7 things you need to know before traveling to Punta Cana

Punta Cana, República Dominicana
Redactora / Travel writer

Who does not want to spend a relaxing vacation resting on white sand beaches, a crystalline and warm sea in front of the eyes, Caribbean music in the background, a piña colada in hand and that the afternoon plan is to go do snorkel looking for goldfish ?

I think we all know the answer by now, but where? Punta Cana, is one of the Caribbean tourist destinations most chosen by travelers, for having all these characteristics plus the possibility of staying in all inclusive hotels, taste typical Dominican dishes, selfies with palm trees and an ideal climate to enjoy nature.

Where is Punta Cana? How do I get to Punta Cana? Is there something more to do in Punta Cana than just the beach? We will tell you the answer to all these questions (and many more) in this relaxed post, put some music on your playlist Favorite “shirt” and feel the sea breeze while you take note of your possible next destination relax.

1) Where is Punta Cana

First and very important first point to bear in mind for all of us who have heard: “my friend went to the beach in Punta Cana” but we don’t know exactly where it is located.

Punta Cana is the most tourist destination on the island of the Dominican Republic, an island located in the Caribbean Sea, “shared” with Haiti, which is located on the west side of the great island. The capital of the Dominican Republic is Santo Domingo that, during a vacation to Punta Cana, it is recommended to visit to see the most historic and picturesque side of the country.

Did you know that Punta Cana is actually a small town located at the eastern end of the island and that Costa del Coco is the entire region (which includes Punta Cana) and other towns and beaches? Don’t worry, everyone (except the locals) says “Punta Cana” to the whole area. Now, there are no more excuses for not knowing where Punta Cana is.

2) How to get to Punta Cana

  • By plane : traveling to Punta Cana by plane is one of the most used ways by travelers, especially since it has an international airport, due to the high influx of tourists it receives, from different parts of the world. How to get to Punta Cana?

The Punta Cana International Airport is located a few kilometers from the hotel zone of the region, so many All Inclusive hotels (All inclusive? We’ll tell you about it ), offer the option of transfer from the airport. There are also taxis, public buses and shared combis (reserved in advance) that cover the stops in the different destinations.

Traveling to Punta Cana
Punta Cana is the most tourist destination on the island of the Dominican Republic, an island located in the Caribbean Sea, “shared” with Haiti.
  • By land: the capital of the Dominican Republic, Santo Domingo, is located about 3 hours from Punta Cana, so if there are travelers who from the capital city decide to take a sun vacation on the beach, they should rent a car or take a a public bus. How to get to Punta Cana by land? It is necessary to travel along the La Romana route for 180 kilometers, towards “paradise”.

3) Where to stay in Punta Cana

Punta Cana is one of those destinations where finding the right hotel can be very simple since there are several, of different categories and adaptable to the most diverse budgets. Being a place where tourism comes from different parts of the world, there is a variety, not only in type of hotels, but also in hotel chains.

Most of the hotels in Punta Cana are located on the coast, many of them with private beaches, exclusive for the guests of each one, although there are others, somewhat further away, but with wide variety of prices for slightly tighter budgets.

The most chosen place to stay in Punta Cana is in Playa Bávaro, the best known and most frequented beach in the area, full of tourist services and, in addition, region where the Most All Inclusive hotels (below we will tell you what the concept of All Inclusive in Punta Cana means).

The Iberostar, Riu and Grand Palladium chain, famous worldwide, have several hotels on Bávaro Beach: Iberostar Punta Cana, Iberostar Dominicana, Iberostar Selection Bavaro Suites, Iberostar Grand Bávaro and Coral Level at Iberostar Selection Bavaro, Hotel Riu Naioba, Riu Bambu, Riu Palace Punta Cana, Grand Palladium Punta Cana Resort & amp; Spa, or Grand Palladium Royal Suites, almost all 5 stars.

