ideal for a short nature hike and a dip, while Scape Park offers an adrenaline-charged day of adventure, from ziplines to cave expeditions, and swimming in cenotes. Safari tours are also perfect for taking your team on a cultural exploration of the Dominican countryside. Last but not least, the various marinas, lounges and nightclubs in the area guarantee nights of wine, dinner and dancing.
Punta Cana offers something for everyone. In addition, the Punta Cana region is one of the best-connected destinations for international flights, receiving 3.6 million passengers per year at the Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ). Visitors can also easily tour other Dominican Republic destinations on pre-meeting or post-meeting tours thanks to the modern highways that connect Punta Cana to the rest of the country.
The main attractions of Punta Cana are, of course, the sand and the sea. The unforgettable beaches of this region are protected by an immense 29-kilometer (18-mile) long reef. The shallow waters make for a good environment for diving and snorkeling, especially if you are a beginner in these activities. Most of the “all inclusive” resorts have their own diving schools and shops for the sale and rental of equipment. You can also practice other water activities, such as surfing, sailing and parasailing (getting on a parachute pulled by a motor boat).
Outside of the resorts you will have the opportunity to explore some of the other attractions of the Dominican Republic. Admire a replica of a Mediterranean villa built on a cliff in Altos de Chavón and explore the world’s first underwater museum in Bayahibe. Visit Higüey and the Basilica of Our Lady of Altagracia, a great cathedral built in honor of the patron saint of the Dominican Republic. Join guided tours through the jungle at the Punta Cana Ecological Reserve.
There are several ways to get around Punta Cana. For most visitors, who spend time at their resorts or on nearby beaches, the easiest way is to walk.
Thanks to its location in the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic is a destination with sun all year round. Whether in high altitude regions or in cities, it is rare not to see blue skies during the day.
The Dominican Republic is surrounded by more than 1,600 km of coastline to the north, east and south, and the climate is tropical. Temperatures at noon range between 27 ° C and 32 ° C, and can drop to 18 ° C and 23 ° C during winter. Because we are in the tropics, it is difficult to tell if and when there is a rainy season. The rains are usually short-lived.
The local currency is the Dominican Peso (RD $).
Businesses in tourist destinations, including restaurants, bars, department stores, souvenir shops, and supermarkets tend to accept dollars.
Electricity in the Dominican Republic operates at 110 volts. This means that visitors coming from the United States and Canada will not need adapters, and can plug in directly into electric outlets. Travelers coming from Europe or other regions operating at 220 volts, however, will need to bring adapters and converters. While the larger resorts keep a few handy at the front desk, it is best to bring your own to avoid disappointment.
Major resorts have generators to cope with any street power outages. If staying outside of resort areas, in a small hotel, or in the countryside, keep in mind that there can be frequent power irregularities and surges. This means you should protect your electronic appliances, unless they have a built-in surge protector.
Atlantic Standard Time (AST), UTC -4 · Without daylight saving time, the same UTC makes up for everything.
The official language of the Dominican Republic is Spanish. And like many of their Latino counterparts, Dominicans have their own accent, colloquialisms, and idioms.
The staff of most tourist destinations, such as hotels, restaurants and resorts, are staffed with people who speak English as well as other languages.
Punta Cana International Airport (PUJ) is the main gateway to the Dominican Republic.
PUJ Airport has traditional Dominican architecture that translates into open terminals with roofs covered by palm leaves.
Despite the small size of the Punta Cana Airport, it has 5 terminals. Likewise, only two terminals are open to the general public.
Packing for the Dominican Republic means bringing a layered assortment of clothing, tailored to your chosen destination. Bring your swimwear, cotton long sleeves for sun-protection, and shorts for the beach, but also pack casual daytime clothes for city visits–avoid wearing shorts in Santo Domingo–or to enter important sights. Keep in mind that walking around in your bathing suit is acceptable on the beach, by the pool, or in outdoor areas of your resort, but not in the streets, supermarkets, or resort restaurants. Dominicans dress up and keep their appearance neat at all times, especially when stepping out in the evenings. Pack a couple of nice outfits for dining out and nightlife.
If you’re headed to the mountainous, central towns of Jarabacoa and Constanza, or even in the hills of Puerto Plata, you will need long sleeves, a cardigan, and pants–for hiking protection, but also because temperatures are lower in these parts. It gets cold at night, and in the morning.
Aside from clothing, be sure to bring any prescription drugs, your preferred sunscreen–limited brands are available here–a hat, sunglasses, and mosquito repellent.
Tap water is not safe to drink from the tap, and do not ingest it from the shower. Purchase bottled water at all times for drinking. Hotels often provide a couple of free bottles a day for each room, or have purified bottled water with dispenser available for guest use. Local colmados or corner stores, and supermarkets also sell plenty of water.
Common sense rules while traveling across the Dominican Republic, as with any destination. Store your passport and valuables in the hotel safe. Keep a form of smaller ID or a copy of your passport on your person. Do not wear any expensive jewelry, and leave all your valuables at home. Use your smartphone discreetly in non-tourist areas, tucking it away after taking your snapshots.
Carry local currency in cash in limited portions–take only what you need for the day. If you have a credit card, take it with you in case of emergency.
At night, avoid walking alone in isolated areas. Go out in groups, and use a designated taxi–recommended by your hotel–to arrange for rides. You should also avoid driving at night, even on the main highways–plan your road trips for the daytime.
If renting a vehicle, do not leave any valuables in the car within plain sight–even if you see a security guard on site. Stick to frequented, well lit areas. Learn a few words and phrases in Spanish, particularly to ask key directional questions.
The sun is very strong in the Caribbean, and hits even on cloudy days. Whether on the beach, on a boat trip, or walking around a city, be sure to wear sunblock at all times. Bringing your own preferred brand is best. Sunscreen is sold here, but you may or may not find the kind you prefer, and it will be costlier in the resorts and shops.
When hiking, at the beach at sunset, or staying in the countryside, wear mosquito repellent to prevent mosquito bites. Wearing long sleeve cotton tops or pants is recommended when hiking.
Tourist zones and cities are equipped for modern medical care, with private hospitals, clinics, and qualified personnel for all age patients.
For emergencies, including an ambulance, firefighters, and police, dial 911. You can also first contact the CESTUR office in your area–the Specialized Tourist Security Corp, trained and assigned specifically to assist visitors. If you are the victim of a crime, CESTUR officers will help file a report and seek any other assistance as needed.