Are you planning your next vacation in Dominican Republic? Then surely this article will help you, because here we will share with you a super complete guide to visit Punta Cana, one of the main tourist cities in the country.
For its incredible beaches, its spectacular climate, its luxurious all inclusive hotels and the friendliness of its people, Punta Cana is an excellent place to spend a few days of rest by the sea.
Throughout this guide, we will share important information for you to plan your trip, including the best time to travel, the different places where you can stay and the best places to visit in Punta Cana.
So, take pencil and paper and get ready to write down all these tips, advice and recommendations so you can get to know Punta Cana in the best way.
What is the best time to visit Punta Cana?
As you can probably imagine, the Dominican Republic has a tropical climate with relatively high temperatures throughout the year, with a minimum of 21°C during the winter and a maximum of over 31°C during the summer.
This makes any time of the year a good time to enjoy its white sandy beaches and the warm waters of the sea.
However, we could say that there are 2 quite marked seasons throughout the year.
On the one hand, the low season is from april to september. The good thing about traveling during this time of year is that prices decrease, but the chances of precipitation are higher than the rest of the year and temperatures increase.
On the other hand, from october to march, temperatures drop slightly and an average of 6 days of rain per month is estimated. During this season, the flow of tourists arriving to this destination is somewhat higher, so demand and prices increase.
So, what is the best time to visit Punta Cana?
If we talk about climate, you should plan your trip for the Dominican winter and if we talk about money, maybe you should opt for the summer.
How to get to Punta Cana?
When traveling to Punta Cana, the first thing you should check is which airport you will be arriving at, and then plan how to get to your hotel.
It is possible to take a flight to Santo Domingo airport or directly to Punta Cana airport.
If you arrive at the Las Americas International Airport in Santo Domingo, you will have several options for transportation.
The first, and most convenient, is to hire a private transfer indicating at what time your flight arrives. There, someone will be waiting for you with a sign to take you to your lodging. This trip lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Another option to travel to Punta Cana from Santo Domingo is to take a cab at the first level entrance of the airport.
What you should keep in mind in this case is that depending on the time of your flight, you may encounter a long waiting line.
If you want to economize a little, there is also the option of traveling to Punta Cana by public transportation. For this you will have to walk about 3 kilometers to the Las Americas highway and there take one of the buses that go to the colonial zone of Santo Domingo. From there, you will have to take another bus that will take you to Punta Cana.
Finally, there is the option to rent a car at the airport and take the opportunity to tour the Dominican Republic with your own vehicle.
🚗 Search here for the best car rental prices; and travel at your own pace!
In case your flight arrives directly to Punta Cana Airport, you will have things a little easier. The transfer options are the same as the previous ones, with the difference that the cost will decrease considerably due to the shorter routes.
Where to stay in Punta Cana
If you are travel to Punta Cana, you should know that this area has an extension of more than 50 kilometers on the east coast of the Dominican Republic.
Although it may not seem like much, the reality is that the place where you stay will depend on the type of vacation you want to experience.
For example, if you plan to have a relaxing vacation and relax and prefer to stay in an all-inclusive hotel to take advantage of its private beaches and all its facilities, perhaps you should not think so much about the geographic location but rather about the services offered by each hotel.
The most famous hotels in Punta Cana are located in the Arena Gorda area, so if what we mentioned in the previous paragraph is your case, maybe you should think about staying in this part of town.
Another option is Cap Cana, a private area, more expensive and exclusive, where you can find several luxury hotels.
In case you are looking for cheaper lodgings, you can opt for the El Cortecito area, where you will not only find cheaper lodgings, but you will also find several options to go for a walk, visit bars or dine in good restaurants.
If you prefer to spend your vacation in more remote and quiet areas, you can opt for Macao or Uvero Alto.
Finally, if you want beautiful beaches and calm waters, you can stay in the area of Bávaro beach, although you should keep in mind that since it is one of the best known beaches in Punta Cana, you will probably find it full of tourists.
8 must-see tourist attractions in Punta Cana and surroundings (with MAP)
Now that you know the best time to visit Punta Cana, you have an idea of where to stay and how to get to your hotel, it’s time to talk about the places you can visit in this paradisiacal destination and the most entertaining activities you can do.
🔝 Do you want to see all the possible excursions to do? Check out the article things to do in Punta Cana and enjoy the beach and surroundings.
1) Take an excursion to Saona Island
The excursion to Saona Island is one of the most popular among tourists who decide to travel to Punta Cana.
This paradisiacal island paradise, full of mangroves, coral reefs and white sand beaches, is located at the southern tip of the Dominican Republic.
As it is part of the Parque Nacional del Este, a permit is required to access it and the way to get there is by hiring a tour.
There are many options. From catamaran trips, boat trips or vip excursions.
Each one offers something different, for example, some take you directly to the island and let you spend the day there and others take you on a boat ride making several stops in different parts of the island. So we recommend that you analyze the different offers and choose the one that suits you best.