Other areas to stay in Punta Cana

For those looking for more exclusivity, privacy or cheaper prices, the diversity of Punta Cana extends beyond Playa Bávaro:

  • El Cortecito is the area where the cheap hotels, hostels and the best rental apartments in Punta Cana are located, coinciding with the place where bars, restaurants, nightclubs and shops are located, located north of Bávaro.
  • Cap Cana : for those looking for exclusivity and luxury, Cap Cana is the place where the highest category hotels are located, also reflected in their prices that They are much higher than the rest of the city.
  • Macao or Uvero Alto: even further north than El Cortecito, there is a much quieter area, ideal for those who seek to rest in all its expression.
  • Arena Gorda : between Bávaro and Macao is the area known as Arena Gorda, the site of most of the most famous hotel chains such as the Riu Republic that even has the Pacha nightclub, inside (for an extra fee), or Bahía Príncipe with more than 5 different hotels located in the same area, also between 4 and 5 stars.
Where to stay in Punta Cana
The most popular place to stay in Punta Cana is Playa Bávaro, the most popular and popular beach in the area.

For well-traveled travelers: Is there anyone else who enjoys finding Hard Rock Cafes in different parts of the world? In Punta Cana there is both the Hard Rock Punta Cana, a Hotel with a disco, swimming pools and options for the whole family (all inclusive, of course) and the classic restaurant with American food and the most musical decoration, located in Arena Gorda and in Bavaro Beach, respectively.

Traveling with children to Punta Cana: where to stay

Punta Cana is a destination for couples, for travelers visiting the island alone, for trips with friends, for backpackers and for families, with small and not so young children. In other words, a destination for all types of travelers.

For those families traveling with children, staying in hotels that include entertainment areas is a great option, not only in their facilities but also offers and beach sites.

Some of the best options to stay with children in Punta Cana are:

  • The Barcelo Bávaro Palace : it has a water park for children, a mini club and access to a quiet beach with calm waters.
  • Hotel Nickelodeon : Yes! The television network also has a hotel and, following the theme completely, it is an ideal place to stay in Punta Cana for children.
  • Hotel Hard Rock Café : for slightly older children, it is an ideal place because in addition to the swimming pools, the rocky atmosphere and the variety of shows, it has a kids club where they can have fun all day (from 10 in the morning until almost 11 at night).
Where to stay in Punta Cana
  • Bahía Príncipe Fantasía: the Bahía Príncipe chain (also its competition, Iberostar) are hotels always recommended for families, especially for the quality of services and comfort of facilities. The difference of the Bahía Príncipe Fantasía hotel is that it has a water park in the shape of a castle.

4) What does Punta Cana All Inclusive mean?

Now, so much so that we have named it, it is fair to know what the word “All Inclusive” means in Punta Cana (because it is not like that in 100% of the world’s destinations).

Punta Cana is one of the few destinations in the world with the largest number of hotels that offer the All Inclusive mode (but come on, what does it mean?): hotels where you pay a certain amount of money for the room reservation that also includes food and drinks at any time of the day.

Of course, depending on the type of hotel, the facilities and the services offered to the traveler, these “all inclusive” may vary in some details.

Tips for choosing the best All Inclusive hotel in Punta Cana:

  • Know what is included in the rate, in other words, read the “fine print”. Some hotels have all meals and drinks included but do not include water sports or access to “special” places such as the spa.
  • Take into account the restaurants included : in Most of the All Inclusive hotels in Punta Cana, the hotels have several restaurants and, generally, all, except some very particular or very exclusive, are included.
  • Activities for children included : If you are traveling with children to Punta Cana, it is important to book an All Inclusive Resorts that also includes the Kids Club, there may be certain activities with extra payment but, generally, the clubs and water parks are included.
  • Premium drinks : as we told you at the beginning, the “base” of the All Inclusive is the drinks and meals of the accommodation, on some occasions it may happen that the drinks of more exclusive or “premium” brands are not included, so it is always advisable to check that information training.

