Punta Cana Travel Guide

Punta Cana
Punta Cana © Trip & Travel Blog

Punta Cana is the centre of the east coast region of the Dominican Republic, and is becoming a growing holiday destination with several attractions. The 40-mile (64km) stretch of coast where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic offers pearly-white sand sprinkled with thousands of coconut trees, and is largely unspoilt.

The area has beaches and balnearios which face both the Caribbean and Atlantic, and it has been a popular tourist destination since the 1970s. The name Punta Cana refers to the cane palms in the region, and literally means "Tip of the White Cane Palms". Attractions in and around Punta Cana include the Manati Park, with its performing dolphins and sea lions, and an authentic replica of an ancient Taino Indian village. Apart from the beautiful beaches, there are also plenty of activities to keep visitors busy in Punta Cana.

Punta Cana has a variety of fantastic places to go shopping. No matter what you're looking for, whether it's American-style shopping malls or authentic Dominican markets, you're sure to find it while shopping in Punta Cana. It's also important to note that in Punta Cana, many places are cash only. Even places that accept credit cards will likely give you a discount of some kind if you're willing to pay in cash.

A holiday in the Dominican Republic would not be complete without a tour of its fantastic restaurants. From high-class venues run by famous chefs to establishments that focus on Asian, French or Mexican cuisine, the resort's diverse restaurants are not to be missed. There are some beatiful venues on the water and seafood is often the food of choice for visitors, since the seafood is more often than not freshly caught and excellently prepared in restaurants around Punta Cana.

The Punta Cana nightlife is something truly special to behold for those who would like to see the wild side of the Dominican Republic after sunset. There is a great range of venues for all kinds of visitors, from relaxed beachside bars, to super clubs with a high-class Vegas feel, as is located in the Hard Rock Cafe in Punta Cana. Each night has something different going on, from shows to live music, so it is best to coordinate your nightly plans with your hotel to make the most of the events that happen in the area.

The holiday activities available in Punta Cana are many and varied, available for adults, teenagers and children alike. For the outdoors enthusiast, there is plenty to experience, from laying around on the magnificent beaches to hiking the tropical jungle surrounds. There is also a great amount of adventure activity, from zip-lining to jet skiing, horseback riding and paddle boarding, boat trips and buggy rides, and there is even a Segway tour, all which can easily be arranged from your resort activities coordinator in Punta Cana.

Service is not always up to standard of other highly reputable resort areas and the built up feel of the resort does detract from the local flavour.