📷 Book here the tour to Saona Island by catamaran.
2) Visit the charming peninsula of Samaná.
Samana is another of the most visited places by tourists arriving in the Dominican Republic and is a mandatory stop if you are traveling to Punta Cana.
This peninsula stands out for the turquoise and crystalline water of its beaches, along with the palm trees, which almost invade the beach to the shore.
It is located northeast of Punta Cana and can be reached by car, traveling a little more than 300 kilometers by road or by taking a full day excursion.
In Samaná you can walk along the boardwalk, access a viewpoint overlooking the bay and access Cayo Levantado, a small island paradise.
In addition, if you travel during the winter, you may be lucky enough to see plenty of humpback whales dancing in the warm waters of the bay.
📷 Book here the whale watching tour and visit Cayo Levantado from Samana. There is also the option to take a tour of the Los Haitises National Park and Cayo Levantado.
3) Visit Los Haitises National Park.
Another tourist attraction in Punta Cana that you must visit is the spectacular Los Haitises National Park, where you can climb to the top of the Montaña Redonda and enjoy the lagoons and natural pools found inside the park.
Los Haitises is surrounded by the waters of Samaná Bay and is home to different species of birds, such as earwigs and pelicans.
It is one of the ideal places to enjoy nature while you navigate its rivers, immerse yourself in its jungle environment and enjoy a good swim in its lagoons.
📷 Book here your visit to the Haitises and enjoy an incredible day in contact with nature.
4) Take a stroll through the old city of Santo Domingo.
If you travel to the Dominican Republic, in addition to visiting Punta Cana, you must visit the historic capital of the country.
It is one of the oldest cities in the Caribbean and is home to the first cathedral and the first castle in the Americas. For this reason it has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
In addition to its historic buildings such as the Alcazar de Colon, the Ozama Fortress or the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Incarnation, you can also enjoy natural phenomena such as the Tres Ojos National Park.
🔘 Check out the rest of the World Heritage Sites we have visited.
5) Diving in Catalina Island
Traveling to the Caribbean is a great opportunity to dive into its warm waters and discover the underwater world.
Therefore, spending a few hours diving or snorkeling is something you can’t miss if you are visiting Punta Cana.
Catalina Island is only 15 square kilometers made up of beach and jungle. And the most striking feature of this place is its fauna and flora along with its natural beauty and unspoiled landscapes.
It is located south of La Romana, a city located about 80 kilometers from Punta Cana (which we also recommend visiting).
To visit this natural paradise, you can take an excursion from Punta Cana or travel on your own to La Romana and from there take a boat to Catalina Island.
📷 Book here the excursion to Catalina Island with snorkeling.
6) Take a Buggie ride in Punta Cana
This is perhaps the most adventurous way to get to know Punta Cana and delve into its culture and natural wealth.
The Dominican countryside has great fauna and flora and on this excursion you will have the opportunity to visit coffee, cocoa and sugar cane plantations.
You can also taste local products in Higüey and enjoy a typical Dominican lunch.
And best of all, you can do all this while driving the buggy yourself.
📷 Book here the excursion to Playa Macao by buggy and catamaran ride in Bibijagua. There is also the option of taking a buggy tour to the town of Macao and its beach, reaching the cenote of the so-called Manantiales Indígenas.
7) Enjoy a party at the famous Coco Bongo nightclub.
If you are traveling to Punta Cana and you like shows, music and partying, you should definitely stop by Coco Bongo.
Coco Bongo is a chain of nightclubs with locations in Playa del Carmen, Cancun and Punta Cana.
It is famous for having incredible music and dance shows and is a reference point in Punta Cana’s nightlife.
Every night different themed shows are performed, such as Samba dances, tribute shows to famous bands like The Beatles or Queen and even musicals inspired by movies like The Mask, Moulin Rouge or Mad Max.
📷 Book your ticket to Coco Bongo in advance and secure your night of fun in Punta Cana.
8) Get your adrenaline pumping with Punta Cana’s extreme activities.
In addition to the beautiful beaches and the different tourist sites to visit in Punta Cana, something that can not be left out is the amount of adventure activities that can be done in this place.
Among them we can mention some like buggy or ATV rides, parasailing flights, water activities such as jet ski rentals or speed boat rides and zip line parks.
If you are looking for a touch of adrenaline to your trip, these options may be ideal for you.
📷 Do you want to explore the seabed of the beaches of Punta Cana? Book the excursion to ride an underwater scooter and ride underwater.
Buy your travel insurance and travel safe!
🚑 Take a look at these tips for choosing the best travel insurance (updated to 2023 and with juicy discounts) for the type of traveller you are, and they will also help you clear up the most common doubts. Travel safe!
Discounts and useful resources to save on your trip
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- Asia tickets with 12Go
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We have reached the end of this guide to visit Punta Cana. We hope we have helped you plan your next vacation and look forward to hearing from you.