Punta Cana

Destination Description

Punta Cana is located on the Northeast corner of the Dominican Republic. The official language is Spanish, but most resort employees speak some Engligh. Punta Cana was marketed exclusively towards Europeans up untl the later 90’s. Many resorts still have a large percentage of European and Canadian guests. There is very little infrastructure in Punta Cana. Therefore all of the resorts are self contained all inclusive resorts. There is very little to do outside of the resort and shopping is limited to t-shirts, local crafts, and tourist trinkets.

History – In the year 1492 Christopher Columbus touched the coasts of the Island and discovered in its inhabitants an Indian unknown race called Taínos –which in the arawac language means good or noble. The Taínos lived in the Island since the year 800 A.D. Dedicated to a sedentary life, simple but rich in religious and agricultural traditions, created in our Island one of the most outstanding cultures of the Caribbean area. Nevertheless, the discovery and its conquest methods exterminated this race in a period of approximately 50 years, which limited the impact of such Indian culture on the Dominican life.

The Dominican Republic is a relatively stable country with a moderate crime rate in the tourist area of Punta Cana. The Dominican Republic is a third world country but modern facilities exist in Punta Cana. The roads are primitice in the Dominican Republic, but the main road to the airport is nearing completion of the expansion. There is a $10 tourist card that must be purchased in cash at the airport upon arrival. There are no ATM’s at the Punta Cana Airport.

Logistics – Travel time is a major advantage of Punta Cana. Apple Vacations offers nonstop charter flights from Cincinnati to Punta Cana. Total flight time is less than 4 hours! Delta and other commercial airlines also fly to Punta Cana, but they make a single connection.

Location – Punta Cana is located on the Northeast corner of the Dominican Republic. The island of Hispanola is shared by the Dominican Republic on the East and Haiti on the West. The Domican Republic is located Southeast of Cuba and due West of Puerto Rico.

Activities and attractions

This is a place for vegging out… miles of silky-fine white sand, deserted beaches with coconut palms. Unless you rent a car or purchase an excursion, don’t expect much sightseeing or outstanding shopping opportunities nearby.

Beaches – Beaches. Cap Cana, Punta Cana, Cabeza de Toro, Bavaro, El Cortecito, Arena Gorda, Macao and Uvero Alto. The beach is the No. 1 attraction in the East Coast area, stretching an amazing 50 kilometers. With few exceptions, most hotels and developments only limit land access and elsewise honor Dominican law whereby beaches are public. You can freely stroll the beach strip going from one hotel’s beach front to another, especially in the Cortecito, Bavaro and Cabeza de Toro areas. There are public beach entries at El Cortecito and Cabeza de Toro. Macao, to the north, is yet undeveloped, and thus is unrestricted beach access.

Jeep and ATV Adventures – Safari-type excursions on four-wheel bikes, buggy rides, jeep safaris, monster trucks or helicopter rides for a privileged view. A dozen of companies offer these adventure tours that take the tourists to observe tropical wilderness, visit a countryside home where typical Dominican food lunch will be served, examine tropical crops, take a dip at a deserted beach or for a swim in a cool river.

Nightlife – Most hotels will feature staff-produced evening shows, with guests having the option to dance until the wee hours in the hotel discos. Nightlife will be slightly livelier at the larger hotel clusters. With this exception, nightlife at most resorts has been described as “fairly dull” if you are looking for a party atmosphere. Most discos are small and won’t attract more than 40-70 people in the evenings, mostly couples. The discos will play current dance music so you can bring your own CDs, gather a group of people and turn a small hotel disco into your own personal party.

Casinos – Most major resorts have casinos. The style of the casinos are more European with a quieter atmosphere (especially compared to Las Vegas casinos).

Golf – There are five golf courses in operation the area, and another slated for opening in 2005: El Golf de Bavaro 18 holes par 72 (Barcelo hotels), Cocotal 27 holes par 72 (Melia hotels), Punta Cana Golf (Club Med, Punta Cana Resort & Club, Cabeza de Toro Golf (Catalonia Resort), White Sands Golf (Blue Ocean resort), Punta Espada Golf opening first 9 holes summer 2005 (Cap Cana).

Scuba
Diving is good, not great, because right off shore from the Punta Cana side the water is riddled with barrier reefs. The area though is most appropriate for beginning divers. It is a great place to learn since the waters, even far out, are so shallow. Excursions will take you to discover a shipwreck and lots of nice coral formations, channels and tunnels. Not a large variety of fish, due to the spear fishermen you pass on the way out. Water temp 75 F.
If you are serious about scuba diving, but still want to vacation in the Punta Cana area you may participate in dive excursions to Catalina and Saona islands, a two hour drive away. These dives are attractive to both beginners and advanced scuba divers.