5) When to go to Punta Cana

Anyone who wants to visit the beaches of the Caribbean and especially the beaches of Punta Cana surely wants to travel when there are sunny days, little rain and mild temperatures ( quiet, that happens throughout the year ).

The tropical climate that characterizes Punta Cana and the entire Caribbean is reflected in its temperate temperatures throughout most of the year but, there is a small (not so small) drawback that, if it is to enjoy the beach, it would be better to try to avoid: strong storms and hurricanes.

Hurricane season runs from June to November. Watch out! This does not mean that we do not have to travel at that time because a hurricane will blow our towel, or anything like that, generally there are weather forecasts that inform us, but it is important to know that it is the season where the rains may be more frequent.

Travel fact: being a tropical climate, rains can be present throughout the year, but, again, it is tropical, so they are generally very strong, but last for some few hours.

So, what is the best time to travel to Punta Cana? The best time to travel to Punta Cana is between the months of December to April, where the rains are less frequent, the average temperatures reach 30 degrees Celsius and there are a good number of hours of sunshine to enjoy all day.

When to go to Punta Cana
The best time to travel to Punta Cana is between the months of December to April

6) What to see and do in Punta Cana

As we told you at the beginning, those who travel to Punta Cana are surely thinking of resting on a beach with an ideal climate and looking for shade in a palm tree, and of course, it is one of the best things What to do in Punta Cana, but the Dominican region has much more to offer, with options for all ages and preferences.

For those who seek to take advantage of the paradisiacal beaches, in a different way, one of the best things to do in Punta Cana is to travel them in buggy or quadricycle, enjoy the sea on the tours snorkeling or scuba dives, admiring the best coral reefs in the entire country.

For the more adventurous families, there are excursions that leave for the smaller islands of the Dominican Republic such as the wonderful (and truly paradisiacal) Isla Saona, Isla Catalina or the Samaná Peninsula, an authentic remote paradise of the Dominican Republic, all made up of several kilometers of almost virgin beaches and water activities to do, in a region with less tourist mass.

What to see and do in Punta Cana
The Dominican region has much more to offer, with options for all ages and preferences.

For travelers seeking to get to know Dominican culture up close, you can make tours to the Dominican capital, Santo Domingo, visit local art exhibitions and even stroll through nearby towns to Punta Cana.

There are many more things to see and do in Punta Cana that definitely deserves a separate chapter.

7) Best beaches in Punta Cana

Beach days, radiant sun, turquoise sea, water activities and a well-deserved relaxation. The beaches of Punta Cana are considered the best in the Caribbean (and in the world) so all its beaches are paradisiacal and ideal to rest then, how to know which are the best beaches in Punta Cana?

Did you know that most of the beaches in Punta Cana were classified as the best in the world according to UNESCO?

Knowing which is the best beach in Punta Cana can be quite a difficult task, why? Because we speak that they all have that something that makes them special : white sand like flour, turquoise sea, beaches with waves, beaches without waves pretending to be a “natural pool”, beaches exclusively for guests, public beaches, ideal beaches for “restless” travelers who want adventure, and beaches for travelers looking to relax.

The most famous beaches in the Dominican Republic, definitely, are those of Punta Cana and are located on the east bank of the great Island, starting with Playa Bávaro, the most famous and visited from Punta Cana ; continuing with El Cortecito, the public beach most chosen by residents and passing through Playa Macao, the beach surrounded by vegetation that can only be accessed by vehicle. Do you want to know more about the best beaches in Punta Cana? Do not miss this post that we will tell you everything.

In short, visiting Punta Cana implies, without a doubt, visiting a beach, there are no excuses to rest under the shade of a palm tree, to discover its underwater life or to do activities in the shore and in the turquoise sea.

Best beaches in Punta Cana
Bavaro beach. Photo: Raúl Urbina

Punta Cana is a great beach destination, worldwide that is worth visiting, a place where you can see the authentic beach postcard with transparent water, different shades of blue and palm trees in the background, forming that photo for the computer screen that we all want to have.

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