Beautiful white sand beaches, gentle breezes, warm and clear waters, amazing tropical forests cut through by unspoiled rivers and marvelously friendly people mark Punta Cana as one of the best and most quintessential vacation spots in the Caribbean. Located on the easternmost point of the Dominican Republic, this five-mile stretch of the coast offers a wide range of activities, from simply relaxing on the beach to adventure tours, shopping, spas, and golf.
This remote point lay relatively unknown and undeveloped until the late 1960s, when a few hotels and balnearios (resorts) began to be built. The first step was to rename the coast from its traditional Punta Borrachon ("Drunken Point") to Punta Cana—which, in hindsight, was probably the right call. The next was to ensure that the original charm of the area was maintained, while enough infrastructure was created to allow for visitors to have a comfortable, enjoyable stay. Today, the most popular activities for tourists is to explore the rainforest in the Indigenous Eyes Ecological Park and Reserve or take jeep safaris with Just Safari or Country Safaris. Ride horses on the beach at Rancho El Diferente or see the area from above with Dominican Balloons or the Helidosa Helicopter Tours. Just about any way you look, you’re in for a spectacular view.
The Dominican Republic holds a special place in the hearts of cigar aficionados; the Don Queco Cigar Bar, Don Lucas, Domenico Cigars and other locations provide a wonderful selection of premiere brands. If genuine Caribbean rum is your passion, visit the Pirate Rum Factory, and be sure to take the tour of the Taino Cave while you’re there. Chocolate lovers can visit the Choco Museo for a little history and a lot of options for chocolate treats. Reserve a tee time at one of the many golf courses, including the Nicklaus-designed Hard Rock Café Resort, Corales and Cocotal. If you feel like being pampered, the area has a wide selection of spas waiting to indulge and pamper you.
The sea calls you when you come to Punta Cana, and you can answer it with deep sea sport fishing charters, snorkeling cruises and catamaran charters or swim with dolphins at Dolphin Discovery. Afterwards, of course, you’ll want to sample some of the area’s amazing cuisine. In addition to many restaurants serving traditional Dominican food, there is also a wonderful selection of other cuisines, including Pastrata (Mexican), Bella Napoli Bavaro, Kyoto Japanese Restaurant, Mediterraneo, and Pranama (Indian cuisine). Or, if you’re looking to have an elegant evening out, consider La Yola, Passion or Balicana (just to name a few). Punta Cana is one of those places that offers something for everyone, but in a relaxed atmosphere, that will leave you longing to return.