Dominican Republic Latin America Travel Travel Tips

A Quick Guide to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

Are you planning a trip to Punta Cana? Here is some essential information for planning your Caribbean vacation.

Brief History

When you think of Punta Cana, what is the first thing that comes to mind? All-inclusive? Well, you’re right! Punta Cana became an all-inclusive resort territory in the 1960s when it was bought by American investors. The building of lavish resorts began soon after with others jumping on the opportunity to open hotels along Punta Cana’s beautiful white sand beaches.  In fact, the Punta Cana airport was built in participation with famous singer, Julio Iglesias, Club Med, Oscar de la Renta and others.

Quick Facts

  • Punta Cana faces both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean
  • Spanish is the official language in the Dominican Republic however, English is widely spoken in touristy areas – especially Punta Cana
  • Currency is the Dominican Peso (or Pesos) but US cash is also accepted
  • Bring a poncho or umbrella if you plan on being out in particularly the rainy season of March – July
  • Punta Cana is located in La Altagracia Province in the southeast of the Dominican Republic
  • We were advised to not drink water from the tap (which we didn’t) since our stomachs aren’t used to the local microorganisms in their water it will make you a little ill. Hotels normally provide bottled water in your rooms. They also serve filtered water throughout the property.

Where to Stay

There are many beach front resorts and hotels scattered around Punta Cana so to narrow down your choices, search for a place in your preferred price range. You should also look at what activities, food and entertainment are provided because not every hotel or resort will offer the same things. We stayed at Club Med Punta Cana which you can read about here. It is a beautiful resort! Zen Oasis is their new adult-only zone but they do offer accommodations for families around other parts of the resort.

dominican-republic-horseback-riding

Horseback riding in the mountains

Excursions

The possibilities are endless! You can go horse back riding, fishing, hiking, shopping in Higuey city, but it will cost you! We really wanted to venture off the resort and see the real Dominican Republic, so we did a day trip with Outback Adventures. We visited some local schools, toured a farm, a Dominican home, experienced the countryside in the Anamuya Mountains and much more! If you’re really feeling up to it, you can take a bus tour to Santo Domingo which is 2 1/2 hours away and spend a day there (be prepared for a long day though!)

If you visit Punta Cana and you’re feeling adventurous I really think you should get off the resort because there is so much to do and see!

I’d like to thank Lonely Planet for providing our Dominican Republic guidebook. It really helped us prepare for our trip! As always, my opinions are my own.

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