Fishing
In this region, big game fishing is good and annual tournaments draw international participants in the summer. You can look forward to catching blue marlin, barracuda, and dorado among others. Best fishing is in the summer. Arrangements can be made at hotel front desks or at Cabeza de Toro beach area.

Manati Park – Manatí Park is an amusing theme park located in Bávaro-Punta Cana, an incredible landscape of wonderful gardens overflowing with orchids and tropical plants. Here you will be able to experience nature, coming into contact with the fauna and flora of the Dominican Republic. During your stay in Manatí Park, you will be able to enjoy varied shows, restaurants, local crafts and souvenir shops… Furthermore, you will have the opportunity of swimming alongside dolphins, an unforgettable experience.

Punta Cana Photos

Punta Cana Resorts

Riu Republica

The Riu Republica is located on the Macao beachfront in Punta Cana. Thanks to the All Inclusive 24-hour service, guests

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Riu Palace Macao

Sunlight, heavenly beaches, coconut palms and a relaxing atmosphere are just a few aspects to describe this wonderful Ca

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Riu Palace Bavaro

The Hotel Riu Palace Bavaro (24h All Inclusive) is a new RIU hotel in a beachfront location in Arena Gorda in Punta Cana

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Secrets Cap Cana

Perfectly situated in the exclusive gated community of Cap Cana, Secrets Cap Cana Resort & Spa will bring one of the

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Majestic Elegance Punta Cana

The perfect Resort for the sophisticated guest looking for elegant and stylish accommodation with a superb selection of

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Now Onyx

The newest Now Resort & Spa, Now Onyx Punta Cana is coming to a palm-studded beach in Punta Cana! Perfect for friends, c

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Excellence El Carmen

In Punta Cana, warmth radiates from the tropical sun, the Caribbean Sea and the hospitality of the Dominican people. At

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Paradisus Punta Cana

Paradisus Punta Cana is an all-inclusive, beachfront resort, located on beautiful Bavaro beach near Punta Cana

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Nickelodeon Punta Cana

Nickelodeon Hotels and Resorts Punta Cana is an experiential resort designed to provide guests of all ages an incomparab

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Sanctuary Cap Cana

The area known as Cap Cana, on the eastern coast of the Dominican Republic, is a new great destination. Cap Cana gives c

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Chic Punta Cana

With its trademarked All Exclusive™ concept, the breathtaking CHIC By Royalton offers an unrivalled all inclusive vaca

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Memories Splash Punta Cana

Escape to Punta Cana, one of the most beautiful destinations in the Caribbean, situated on the tropical island of the Do

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Royalton Punta Cana

The exclusive All-In Luxury concept is devoted to providing guests with a unique experience, combining the soul of each

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Breathless Punta Cana

Breathless Punta Cana Resort & Spa, a perfectly situated all-suite resort in the Uvero Alto region of Punta Cana is

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Secrets Royal Beach

Located on over 700 yards of picturesque palm-studded white sand beach on the majestic turquoise Caribbean Sea in Playa

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Excellence Punta Cana

This is the romantic getaway you’ve always imagined.  Excellence Punta Cana surrounds you with all-inclusive luxury.

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Dreams Palm Beach

On a sun drenched beach on the east coast of the Dominican Republic, Dreams Palm Beach Punta Cana welcomes couples and c

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Dreams Punta Cana

Secluded in a lush tropical paradise that faces a pristine beach with blue waters stretching to the horizon, Dreams Punt

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Now Larimar Punta Cana

The Now Larimar Punta Cana is located on an idyllic white sand beach, with amazing turquoise waters and tall swaying pal

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Zoetry Agua Punta Cana

Perfectly located along 200 yards of private beach on the easternmost coast of the Dominican Republic in Uvero Alto, Zoe

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Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro

The lavish Iberostar Grand Hotel Bavaro is designed for golf lovers and romantics alike providing a perfect getaway retr

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Iberostar Bavaro Suites

This hotel is ideally located on the pristine, palm fringed beach of Punta Cana. All of the personnel are already waitin

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Hard Rock Punta Cana

Located on one of the most beautiful beaches on the Easternmost tip of Dominican Republic, this new all- inclusive prope

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Paradisus Palma Real

Combining a delightful Caribbean setting with world-class facilities, Paradisus Palma Real is one of the leaders of the

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