Dreaming of postcard-perfect beaches, hidden coves, and jade-hued waters? You might need a vacation in Punta Cana. The best things to do in Punta Cana range from sunbathing on a Caribbean beach, visiting a hidden cove, enjoying a luxury beach resort, and taking a stroll on historic Zona colonial. Punta Cana, a Dominican Republic resort town abuts the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. It boasts 32 km of white sandy beaches and turquoise waters.
However, not just the beaches, it has lush green forests, mountains, waterfalls, and semi deserts, where tourists can go for a hike or plan for a camping night. Those who want to go beyond the beaches and waters, can explore Punta Cana’s best sights and experience adventure.
Here we’ve rounded up some of the best attractions and experiences. Before you book a flight to the Dominican Republic, check them out!
Best Time To Visit Punta Cana
Punta Cana experiences a tropical wet and dry climate and its weather remains fairly consistent all year round. Its temperature typically varies from 72℉ to 88℉ and is rarely below 69℉ or above 90℉. The hottest month of the year is August and the coldest month is January. Hence, tourists tend to book a flight to Punta Cana between December and March, when the weather is mostly settled.
Top Things To Do in Punta Cana
There is plenty of sunshine, sands, and sea in Punta Cana. Although tourists flock to this resort town for a beach vacation, and enjoy luxury in an all-inclusive resort, it is hard to ignore its historic sites, mountains, and wilderness. Think national parks, waterfalls, mountains, hiking trails, watersports, and secluded islands. Punta Cana is the best getaway to get lost in nature for a while.
Here are our top picks to plan your Punta Cana vacation, since visiting Punta Cana is one of the top things to do in the Dominican Republic.
Bavaro Beach in Punta Cana is a popular beach. It flaunts calm, turquoise waters, and soft, white sands, backed by luxury resorts, restaurants, and shops. Bavaro was initially intended to accommodate the resort workers. But later, looking at its potentiality in tourism, it has been developed. The hotels and all-inclusive resorts started rising along the roughly seven-mile long coastlines.
Tourists in Bavaro mainly come for sunbathing and swimming. However, sailing the day away on a catamaran or snorkeling at offshore coral reefs, parasailing, or windsurfing over the water are more popular among the thrill-seekers. This bustling community in La Altagracia province is ideal for those who want to experience the native side of Punta Cana. Visiting Bavaro is one of the fun things to do in Punta Cana.
Altos de Chavon
Do you expect to see a 16th century Italian village in a Caribbean resort town like Punta Cana? This unexpected surprise awaits you in Altos de Chavon, just 50 minutes drive from the city. This meticulously designed site was first open to the public in 1982 and since then it has become a popular tourist site. This replica of a 16th century Italian village has art galleries, boutique shops, and restaurants. Take a walk on its cobblestoned streets or grab a seat in the 5,000 seater amphitheater overlooking the Chavon river and the Caribbean.
This Mediterranean-themed village hosts a cultural center and an archaeological museum as well. Apart from these, the complex comprises churches, bars, and cafes. The most notable building is St. Stanislaus church, which is a replica of its namesake in Krakow Poland. The archeological Regional Museum houses more than 3,000 artifacts and hosts exhibits to showcase the cultural richness of the indigenous people. Visiting Altos de Chavon is one of the best things to do in Punta Cana.
For anyone looking for a little solitude, Saona Island in Dominican Republic’s southern coast, makes for an ideal day trip from Punta Cana. The island is a part of a government protected nature reserve, Cotubanama National Park. This park shelters 500 species of flowers and 300 species of birds. Wildlife is in abundance here. It is not tough to come across a group of sea turtles while snorkeling in its calm waters.
Swimming, snorkeling, scuba diving are popular activities here. However, those who want to remain dry can sail on a catamaran or take a speedboat. Although it is one of the less traveled and secluded islands, there’s no dearth of restaurants, cafes, fine dining establishments, and resorts in Saona Island.
Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park
This 1500 acre nature reserve, managed by Punta Cana Ecological Foundation, offers plenty of outdoor activities to visitors. The park has subtropical lowland forests and 12 lagoons. However, out of 12 lagoons, only five are available for swimming. Within its area, the park has an iguana habitat, a petting zoo, and a sugarcane display. Visitors marvel at the 500 plant species within its subtropical environment. It has several hiking trails, most of which can be hiked by all visitors, irrespective of their age, skill, and experience. These trails take you through lush vegetation .
The park was established to preserve the native wildlife and improve sustainability efforts. There are several hotels and resorts that provide easy access to the park. Most visitors staying in one of the resort communities receive free entrance to the park. Otherwise, tourists generally pay $50 as entrance fee. Visiting the park is one of the must things to do in Punta Cana.
Los Haitises National Park
Tourists looking for options to escape the beaches can wend their way to Los Haitises National Park. It is located in a remote area of the northeastern coast and was established in 1976. It has a limestone karst plateau with conical hills, sinkholes, caverns, and mangrove forest. Interestingly, it is also home to some Caribbean endemic species. Thrill-seekers mainly come here for cave expeditions, where they can explore unique rocks formed by the corals and other organisms.
The park cover an area of 618 square km., and boasts extensive mangroves along the bay. The bay is dotted with cays, where you will find the region’s native wildlife, including multiple bird colonies. Visitors can easily spot an endangered Ridgway’s Hawk, the Hispaniolan woodpecker, pelicans, herons, etc. The caves inside the park offer stunning views of the unique rock formations, rock art, and petroglyphs of Hispaniolan culture in the walls.
Things To Do in Punta Cana
Being one of the popular tourist destinations, there are certainly plenty of things to do in Punta Cana, not just the beaches and the Caribbean and Atlantic, this beautiful resort town has abundant adventure scattered around. Although many tourists prefer a beach vacation, they hardly expect more than the sands and sea. If you move deeper, this cozy, little resort town in the Dominican Republic has a lot to offer.
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